tue 23/04/2024

Hampstead Theatre

An Actor Convalescing in Devon, Hampstead Theatre review - old school actor tells old school stories

One can often be made to feel old in the theatre. A hot take in a snappy 90 minutes (with video!) on the latest Gen Z obsession (is it even Gen Z, or were they last year, Daddio?) can leave one baffled or wondering whose gripe is it anyway....

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First Person: actor Paul Jesson on survival, strength, and the healing potential of art

In September 2022 I had an email from my American friend Richard Nelson: "Would you like me to write you a play?" Such an offer probably comes the way of very few actors and I was bowled over by it. My astonished and grateful response was tempered...

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The Divine Mrs S, Hampstead Theatre review - Rachael Stirling shines in hit-and-miss comedy

There are genres of theatre that demand buy-in from the audience – musicals, opera and the daddy of them all, pantomime. The usual entry price to the house, the suspension of disbelief, requires supplementing with an active desire to meet the...

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Out of Season, Hampstead Theatre review - banter as bullying

One island off the coast of Spain has more cultural oomph than all the rest put together. I’m talking about Ibiza, the sun-soaked, music-happy and drug-friendly paradise for anyone in their roaring luved-up twenties who wants a break that will fry...

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Double Feature, Hampstead Theatre review - with directors like these, who needs enemies

It’s awards season in the film world, which means that we’re currently swamped by hyperbolic shows of love and respect – actors and their directors gushing about how each could simply never have reached their creative heights without the other. Of...

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This Much I Know, Hampstead Theatre review - an intellectual game with a slight emotional payload

How do you make a play out of Stalin’s defecting daughter Svetlana, the psycho-economic theories of Daniel Kahneman and a fictionalised version of Derek Black, the son of a leading American white nationalist?Playwright Jonathan Spector, who reveals...

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Rock 'N' Roll, Hampstead Theatre review - exciting music, uneven staging

There is a song by Syd Barrett, founder member of Pink Floyd, called “Golden Hair”. It’s on his album The Madcap Laughs, released in 1970, a couple of years after he left the band, and every time I hear it I feel like I’m falling in love again. It...

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Nineteen Gardens, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - intriguing, beautifully observed two-hander tilts power this way and that

A middle-aged man, expensively dressed and possessed of that very specific confidence that only comes from a certain kind of education, a certain kind of professional success, a certain kind of entitlement, talks to a younger woman. Despite the fact...

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To Have and To Hold, Hampstead Theatre review - funny but flawed

There’s only a couple of things you need to know about playwright Richard Bean: he started out as a stand-up comic, and he comes from Hull. Oh, and he wears Hawaiian shirts to press nights. So that’s three things. Oh, and that his masterpiece One...

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Octopolis, Hampstead Theatre review - blue, blue, electric blue

How many hearts does an octopus have? Answer: three. This pub quiz clincher is just one of the many fascinating facts that emerge from Octopolis, Marek Horn’s engrossing 100-minute two-hander which explores the relationship between humans and...

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anthropology, Hampstead Theatre review - AI thriller runs out of code

With more than 20 plays under her belt, San-Francisco based Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in the US. But she’s chosen London to premier her very topical new thriller. It’s a sign of a good writer that they can touch...

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Song from Far Away, Hampstead Theatre review - gentle monologue from a man grappling with grief

Lucky Will Young: the production of the Simon Stephens monologue Song from Far Away that he is delivering at the Hampstead Theatre is directed by Kirk Jameson, not Ivo van Hove.The modish Dutch director of the initial UK staging, seen at the Young...

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