thu 23/05/2019

new writing

White Pearl, Royal Court review - comic racial stereotypes

Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone's commitment to staging a diversity of new voices is very laudable, and with White Pearl she has found a show that is original in setting, if not in theme. Written by Anchuli Felicia King, a New York-based,...

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Britney, Soho Theatre review - finding the funny in a brain tumour

A brain tumour isn't usually the subject of a comedy show but Britney, written and performed by comedy duo Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson, is just that. It's “the true story of what happens to two best friends when one of them [Clive] gets a brain...

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After Edward, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - delightfully risky

A loo with fuschia-pink carpet to catch splashback; an Archbishop of Canterbury who’s in it for the skirts; a gobbing Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. A Jacobean theatre like the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will have witnessed most extremes of human...

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Wilderness, Hampstead Theatre review - stark portrait of modern divorce

“We don’t love you any less.” A natural sentiment to express to your child when you’re separating from your partner, but the very fact of saying it plants doubts in the child’s mind as to whether you really mean it. As the audience of Wilderness at...

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The Phlebotomist, Hampstead Theatre review - thought-provoking dystopian thriller

Contemporary British theatre loves time travel — and not just to the past. It also enjoys imagining the future, especially the bad stuff ahead. So Ella Road's debut play, The Phlebotomist, is set in a convincingly coherent dystopia where genetic...

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The Rubenstein Kiss, Southwark Playhouse review - slick spy drama doesn't quite come together

It's an ideal time to revive James Phillips's debut The Rubenstein Kiss. Since it won the John Whiting Award for new writing in 2005 its story, of ideological differences tearing a family apart, has only become more relevant. Joe Harmston directs a...

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Admissions, Trafalgar Studios review - topical and whiplash-smart

Joshua Harmon knows how to stir and excite an audience and does that and more with Admissions, newly arrived in the West End as part of the ongoing tsunami of American theatre across the capital just now. Opening the same day as news reports of...

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We're Staying Right Here, Park Theatre review - rough and not entirely ready

We're Staying Right Here, Henry Devas's debut play premiering on the smaller of the Park Theatre's two stages, carries a trigger warning on the theatre website: "May be affective for people coping with mental health issues". There's also, we're told...

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Eden, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - thoughtful commentary on people and principles

"It's gonna be the best golf course in the world," a man in an Aertex shirt and a bright red baseball cap is assuring us. "The best. I guarantee it." You can tell he's the kind of person who thinks talking quickly and loudly is the same thing as...

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All in a Row, Southwark Playhouse, review - soapy and shrill pity party

Time once again to roll out that line about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. The creators of All in a Row, a new play at Southwark Playhouse about the last evening at home for an autistic non-verbal 11-year-old before his...

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Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre review - Stephen Rea is utterly compelling

David Ireland is a playwright who likes to jolt his audience and Cyprus Avenue, a dark absurdist comedy about an Ulster unionist afraid of losing his identity, does just that. This co-production between Dublin's Abbey Theatre and the Royal Court was...

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Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The striking cover for the Brighton Festival 2019 programme shouts out loud who this year’s Guest Director is. Silhouetted in flowers, in stunning artwork by Simon Prades, is the unmistakeable profile of Malian musician Rokia Traoré. Taking place...

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