sat 13/07/2024

Hampstead Theatre

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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Big Big Sky, Hampstead Downstairs review - a perfectly realised character study

Get to Swiss Cottage early because Bob Bailey’s set for Tom Wells's new Hampstead Downstairs play Big Big Sky is a feast for the eyes. Angie’s cafe has the scrapey chairs, the tables you know will wobble a little if you get that one (and you...

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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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