tue 20/11/2018

National Theatre

Hadestown, National Theatre review - new folk musical is hotter than hell

The road to full musical theatre production has been a long one for Hadestown. It began back in 2006, with Anaïs Mitchell’s song cycle – a folk/jazz take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth – toured around Vermont in a school bus, then grew into an...

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War Horse, National Theatre review - still touching after all these years

War Horse at the National Theatre on Sunday’s Armistice Day centenary: there were medalled veterans and at least one priest in the rows in front, dark suits and poppies all around, and scarcely a youngster in sight. When the bells rang out in a...

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Dramatic Exchanges review - a brilliant slice of theatre history

Dramatic Exchanges is a dazzling array of correspondence, stretching over more than a century, between National Theatre people. It’s a chronologically arranged anthology that acts as a history of the institution, from its appearance as an idea...

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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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Stories, National Theatre review - comic conception capers

In 2017, playwright Nina Raine's Consent, an excellent National Theatre play about lawyers and rape victims, was hugely successful, winning a West End transfer, as well as generating a lot of discussion about gender politics. Her follow up, Stories...

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I'm Not Running, National Theatre review - puzzling political drama

Whatever you might think about Brexit, the dreaded B word, the current climate certainly seems to be reinvigorating both feminist playwrights and political playwrights. So welcome back, David Hare, the go-to dramatist for any artistic director...

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Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre review - Ralph Fiennes in marvellous throttle

You always wonder about those final scenes of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Are they really needed dramatically; do they work? We understand, of course, that a closing exhalation may add impact to high passions just witnessed. But is it just a romantic...

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The Prisoner, National Theatre review - Peter Brook's latest falls sadly flat

Of the Edinburgh International Festival’s three productions by 2018’s resident company, Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, The Prisoner is the most gnomic, the most baffling, and, frankly, the most disappointing. Which is a great shame,...

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Sir Peter Hall: a day of thanksgiving and celebration for a colossus of culture

Sir Peter Hall had no ordinary life, as might be expected from the director who more than any other defined the British theatre of the last half of the 20th century. The same can be said of the unforgettable two-part send-off he received exactly a...

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Pericles, National Theatre review - a fizzingly energetic production

A break-dancing mini Michael Jackson, a transvestite Neptune, and a hero who wears his hubris as proudly as his gold-tipped trainers, are unconventional even by Shakespeare’s standards, but they all play a key part in this joyful act of subversion....

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Home, I'm Darling, National Theatre review - Katherine Parkinson in career-best form

Add Katherine Parkinson to the top rank of theatre performers in a town where talent abounds. As Judy, the retro-minded housewife at the bruisingly comic heart of Laura Wade's National Theatre/Theatre Clwyd collaboration Home, I'm Darling, ...

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Exit the King, National Theatre review - vivid, brilliant production that somehow leaves you feeling empty

The image of a raging, narcissistic tyrant, convinced that he can crush even death into oblivion, has all too many resonances these days. So this visually spectacular National Theatre resurrection of Ionesco’s 1962 play, adapted and directed by...

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