sun 03/03/2024

drama

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - busy production overflowing with new ideas

Two years on from Sean Holmes’ production and seven on from Emma Rice’s (both of which featured diverse casts), Elle While takes a turn with the old warhorse’s lovers and fairies, its sparring couples and its Morecambe and Wise-like shambles of a...

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A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Finborough Theatre review - 86 years, punctuated by fun and funerals

The family pet dies. It’s a problem many parents face, and when Gracie learns from her evasive father that her dog isn’t just gone, but gone forever, her five-year-old brain cannot process it and so begins a lifelong relationship with deaths,...

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The Circle, Orange Tree Theatre review - acerbic reflections on the price paid for love

Tom Littler opens his account as artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre with one of the more radical choices one can make in 2023 – directing a 102 year-old play pretty much how it would have been done in 1921.It’s all very period (...

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The Good Person of Szechwan, Lyric Hammersmith review - wild ride in hyperreality slides by

As the UK undergoes yet another political convulsion, this time concerning the threshold for ministers being shitty to fellow workers, it is apt that Bertolt Brecht’s parable about the challenges of being good in a dysfunctional society hits London...

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Under the Black Rock, Arcola Theatre review - political thriller turns soapy

“Darkly comic thrillers” (as they like to say) set in Ireland tracking how families, or quasi-families, fall apart under pressure are very much in vogue just now. Whether The Banshees of Inisherin will garner the Oscars haul it hardly deserves...

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Grenfell: System Failure, Playground Theatre review - if this doesn't make you angry, nothing will

It’s been five years since 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire in West London. Five years and no arrests, as countless placards and posters around the neighbourhood point out.The Grenfell Tower Inquiry into how the tragedy occurred – why it...

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Smoke, Southwark Playhouse review - dazzling Strindberg update

A play’s title can be an almost arbitrary matter – there’s no streetcar but plenty of desire in that one for example – and it might have crossed Kim Davies’ mind to call her play Ms Julie, since it is a reimagining of August Strindberg’s...

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A Christmas Carol, RSC, Stratford review - family show eases back the terror and winds up the politics

Life is full of coincidences and contradictions. As I was walking to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on his feet in the House of Commons delivering yet another rebalancing of individual and collective resources. On...

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Here, Southwark Playhouse review - award-winning kitchen sink drama goes down the drain

The kitchen sink drama has been a standby of English theatre for 70 years or more, but not always with an actual sink on stage. But there it is, in an everyday home that harbours a secret or two in Clive Judd’s debut play, the winner of the 2022...

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The Doctor, Duke of York's Theatre review - Juliet Stevenson will see you now

Robert Icke is an expert in corporate tragedy. I don’t mean that in a bad way - just that he has a penchant for taking classics (Hamlet, The Oresteia, Mary Stuart) and transporting them, with the help of designer Hildegard Bechtler, to the frosted-...

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Rose Theatre review - new production of classic proves a gruelling experience

Brecht – as I suppose he intended – is always a shock to the system. With not a word on what to expect from his commitment to the strictures of epic theatre in the programme, a star of West End musical theatre cast in the lead and a venue...

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The Two Popes, Rose Theatre review - sparkling with wit and pathos

It can’t have been an easy pitch. “Popes. Both foreign, yes. German and Argentinian – sorry, can’t change either. Eighty-something and the other’s a decade younger. Mainly just talking about their pasts and their different approaches to Roman...

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