wed 03/06/2020

Theatre Reviews

Vernon God Little, Young Vic

alexandra Coghlan

A whiff of excrement hangs around DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize-winning Vernon God Little. It’s a novel that likes to get right up into the crevices of society and then inhale deeply. Written in an anarchic, freewheeling American patois, it’s the inner voice of Vernon himself (and Pierre’s brutal way with a simile) that plays shock and awe with the reader, delighting many and appalling more. The loss of narrative voice would seem enough to deter any would-be theatrical adaptor, but in...

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Faith Healer, Bristol Old Vic

mark Kidel Finbar Lynch as 'the fantastic' Frank Hardy, Brian Friel's faith healer

Theatre, particularly tragedy, can pack a terrific punch when things are kept simple – even if the themes evoked are enfolded in layer upon layer of complexity. Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, a play with three characters, each of whom takes to the stage alone, explores in a multifaceted way the life of an itinerant Irish healer who...

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Accolade, Finborough Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

Emlyn Williams may have been dubbed the “Welsh Noël Coward” and the action of his long-neglected Accolade may take place in a drawing room, but there’s little of the smiling social comedy to be found here. Trading sparkling cocktails and repartee for whisky and unpalatable truths, Williams’s play exposes the pinstriped hypocrisy of 1950s society – a society that will press its powdered cheek to all manner of sordidness in the name of Art, while recoiling from even a passing...

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The Shape of Things, Soho Gallery

Fisun Güner

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Antonioni Project, Barbican Theatre

Carole Woddis Putting the mic into Michelangelo Antonioni: Marieke Heebink as Lidia and Hans Kesting as Giovanni

Back in the early 1960s, anyone with half a curious cultural brain in their heads would take themselves off to small fleapit cinemas like The Academy or the Classic in Oxford Street (now defunct). There you could catch the latest European art film. And at one of these I remember seeing Italian director Antonioni’s La Notte with Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni. Such was its impact that neither I nor the flat mates I was with were able to utter a word until we reached...

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Greenland, National Theatre

aleks Sierz

British theatre prides itself on being contemporary, up to date - in a word, hot. So it’s odd that, over the past decade, there have been so few plays about climate change.

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The Cherry Orchard, Sovremennik, Noël Coward Theatre

Matt Wolf

Plays these days come not in single spies but in battalions of two, whether you're talking The Master Builder, King Lear or The Cherry Orchard, the last of which closes the visiting Sovremennik Russian...

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King Lear, RSC, Roundhouse

james Woodall

But this comes at the expense of scale, both in characterisation - Jacobi is also simply too feathery - and in terms of space and time. We don't feel the outdoors at the Donmar, ever see and hear boorish Lear's knights, properly sense the passage of years from Cordelia's banishment to her return, or suffer the weight of battle.

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Three Sisters, Sovremennik, Noël Coward Theatre

David Nice

Anyone who's imbibed the common wisdom that Russians play Chekhov for the comedy - one eye wet, the other dry and smiling - might have been alarmed to find the Moscow Sovremennik Theatre's second London offering so doomy and subdued. And the more subdued it got, the more the majority of the company went in for what's become its trademark mumbling.

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Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales, Lyric Hammersmith

Sam Marlowe

The spinning roulette wheel, the revolver, the devil’s mask, and above all that lissom semi-naked female gyrating in silhouette against flickering infernal flames: we all remember the opening titles to Tales of the Unexpected, which made its first TV appearance in 1979.

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Advertising feature

★★★★★

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.

 

★★★★★

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.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.


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