mon 22/04/2024

Menier Chocolate Factory

Power of Sail, Menier Chocolate Factory review - alternately stiff and startling

The Menier Chocolate Factory has made something of a habit of late out of trawling unexpected corners of the contemporary American repertoire. A happy result of that last May was the local premiere of the Off Broadway show ...

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First person: playwright Paul Grellong on keeping pace with American politics

I’m writing this in the lobby of the Menier Chocolate Factory a couple of hours before the first preview. I was last here in February for the start of rehearsals. In the time since, I’ve made a handful of, one hopes, helpful adjustments to the...

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Pacific Overtures, Menier Chocolate Factory review - lesser-known Sondheim scores afresh

This is, by my reckoning at least, the third major London production over the years of Pacific Overtures, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's dazzling curiosity of a show first seen on Broadway in 1976 and reappraised ever since in stagings...

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Close-Up: The Twiggy Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory review - a tourist's view of a Sixties icon

The Biba dresses are way too colourful, the shop’s interior about 10 times too bright… and did anybody really say ”happening threads” in 1965?Taking Ben Elton to task for his portrayal of the Sixties, which feature in the first half of Close-Up, his...

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Marjorie Prime, Menier Chocolate Factory review - superbly acted chiller about a contemporary crisis

Artificial intelligence has become an even hotter topic since Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime was first staged in Los Angeles in 2014, so it’s not surprising that the play’s handling of AI is being seen as its unique selling point. (It subsequently...

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Alex Edelman, Menier Chocolate Factory review - London run for unmissable off-Broadway hit

At one point in this brilliantly constructed and performed set, Alex Edelman ponders on the catchment area for his comedy and figures it might be the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Nah: this is comedy that can talk to anybody with a brain. ...

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10 Questions for comedian Alex Edelman

US comic Alex Edelman first came to the attention of British audiences in 2014, when he was named best newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for his show Millennial, in which, said one critic, “he regales us with tales of smart-arsery and backchat...

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The Sex Party, Menier Chocolate Factory review - disappointing detumescence

In the past, playwright Terry Johnson has mixed sex and comedy with hilarious results. His Freudian farce, Hysteria, and his tribute to traditional British Benny-Hill-style comedians, Dead Funny, share a bed of giggling gyrations with his love...

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Habeas Corpus, Menier Chocolate Factory review - grappling with Alan Bennett's anti-farce

In his 1973 play Habeas Corpus, now revived at the Menier Chocolate Factory under the direction of Patrick Marber, Alan Bennett had his way with the venerable Whitehall farce. Today’s younger playgoer would probably marvel at the popularity of these...

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Stephen Sondheim in memoriam - he gave us more to see

It seemed impossible and yet, the other evening, while idly flicking through emails, I learned the unimaginable: Stephen Sondheim, age 91, had passed away. And very quickly by all accounts, given that he was reported to have enjoyed a Thanksgiving...

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Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory review - cabaret-style depiction of a rapidly changing world

Indecent is a play wrapped inside a news story about stigma. Playwright Paula Vogel was at Cornell University when she stumbled on a “yellowing copy of an out-of-print translation” of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance. Asch had been born into...

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The Boy Friend, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fun but featherweight

There’s slight (White Christmas, to name but one) and then there’s The Boy Friend, a period musical so unabashedly vaporous that if you sneeze, it might blow away. All credit then to the Menier Chocolate Factory for anchoring Sandy Wilson’s...

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