wed 29/06/2022

Hampstead Theatre

The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre review - strong clashes, too little drama

I live in Brixton, south London. A few days ago, the borough’s aptly named Windrush Square hosted events which celebrated the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.With Windrush Day being 22 June, last week was originally...

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Lotus Beauty, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review – uneasy mix of comedy and tragedy

Theatre is slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and many shows which were cancelled because of the first lockdown are now finally getting a staging. The latest is Satinder Chohan’s Lotus Beauty, her loving portrait of a Punjabi family...

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The Breach, Hampstead Theatre review - profoundly uncomfortable work that burns like ice

Jude is the kind of girl that no-one would want to mess with – she can dance like a demon to Eric Clapton, skewer an ego in seconds and hit an apple from thirty feet with a knife. Yet in a play that’s so uncompromising it could give Neil LaBute a...

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First Person: playwright Naomi Wallace on finally hearing her work performed in English

The Breach is a coming of age story and an age-in-the-making story. The play takes place in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1990s, switching back and forth between teenagers in Louisville and their older selves 15 years later. The promise of the...

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The Fever Syndrome, Hampstead Theatre review - ambitious family drama falls short

The Fever Syndrome has an ambition that places itself firmly in the tradition of the great American family drama (comparisons with Arthur Miller feel the most appropriate), a piece in which the reassessment of ties of blood is played out against a...

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The Forest, Hampstead Theatre review - puzzling world premiere from Florian Zeller

If Florian Zeller isn’t a Wordle fan, I’d be very surprised. As with the hit online game, the French playwright likes to offer up a puzzle for the audience to solve, clue by clue, before the curtain falls. His latest play, The Forest, which had its...

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Folk, Hampstead Downstairs review - thoughtful play about folklorist Cecil Sharp

Cecil Sharp, heritage hero or imperialist appropriator? If you attended school in the first half of the 20th century, you would have sung from his collections of English folk songs, and probably gritted your teeth and performed the country dances he...

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Best of 2021: Theatre

There was no live theatre at the start of 2021, just a return to the world of virtual performance and streaming to which we had become well accustomed, and very quickly, too. So imagine the collective surprise come the start of this month as show...

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Peggy For You, Hampstead Theatre review - comedic gold, and a splinter of ice, from Tamsin Greig

Was Peggy Ramsay a “woman out of time”? The celebrated London literary agent, who nurtured the talents of at least one generation of British playwrights, surely counted as a legend in her own lifetime (she died in 1991). Has she lasted beyond it?...

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little scratch, Hampstead Downstairs review - a maverick director surpasses herself

Katie Mitchell’s desire to bust the boundaries of theatre has taken a brilliant turn. Over her long and distinguished career as a director she has been tirelessly inventive, injecting stylised movement into Greek tragedy, projecting film onto giant...

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'Night, Mother, Hampstead Theatre review - despair in sotto-voce

‘Night, Mother remains a play of piercing pessimism, something that’s not necessarily the same as tragedy, though the two often run congruently. The inexorability of the development of Marsha Norman’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner certainly recalls the...

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The Memory of Water, Hampstead Theatre review – uneasy tragi-comedy

Memories are notoriously treacherous — this we know. I remember seeing Shelagh Stephenson’s contemporary classic at the Hampstead, when this venue was a prefab, and enjoying Terry Johnson’s racy staging, which starred Jane Booker, Hadyn Gwynne and...

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