wed 04/08/2021

Hampstead Theatre

The Two Character Play, Hampstead Theatre review - tender, poetic and piercingly cruel

It’s the trivia question no one ever thought to ask: where was the only Tennessee Williams play premiered outside America first performed? The unlikely answer (so unlikely that even artistic director Roxana Silbert apparently didn’t know it until...

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Raya, Hampstead Downstairs review - a richly fraught reunion

Thirty years on, Alex and Jason meet at a university reunion and cab it back to Jason’s old student house where Alex is thinking “probably…” and Jason is thinking “probably not…”  - each, it turns out, with good reason. We look on as the clumsy...

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The Death of a Black Man, Hampstead Theatre review - blistering theatre with an unflinching vision

This blistering, fearless play about an 18-year-old black entrepreneur on the King’s Road raises a myriad of uncomfortable questions that resonate profoundly with the Black Lives Matter debate. It’s just one remarkable aspect of The Death of a Black...

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The Dumb Waiter, Hampstead Theatre review - menace without a hint of mirth

Add the Hampstead Theatre to the swelling ranks of playhouses opening its doors this month, in this case with a revival well into rehearsal last spring when the first lockdown struck. Re-cast in the interim, Alice Hamilton's 60th-anniversary...

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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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