mon 27/05/2019

Hampstead Theatre

The Firm, Hampstead Theatre review - ferociously funny exploration of gang culture

We are living in a time when gang culture rips and roars its way down London streets, and through newspaper headlines, at increasingly alarming levels. Recent news reports revealed how a surge in knife and gun crime is leading to more young black...

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Jude, Hampstead Theatre review - Greek tragedy for today

Edward Hall bids farewell to this venue, where he has been artistic director since 2010, with this production of a new play by Howard Brenton. The playwright has been a regular at the Hampstead Theatre, and he has enjoyed stagings of his history...

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Wilderness, Hampstead Theatre review - stark portrait of modern divorce

“We don’t love you any less.” A natural sentiment to express to your child when you’re separating from your partner, but the very fact of saying it plants doubts in the child’s mind as to whether you really mean it. As the audience of Wilderness at...

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The Phlebotomist, Hampstead Theatre review - thought-provoking dystopian thriller

Contemporary British theatre loves time travel — and not just to the past. It also enjoys imagining the future, especially the bad stuff ahead. So Ella Road's debut play, The Phlebotomist, is set in a convincingly coherent dystopia where genetic...

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Eden, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - thoughtful commentary on people and principles

"It's gonna be the best golf course in the world," a man in an Aertex shirt and a bright red baseball cap is assuring us. "The best. I guarantee it." You can tell he's the kind of person who thinks talking quickly and loudly is the same thing as...

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Cost of Living, Hampstead Theatre review - tough but tender

The Off Broadway production of Cost of Living two years ago brought Martyna Majok the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the height of acclaim of which most new writers – Majok, with four plays behind her, has yet to turn 35 – can only dream. High...

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Best of 2018: Theatre

Will pride of place amongst theatre productions every year go in perpetuity to the work of Stephen Sondheim? One might be tempted to think so given the preeminence during 2017 of Dominic Cooke's breathtaking revival of Follies (due back in the...

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The Hoes, Hampstead Theatre review - sex and drink and grime

Because of the #MeToo movement, and the revival of feminist protest, the theme of sisterhood now has a much stronger cultural presence than at the start of the decade. It seems to be a great time to be a female playwright, and Ifeyinwa Frederick's...

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I and You, Hampstead Theatre review - Young Adult drama packs emotional punch

Here's a good pub quiz question: after Shakespeare, who was the most performed playwright in America last year? Arthur Miller? Tennessee Williams? David Mamet? None of those. It was Lauren Gunderson, and here is the UK premiere of her intimate two-...

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Every Day I Make Greatness Happen, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - live-wire immediacy

"I’m not a number, I’m not a grade, and I’m not a failure." The 17-year-old girl stands in front of the small class, who gaze at her goggle-eyed. "A robot factory. That’s all you’ve got here." The teacher’s response is caustically admiring. "Why are...

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The Humans, Hampstead Theatre review - a riveting family portrait

Transatlantic theatrical traffic is busier than ever, and now here at the Hampstead is not just Stephen Karam’s Tony-winning play, first seen in 2015, but director Joe Mantello and his full Broadway cast. It seems fitting that they should travel...

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Genesis Inc, Hampstead Theatre review - Harry Enfield in ungodly mess

We are now pretty familiar with the idea that human reproduction (making babies) has been turned into big business, and there have already been several good recent plays about desperate couples and surrogacy – Vivienne Franzmann’s Bodies and...

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