sat 19/09/2020

Theatre Reviews

The Blue Dragon, Barbican Theatre

Sam Marlowe Elegant eloquence: Tai Wei Foo dances up an emotional storm

Forked lightning glimpsed through an aeroplane window, a silken dancer spilling stars in a snow-filled sky, a dragon tattoo etched on a man’s back: we’ve grown to expect seductive alchemy of images from the work of Quebecois master of visual theatre Robert Lepage, and in his latest show he doesn’t disappoint.

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Penelope, Hampstead Theatre

aleks Sierz Male rivalry: Aaraon Monaghan and Karl Shields in ‘Penelope’

Men. They say these strange creatures never leave the playground. Even when the years have passed, boys stubbornly remain boys, chatting rubbish, competing manfully and finally burning out. In Enda Walsh’s Penelope, which was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival last year and now visits London, four men compete for the love of one woman, and they are as likely to be found bickering over a small barbecued sausage as they are to be seen fighting to the death with knives. The only question...

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The Heretic, Royal Court Theatre

aleks Sierz

The story revolves around the character played by Stevenson, Dr Diane Cassell, an academic who specialises in sea-level rises, and works at an Earth Sciences university department. Although she is seen by some as a climate change sceptic, a heretic who deserves the death threats she is beginning to receive, she has a more attractive view of her role. For her, scientists are meant to be sceptical: knowledge only advances when people ask questions.

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The Children's Hour, Comedy Theatre

Matt Wolf

Who needs America for the American theatre? Barely six weeks into this year, and already we've had the bracing and bilious Becky Shaw, the West End transfer of Bruce Norris's perpetually award-scooping Clybourne Park and Woody Guthrie taking up residence at the Arts Theatre courtesy of Woody Sez.

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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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Pages

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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