sat 08/08/2020

Theatre Reviews

Love Story, Duchess Theatre

Matt Wolf

It's not easy these days to stay the course on stage, with one leading female character after another of late failing to make it to the final curtain. I'm thinking of such otherwise diverse heroines as Shakespeare's Juliet and Andrew Lloyd Webber's haunted soprano, Christine, as well as the fraught Fosca of Stephen Sondheim's Passion, who may just remain the last word in women snatched prematurely from the men in their midst. To that list can now be added Jenny Cavilleri, the music-...

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The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, Traverse, Edinburgh

graeme Thomson Porthos, Athos and Aramis: Three Beckettian misfits as bickering, bedraggled heroes

So this is Christmas, a time to seek comfort in traditional nourishment both culinary and cultural. In Edinburgh, the King’s Theatre has been home to mainstream panto - the equivalent of serving up a hearty turkey with all the trimmings – since time immemorial, which leaves the capital’s other theatres jockeying for position. What to do? Hedge all bets and aim for different-but-not-too-different, or raise the stakes and try something more adventurous altogether?

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Romeo and Juliet, RSC/Roundhouse

Matt Wolf

Can you go home again? That's the question that will be hanging over the Royal Shakespeare Company's first residency at the Roundhouse since their "History Play" cycle stormed north London over two years ago, reminding those lucky enough to catch it of the loss to the capital ever since the RSC opted out of a London base of operations.

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Beauty and the Beast, National Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

“You’ve never heard a fairy tale before unless you’ve heard it told by a real fairy. And I am a real fairy.” Festooned with magic, colour and humour, the National Theatre’s Christmas production of Beauty and the Beast is solid-oak tradition gift-wrapped with just enough shiny, iconoclastic naughtiness to sneak it past the children.

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My Dad's a Birdman, Young Vic

joe Muggs 'My Dad's a Birdman': "Dad" and "Mr Poop"

There's a kitchen-sink feel to this children's play by David Almond – indeed, nine-tenths of it takes place in a Newcastle kitchen – which adds a certain edge to it. Even though the broad, cartoonish comedy is signalled from the off, there's an initial hint of real-life grimness in the scenario of a little girl trying to care for her unkempt father who won't eat properly, emits abrupt shrieks and is convinced he is a bird. There's an engagement with loss that runs through the play too, a...

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Les Parents Terribles, Trafalgar Studios

Veronica Lee Smotherly love: Frances Barber and Tom Byam Shaw

This is the final production in the Donmar Warehouse’s 12-week season at Trafalgar Studios (which showcases the work of its resident assistant directors) and is a revival of Jeremy Sams’s translation of Jean Cocteau’s play - first seen in Sean Mathias’s acclaimed production at the National Theatre in 1994, with a cast that included Jude Law, Alan Howard and Sheila Gish.

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Alan Bennett and The Habit of Art, More4

Matt Wolf

Few theatrical collaborations have been as successful as that achieved over five plays, two films, several decades, and numerous awards by the playwright Alan Bennett and the director Nicholas Hytner, who had jointly made a habit of art well before Bennett decided to write a play of that very name, premiered in November 2009 at the National Theatre. Now, More4 has come along with a documentary chronicling the two men's collaboration on a work that is itself about a collaboration. And if Adam...

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The Cradle Will Rock, Arcola Theatre

David Nice Aaron Shirley's corrupt supremo meets his match in steelworker Larry Foreman (Chris Jenkins)

Events surrounding the birth of the unrepentantly "un-American" Marc Blitzstein's early (1936-7) shot at socially aware music-theatre prove much more interesting than the show itself. Heck, I got more out of reading the programme than I did sitting through the whole darned thing. Let's face it, Blitzstein's mostly foursquare marriage of words and music sucks. Not that the dynamic Mehmet Ergen's latest Arcola team didn't give it their best shot.

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The Invisible Man, Menier Chocolate Factory

Sam Marlowe

“It’s this ghost they’re talkin’ about. I’m feelin’ an emanation meself. Unless I ‘ad too many pickled eggs last night.” If that’s the sort of crack that tickles your fancy, you’ll find plenty to make you chuckle in Ken Hill’s spoofish take on H G Wells’s novella, first presented at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1991.

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Kin, Royal Court Theatre

aleks Sierz

Middle-class family angst continues to be this season’s theme at the Royal Court Theatre, but this time it is seen through the eyes of 10-year-old girls at a 1990s boarding school. But don’t expect this to be an episode of Malory Towers or even the rather good-natured naughtiness of St Trinian’s. No, this is a bleak institution where the girls are foulmouthed and vicious in their rivalry. As Mrs B, who supervises the dorms, says to the headmistress: “They are small dogs...

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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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