mon 22/04/2019

Theatre Reviews

Enron, Noël Coward Theatre

aleks Sierz

Crisis makes people hungry. In the case of the banking collapse, this seems to take the form of an ignoble itch for revenge, and a more laudable hunger for knowledge. What exactly happened and what went wrong? As Enron, Lucy Prebble's wonderful play about a previous financial scandal, roared into the Royal Court after its sell-out run at Chichester, there was time to reflect on just why this play has been such a huge success. And by success, I really mean success.

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Six Degrees of Separation, Old Vic

Sheila Johnston

John Guare's brittle satire, first produced in New York in 1990, was propelled by two phenomena. The first was a certain David Hampton, a con man who persuaded a suite of gullible Manhattan socialites that he was Sidney Poitier's son (and who, when Guare's play became a hit, pestered the playwright for a cut of the profits).

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Ockham's Razor, The Mill, Linbury Studio Theatre

ismene Brown The Mill: 'an excellent corporate teamwork video let loose in too large a theatre opportunity'

Call me old-fashioned, but when a bunch of people have trained in circus and French mime theatre, I’m expecting to be astonished, thoroughly surprised, and occasionally to feel the sweat breaking out on my palms. Can one enjoy circus skills without fear and awe being supplied? The aerialist theatre troupe Ockham’s Razor provide a sensational hamster-wheel set for their new show, The Mill, powered by human hamsters, but don’t serve up physical jinks of matching sensationalism. I grew up...

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The Caretaker, Trafalgar Studios

william Ward

It is almost an article of faith that over the 50 years since its first production, The Caretaker has become a classic of the British theatrical canon.

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BlackSkyWhite, Institute of Contemporary Arts

ismene Brown

I whizzed back to my previous reviews of BlackSkyWhite when I got home last night to check how much I’d enjoyed them in the past, so disappointing was their offering for the London International Mime Festival, USSR Was Here.

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The Rivals, Southwark Playhouse

james Woodall How to be silly in Sheridan's most famous play: Celia Imrie and Harry Hadden-Paton in The Rivals

'Tis the season to be jolly. Or, if you're a small theatre and choose not to stoop to panto, time perhaps to be a little light, anyway, tickle some tastebuds. Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals (1775) is his best-known play, followed by The School for Scandal and The Critic. In his early twenties when he wrote The Rivals (and then, after its first London outing was howled down, rewrote it), Sheridan spawned a skittish, playful, self-consciously silly...

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Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, National Theatre

william Ward

Over the last 20 years or so, the genre of music we have learnt to associate with the violent assault of a regime upon its adversaries is hard rock blared out on massive speakers at ear-splitting volume, 24/7. First tried out with decisive results by the American military on General "Pineapple Face" Noriega of Panama in 1989, it has been refined in recent times to break down the resistance of innumerable presumed jihadis and insurgents in US detention.

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Midsummer, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee Midsummer: Cora Bissett and Matthew Pidgeon are superb as the mismatched lovers in David Greig's play, set in Edinburgh

David Greig’s delightful Midsummer (a play with songs), opened at the Traverse in Edinburgh in 2008, was revived for last year’s Fringe and now provides a warming tonic for frozen winter nights in London. A knowing, modern romcom about two thirtysomething lost souls from opposite ends of Edinburgh who find each other over the midsummer weekend, it could just as easily serve as a love-letter from the playwright to the city of his birth.

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Legally Blonde, Savoy Theatre

Matt Wolf

Audiences genuinely love Legally Blonde, and all but the most churlish of critics should crack plenty a smile, as well.

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The World's Wife, Trafalgar Studios

Veronica Lee

If ever you wanted to understand the art of acting and how it gives life to words on the page, this is a good place to start. Actress Linda Marlowe, under the direction of Di Sherlock, has adapted Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s 1999 collection, The World's Wife - which gives a wry, subversive and feminist voice to characters (real or imagined) written out of history, mythology and the Bible - and gives the words form on stage. It is an exquisite treat.

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