sat 11/07/2020

Hampstead Theatre

Theatre Lockdown Special 3: Mary Shelley twice over, Europe writ large, and one day more for a mega-musical

Time is moving in mysterious ways at the moment. It's been possible over the last month or so to mark out the beginning of each week with the arrival online of a different production streaming from the Hampstead Theatre archives. The National,...

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#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Hampstead Theatre online review – imbued with an urgent new relevance

London’s Hampstead Theatre has recently been very successful in bringing some of its best shows to a wider public – despite coronavirus. This week, it’s the turn of Howard Brenton’s #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, which was first staged at this...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 2: Birthdays aplenty, songs of hope, a starry quiz - and more

As lockdown continues, so does the ability of the theatre community to find new ways to tantalise and entertain. The urge to create and perform surely isn't going to be reined-in by a virus, which explains the explosion of creatives lending their...

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Tiger Country, Hampstead Theatre online review - a taut drama of NHS pressure and pain

If ever there was a “play for today”, it’s surely this. Nina Raine’s 2011 A&E drama follows hospital staff – doctors senior and junior, surgeons, registrars, consultants, nurses – as they confront, individually and collectively, the stress of a...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 1: Starry podcasts, late-career Shakespeare, a celebrity basement - and more

The lockdown has been extended, but here's the good news: each week whereby we are shut inside seems to bring with it ever-enticing arrays of theatre from across the spectrum, from online cabarets to freshly conceived podcasts and all manner of...

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Drawing the Line, Hampstead Theatre online review - modern history becomes dark farce

This week’s gem from the Hampstead’s vaults is Howard Brenton’s political drama from 2013, telling the extraordinary, stranger-than-fiction story of Cyril Radcliffe and his 1947 mission: to arrange the Partition of India in just five weeks. A tale...

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Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre online review - a major play about the miners

The talk is of an “economy in ruin [with] unemployment through the roof”: a précis of Britain in lockdown? In fact, this is one of the many eerily apposite remarks to be found in Wonderland, the Beth Steel drama set in the early 1980s that marks the...

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Wild, Hampstead Theatre online review - timelier than anticipated

“The whole world is just tilting at the moment,” we’re told near the end of Wild, the Mike Bartlett play from summer 2016 that is available (through Sunday) online to help get us through these wild times right now. The first of three Hampstead...

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I and You, Hampstead Theatre review - now streaming online, this YA play is oddly pertinent

The way that theatres and other arts institutions have leapt into action over the past week, providing a wealth of material online and new ways to connect with audiences, has been truly inspirational. Yesterday, the Hampstead Theatre re-released on...

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The Haystack, Hampstead Theatre review - a chilling surveillance state thriller

With counter-terrorism an urgent concern – and specifically how best to find, track and use the data of suspected threats, without sacrificing our privacy and civil liberties – it’s excellent timing for a meaty drama about the surveillance state....

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The Tyler Sisters, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review – raucous celebration of sisterhood

The Tyler sisters start as they mean to go on: bickering. Middle sister Gail (Bryony Hannah) has come home from uni to find that youngest Katrina (Angela Griffin) has stolen her room. “What about Maddy’s? Why didn’t you take that?” Gail snaps. “She...

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Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which...

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