wed 17/07/2019

Theatre Reviews

The Cherry Orchard, Pushkin Drama Theatre, Barbican review - stunning absurdist Chekhov

Rachel Halliburton

There is no doubt that this Cherry Orchard, whirled into town by Roman Abramovich from Moscow, is going to be divisive.

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Beast on the Moon, Finborough Theatre review - drama of familial displacement packs a quiet punch

Tim Cornwell

In the history of early photography in the Middle East, it was the Armenian Christian traders and their descendents who became the pioneers of the new technology.

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Superhoe, Royal Court review - smart, sassy, and full of feeling

aleks Sierz

Titles matter: they send out messages. So, in the current #MeToo climate, isn't it a bit provocative that there's a rash of plays with titles which might be seen to offend: The Hoes, Superhoe and, coming soon, Inside Bitch? Not to mention the suggestive Hole. All strong titles, tough and spiky. But maybe not offensive at all. These plays are, after all, all written by women, and nowadays it's not what you say, but who says it that really matters.

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Cost of Living, Hampstead Theatre review - tough but tender

Tom Birchenough

The Off Broadway production of Cost of Living two years ago brought Martyna Majok the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the height of acclaim of which most new writers – Majok, with four...

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Counting Sheep, The Vaults review - visceral recreation of an uprising

Rachel Halliburton

Is there a connection between revolution and theatre? The answer has to be yes – a visceral one. The supremacy of symbols, the collective strength of a crowd, a sense that some kind of pressure valve is being released to challenge the dominant social narrative. The Ancient Greeks understood this – it was from such impulses that theatre had its birth.

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Kes, Leeds Playhouse review - seminal Yorkshire story soars

graham Rickson

Robert Alan Evans’ adaptation of Kes is a dark, expressionist reworking of Barry Hines’ novella. It pays lip service to Ken Loach’s iconic film version, and most of the memorable bits are present and correct here: the wince-inducing rant from head teacher Mr Gryce is a highlight, as is the PE teacher’s sadistic insistence that poor Billy has to take a shower.

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When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Dorfman Theatre review - Cate Blanchett's underwhelming debut at the National

Veronica Lee

When it was announced that Cate Blanchett was making her National Theatre debut with Martin's Crimp's new play, When We have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, its website exploded with people wishing to buy tickets. To those many thousands disappointed, I say: “Well done, you!”

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Violet, Charing Cross Theatre review - Jeanine Tesori's faith musical is a gentle pleasure

Marianka Swain

Following Caroline, or Change and Fun Home, the UK is blessed with another work from American composer Jeanine Tesori; this is the British premiere of her 1997 musical Violet, which had a Sutton Foster-starring Broadway production in 2014.

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The Unreturning, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - hymn to home

aleks Sierz

Nadia Fall is a good thing. Her appointment as the artistic director of this venue, with her first season having begun in September last year, has been widely seen as part of a new wave of cultural leaders who are expected to shake up the country's theatre. Already, her building has enjoyed a hipster-inspired cool facelift.

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The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre review - searing simplicity

Tom Birchenough

There’s a stark power to Jack Gamble’s production of DH Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law, which has transferred to the Arcola’smain stage after an acclaimed opening run in the venue’s downstairs studio last May.

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