tue 20/08/2019

Theatre Reviews

Rutherford and Son, National Theatre review - authentic northern tale

aleks Sierz

Githa Sowerby is the go-to playwright if you want a feminist slant on patriarchy in the industrial north in Edwardian times. Her 1912 classic, Rutherford and Son, has been regularly revived over the past 30 years, and now the National Theatreis staging it yet again, this time with the ever likeable Roger Allam in the title role.

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User Not Found, The CoffeeWorks Project review - solo play set in a café offers food for thought

Matt Wolf

Who is that slithering on the floor by your foot, or coming to rest by or upon your knee?

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Berlin: True Copy, Brighton Festival 2019 review - tricksy forgery masterclass

Thomas H Green

This brilliantly conceived and executed show is about provenance in art. It’s also about our perceptions of the truth. However, it’s a show where it would be churlish to reveal too much of what goes on.

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Our Town, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review – small-town tale that raises profound existential questions

Rachel Halliburton

Our Town was written shortly before World War Two about a small town in America in the years leading up to World War One, yet it makes its extraordinary impact by focusing its lens on details as apparently unexciting as pond-water.

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The Lehman Trilogy, Piccadilly Theatre review - stunning chronicle of determination and dollars

Rachel Halliburton

Mammon and Yahweh are the presiding deities over an epic enterprise that tells the story not just of three brothers who founded a bank but of modern America. Virgil asked his Muse to sing of ‘arms and the man’, yet here the theme becomes that of ‘markets and the man’: a tale of daring, determination and dollars that chronicles capitalist endeavour from the cottonfields of Alabama to the crash of 2008.

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Superhoe, Brighton Festival 2019 review - a darkly vital one-woman show

Thomas H Green

Tonight comes with a caveat, delivered before proceedings begin by the one-woman show’s writer and performer Nicôle Lecky, who’s sitting in a chair centre-stage. She damaged her foot during Sunday’s matinee at the Brighton Festival, dancing about, and has since had to do the whole thing seated.

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ANNA, National Theatre review - great thriller, shame about the tone

aleks Sierz

Stasiland is a fascinating mental space. As a historical location, the former East Germany, or GDR, is the archetypal surveillance state, in which each citizen spies on each other citizen, even if they are intellectual dissidents. The Communist state acts like Big Brother, keeping tabs on everyone. This was memorably invoked by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in his 2006 film debut, The Lives of Others.

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Gravity & Other Myths: Backbone, Brighton Festival 2019 review - eyeboggling and very human circus show

Thomas H Green

Shows by Gravity & Other Myths fall into the realm of “contemporary circus”. It’s an off-putting moniker, bringing to mind a performance where there’s no clowning but quite possibly much “thought-provoking” interpretive dance.

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salt., Royal Court review - revisiting the Atlantic slave trade

aleks Sierz

Most of the facts about the Atlantic slave trade are well known; what is less easily understood is how history can make a person feel today. A question which invites an experimental approach in which you test out emotions on your own body. In 2016, the artist Selina Thompson did just that.

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White Pearl, Royal Court review - comic racial stereotypes

aleks Sierz

Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone's commitment to staging a diversity of new voices is very laudable, and with White Pearl she has found a show that is original in setting, if not in theme. Written by Anchuli Felicia King, a New York-based, multidisciplinary artist of Thai-Australian descent, this international playwriting debut is a comic satire on the cosmetics industry and race in a South-East Asian setting.

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