mon 16/09/2019

new writing

What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre review - euphoric gig-theatre

It’s now Edinburgh Fringe transfer season in London, but here’s one they made earlier: Cora Bissett’s Fringe First-winning autobiographical play from the 2018 Festival about her time in 1990s indie band Darlingheart. Though the broad shape of this...

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Anahera, Finborough Theatre review - blistering family drama from New Zealand

With power comes responsibility. One without the other is sickening -- and both iterations are on show in Emma Kinane's searing new play about a child runaway in New Zealand. Social worker Anahera (played by Acushla-Tara Kupe, pictured above...

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José Eduardo Agualusa: The Society of Reluctant Dreamers review - vivid visions towards a free Angola

Reality follows dreams in José Eduardo Agualusa’s latest experiment in quixotic political fable. The book opens with journalist Daniel Benchimol waking at the Rainbow Hotel in Angola’s capital, Luanda: “I saw long black birds fly past. I’d dreamed...

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Appropriate, Donmar Warehouse review - fraught family reunion blisteringly told

You can’t fail to feel the ghosts in Appropriate at the Donmar Warehouse: they are there in the very timbers of the ancient Southern plantation house that is the setting for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s fraught – and often very funny – family...

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The Collection: Nina Leger trans. Laura Francis – daring, direct and richly imagined

Jeanne – employment, age and appearance unknown, motives unknowable – is building a collection of penises. In street after street, she feigns dizziness; on the inevitable approach of a man eager to lend his help, she leads him to a hotel room. After...

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Wilderness Festival 2019 review - marvellous misbehaviour

The thing about Wilderness is that it’s just so jolly decent. Acres of decadence, sprawled safely over the yawning magnificence of Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, combine to create a scintillating country fair reverie – a heady mix of good music, high...

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Barber Shop Chronicles, Roundhouse review - riotous theatre at its best

Emmanuel (Anthony Ofoegbu) runs Three Kings Barbers in London. His assistant, Samuel (Mohammed Mansaray), is the son of his erstwhile business partner, who is currently in jail. Emmanuel is boss, surrogate father and — occasionally — verbal punching...

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The Fountainhead, The Lowry, Salford review – marathon in Mancland

Ivo van Hove’s reputation precedes his work as a rumble of thunder goes before a storm. The Manchester International Festival, intensely proud to have on board the man some see as the most original theatre director around, has presented the UK...

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Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Royal Court review - memes, memories and meanings

Few theatres have done as much to promote new young talent as the Royal Court; few theatres have done as much to stage plays about the pains and pleasures of the digital world; few venues have tackled the themes of race and gender in contemporary...

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Cash Cow, Hampstead Theatre review - timely look at pushy tennis parents

“How much does she owe us?” So ponder the now estranged parents of a former tennis pro, as they calculate the very literal investment they’ve put into their daughter. This probing new play from Oli Forsyth – well timed for Queen’s and Wimbledon –...

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Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous review – the new avant-garde

Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is written as a letter to his mother, who cannot read. She cannot read because, when she was five, her schoolhouse was burnt to the ground in an American napalm raid. “Our mother tongue, then,” writes Vuong, is the “mark of...

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Citysong, Soho Theatre review - big writing, big heart

Irish playwright Dylan Coburn Gray's new play won the Verity Bargate Award in 2017, and his reward is a fine production of this beautifully written account of one Dublin family over several decades. It is a light-touch epic which is partly a...

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