mon 21/10/2019

Theatre Reviews

Faust, Young Vic Theatre

james Woodall Icelandic 'Faust': Somewhere between Peter Weiss's Marat/Sade and Billy Smart's circus

It's hard to overestimate the importance of Goethe's Faust to the German soul, though I did once have a German friend who valued George Eliot's Middlemarch more highly. If there's a real English competitor to Goethe in the literary stakes, it is of course Shakespeare, but that doesn't really work either, because, when not thinking of Goethe, many Germans consider Shakespeare neither better nor worse; simply theirs.

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The Country, Arcola Theatre

aleks Sierz

Adultery has had a good press recently. Websites such as meet-to-cheat.com, illicitencounters.com and lovinglinks.co.uk have been in the news, and statistics suggest that more of us are being unfaithful than ever before.

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Birdsong, Comedy Theatre

Carole Woddis

Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong has reached phenomenon status: number 13 on a recent BBC Big Read competition, part of the school curriculum along with World War One poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, three million copies sold worldwide. Its lyrical, descriptive writing, dense and subtle in detail, consistently moves people to tears.

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Yes, Prime Minister, Gielgud Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

The business end of 1980s BBC sitcom, the Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister series delivered political body-blows while sporting a dapper suit – satire with a gracious smile.

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The Big Fellah, Lyric Hammersmith

Matt Wolf Finbar Lynch put his work with Pinter to good use as the big guy of the title in Richard Bean's play

When cultural talk drifts toward Mr Big, thoughts tend to turn to Sex and the City's Chris Noth, whose New York is world enough and time away from the doomed metropolis populated by the "big fellah" played by Finbar Lynch in Richard Bean's play of the same name. This big guy is, in fact, slight but menacing: the type of man not unacquainted with the very methods of violence which...

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Les Misérables, Barbican

Sheila Johnston

It's the Mousetrap of musicals, the wholly unstoppable show and, to mark its 25th anniversary this year (the 30th, if you date it back to the initial French concept album and Paris production), it will be staged in London at three different venues. You can even see them all in a single, mighty weekend bender, if the mood takes you:...

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Krapp's Last Tape, Duchess Theatre

Matt Wolf

A play could be written about, or for, Michael Gambon's fingers, and perhaps Beckett's 1958 Krapp's Last Tape is it. I've seen this solo piece many times, most recently in a studio theatre rendition from Harold Pinter that opened a window on to his own mortality and won't quickly be forgotten.

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Passion, Donmar Warehouse

Matt Wolf

A vital theatrical partnership gets renewed, and then some, in Jamie Lloyd's revival of Passion, a transforming production that not only marks the start of various Donmar-related tributes to Stephen Sondheim in his 80th birthday year but also reminds us that this theatre reopened its doors in 1992 with the UK premiere of Assassins, since which time it has staged...

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The Aliens, Bush Theatre

aleks Sierz

You can see the appeal of being a slacker. You don’t work, you just sit around like a cool dude and shoot the breeze; you smoke, you drink, you take drugs, er, lots of drugs. You can call people “man”. Hell, you don’t even need to wear your sneakers all day - just kick them off and go barefoot. Only one problem: emotional commitment is a big no, no.

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Wanderlust, Royal Court Theatre

aleks Sierz

Middle-class family angst is this season’s theme at the Royal Court Theatre. And, in his new play about sex and intimacy, which opened last night, playwright Nick Payne puts the lust in Wanderlust and creates a contemporary tale of wandering hands and wandering affections. We are in a nice suburban part of England, and the mix of pain and pleasure will be all too familiar to most audiences, whether they are teenagers who can squirm at the antics of the youngsters, or middle...

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A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

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This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

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