mon 23/07/2018

National Theatre

The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre review - an acting tour de force

There's surprising and then there's The Lehman Trilogy, the National Theatre premiere in which a long-established director surprises his audience and, in the process, surpasses himself. The talent in question is Sam Mendes, who a quarter-century or...

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The Best Plays in London

London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty National Theatre to the West End, the small powerhouses of the Donmar Warehouse and the Almeida and out to the fringe...

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Julie, National Theatre review - vacuous and unilluminating

It seems appropriate that an onstage blender features amidst Tom Scutt's sleek, streamlined set for Julie given how many times Strindberg's 1888 play has been put through the artistic magimix. Rarely, however, have the results been less illuminating...

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Translations, National Theatre review - an Irish classic returns with cascading force

What sort of physical upgrade can a play withstand? That question will have occurred to devotees of Brian Friel's Translations, a play that has thrived in smaller venues (London's Hampstead and Donmar, over time) and had trouble in larger spaces: a...

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Ian Rickson: 'I'm an introvert, I want to stop talking about myself' - interview

Ian Rickson’s route into theatre was not conventional. Growing up in south London, he discovered plays largely through reading them as a student at Essex University. During those years he stood on a picketline in the miners’ strike, and proudly...

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Nine Night, National Theatre review - Jamaican family drama full of spirit

The good news about so-called black drama on British stages is that it has broken out of its gangland violence ghetto and now talks about a whole variety of other subjects. Like loss. Like death. Like mourning. So London-born actress Natasha Gordon’...

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Absolute Hell, National Theatre review - high gloss show saves over-rated classic

Rodney Ackland must be the most well-known forgotten man in postwar British theatre. His legend goes like this: Absolute Hell was originally titled The Pink Room, and first staged in 1952 at the Lyric Hammersmith, where it got a critical mauling....

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The Great Wave, National Theatre review - moving epic of global loss

You could call it an absence of yellow. Until very recently British theatre has been pretty poor at representing the stories of Chinese and East Asian people, and even of British East Asians. In 2016, Andrew Lloyd Webber called British theatre “...

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Macbeth, National Theatre - Rufus Norris goes for drab, gory and tricksy

Fair is foul and foul is drab, gory and tricksy in Rufus Norris’s first stab at Shakespeare direction at the National Theatre, Macbeth. It embodies the play's most clichéd quotation (the one about sound, fury, and nada), though whether that's...

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John, National Theatre review - in for the long haul?

On their return home from Ohio to New York, young couple Jenny and Elias (Anneika Rose and Tom Mothersdale, main picture) make a detour to Gettysburg for a few days’ sightseeing. Elias has been fascinated by the town and its bloody history since he...

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Beginning, Ambassadors Theatre review - funny and richly moving comedy about loneliness

Awkwardness is a challenging effect in drama, and one so rewarding when it works. When the movement isn’t easy, when the dialogue doesn't flow; when, with emotional revelations broken and coming with difficulty, the pauses speak more powerfully than...

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Lumiere London review - London in a different light

It seems they’re having trouble with the lights. Thirty-five past five and they’re not yet on. “Typical,” laughs a woman, surveying the huddle of hi-vis chaperones. Palm fronds wave in the wind, suits leave work. St James’s Square slowly fills with...

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