tue 24/04/2018

new writing

Instructions for Correct Assembly, Royal Court review - Jane Horrocks in Middle England 'Westworld'

There’s a whole universe which British theatre has yet to explore properly – it’s called the sci-fi imagination. Although this place is familiar from countless films and television series, it is more or less a stranger to our stages. With notable...

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White Guy on the Bus, Finborough Theatre review - a moral tale of Pennsylvania's divisions

Ros and Ray are old hippies made good. She’s a hard-bitten, hard-working teacher in an inner-city Pennsylvania school where her pupils rob 7-Elevens on Fridays and the staff have a betting pool on how many times she gets called "white bitch". He’s a...

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Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out

Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing at Hoxton Hall. It’s kind of a treat, and kind of not.The current laser focus on gender risks the unwanted side-effect of alienating...

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Humble Boy, Orange Tree Theatre review - love, death and science in Middle England

Good programming is an art, and Paul Miller – artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre – is clearly on a continuous roll with his inspired mixing of the old and the new, forgotten classics and new voices, revivals and premieres. And he loves to...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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The B*easts, Bush Theatre review - Monica Dolan is almost flawless

Lila had breast implants at the age of eight. Karen, her mother, is required to take psychotherapy sessions on account of the fact that she arranged for the operation. Tessa (played by Monica Dolan, pictured top and below) is a psychotherapist who...

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Girls & Boys, Royal Court review - Carey Mulligan is stunningly brilliant

This is Carey Mulligan week. She appears, improbably enough, as a hard-nosed cop in David Hare’s BBC thriller Collateral, as well as onstage at the Royal Court in London’s Sloane Square (she’s much better live than on film). In a 90-minute monologue...

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Gundog, Royal Court review - tedious and inconsequential

First the goats, and now the sheep – has this venue become an urban farm? Rural life, which was once so central to our English pastoral culture, is now largely absent from metropolitan stages. And from our culture. Apart from The Archers or the...

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Collective Rage, Southwark Playhouse review - a rollicking riot

“Pussy is pussy” and “bitches are bitches” but Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage at Southwark Playhouse smashes such tautologies with roguish comedy in a tight five-hander smartly directed by Charlie Parham.The play is set in New York and follows the...

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Paines Plough Roundabout, Orange Tree Theatre review - too brief to really rock

Hype is a dangerous thing. It often raises expectations beyond the reasonable, and disappointment inevitably follows. It also prioritises PR over artistic activity, putting the publicity cart before the creative horse, sucking energy away from plays...

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Booby's Bay, Finborough Theatre review - a bit fishy

Carry on out of London past the Finborough Theatre and you hit the A4. Follow it east as it becomes the M4, take a southern turn at Bristol for the M5 and you’re in the West Country. Bude and Bodmin, Liskeard, St Austell, Padstow, Mousehole, Newquay...

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The Open House, The Print Room review - razor wit, theatrical brio

The American family has seldom looked more desperate. Will Eno’s The Open House depicts a gathering of such dismal awfulness that it surely sets precedents for this staple element of American drama. Yet for viewers who relish humour in its most...

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