thu 06/08/2020

National Theatre

Amadeus, National Theatre at Home review – wild dance at the edges of sanity

It is 41 years since Peter Shaffer ripped off Mozart’s respectable façade to reveal a foul-mouthed verbally incontinent child-man with no more ability to control his behaviour than his genius. Inspired by a short story by Alexander Pushkin that put...

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Theatre Unlocked 1: George Floyd remembered, a classic transformed, and a call to action re climate change

We're easing out of lockdown, haircuts are being had, and the theatre continually shape-shifts to accommodate these changing times. All credit to the 14 writers who have conjoined forces in urgency and haste to create 846, a collection of audio...

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The Deep Blue Sea, National Theatre at Home review - hauntingly elegiac portrayal of Rattigan's world

Helen McCrory is an actor who can inject a world of feeling into one syllable that many actors would struggle to muster in an entire script. Towards the end of The Deep Blue Sea, she is telling her estranged husband what it was that attracted...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 13: Early Lloyd Webber, vintage Rattigan, and a Dame or two in conversation

Stop the presses! For the first time in nearly four months, The Arts Desk can point to the first of several live theatre events amongst the highlights of the coming week: the tour across the nation's car parks to multiple drive-in audiences of...

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Les Blancs, National Theatre at Home review – triumphant revival of forgotten classic

Lorraine Hansberry’s debut, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first drama written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, where it opened in 1959. It is now an American classic, but it’s her last play, Les Blancs, that in the current context of the...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 12: An American rarity, a British savoury, and fresh Apples

Can this weekly lineup really now be three months old?  As we move towards at least some degree of relaxation on the social restrictions that have long been in place, the offerings of theatre online continue to afford many a reason not to leave...

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Small Island, National Theatre At Home review – big-hearted story hits every beat

A British-Jamaican man is confused. It's the Second World War, and he signed up for the RAF on the understanding that he would serve as a pilot overseas. But instead he's ended up as ground crew in a grey Lincolnshire village. "You are overseas,...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 10: Epic plays from the National Theatre and Broadway alongside voices raised in protest

As lockdown continues, National Theatre at Home has announced its final sequence of plays, and several of the very best are being saved for last. That certainly applies to this week's offering, Small Island, whose dissection of Britain's racist past...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 8: A film star plays tough, and several familiar titles are examined anew

As we continue into a third month in lockdown, the arts continue to suggest ever-changing worlds beyond. The invaluable National Theatre at Home this week looks across the Thames to a smaller venue's large-scale Coriolanus, starring a certain...

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This House, National Theatre at Home review – timely revival of brilliant House of Commons drama

There is a line of argument that – unfairly – blames playwright James Graham for Dominic Cummings. Would Cummings, some might ask, have achieved the influence he has now if it hadn’t been for his depiction in Graham’s brilliant TV drama Brexit...

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Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre at Home review - still lively after all these years

Barber shops – as we are all starting to appreciate in this time of lockdown – fulfil an emotional as much as a cosmetic role: having a haircut can represent a new beginning, a moment for reflection, or even an informal confessional. As the hugely...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 5: A solo show for the ages, Ibsen refreshed, and yet more frolicsome cats

No one can accuse the gods of streaming of failing to cast a wide net. That's even more so with an array of streaming opportunities over the next week that ranges from Off West End Ibsen given a second chance to shine to an online encounter with,...

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