mon 23/05/2022

new writing

The Patient Gloria, Brighton Festival review - an electric exploration of the control and manipulation of women

The psychology of female desire in 1960s California, was a field awash with voyeurism and exploitation. This brilliant play uncovers not only the bizarre story of Gloria Szymanski, but catholic hypocrisy and everyday sexism too, with a nod to third...

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The Misfortune of the English, Orange Tree Theatre review - don't fret, boys, it's only death

“We all make history, one way or another.” But some of us make more history than others, and a group of 27 English schoolboys who got lost in Southern Germany in 1936 haven’t made much, unfortunately. Scottish playwright Pamela Carter has brushed...

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Marys Seacole, Donmar Warehouse review - frustrating yet unflinching

Inspiration jostles irritation in Marys Seacole, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Off Broadway hit from 2019 that has arrived at the Donmar as part of a banner season of late for Black American writing in the capital (cf. "Daddy": A Melodrama at the Almeida...

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First Person: playwright Naomi Wallace on finally hearing her work performed in English

The Breach is a coming of age story and an age-in-the-making story. The play takes place in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1990s, switching back and forth between teenagers in Louisville and their older selves 15 years later. The promise of the...

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Lava, Soho Theatre review - silences, secrets and lies

The title of James Fritz’s play is allusive, oblique even. I assume it refers to how, in the aftermath of a catastrophe such as an erupting volcano, it’s the lava that spreads outwards, changing the form of the surrounding landscape. It’s not the...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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Wolf Cub, Hampstead Downstairs review - haunting solo play about the American nightmare

Ché Walker claims he wrote Wolf Cub, now in the Hampstead Downstairs studio space, in a two-day blitz prompted by Donald Trump’s election win in 2016. He was working in Atlanta at the time, the home city of Claire Latham, the solo performer for...

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The Fever Syndrome, Hampstead Theatre review - ambitious family drama falls short

The Fever Syndrome has an ambition that places itself firmly in the tradition of the great American family drama (comparisons with Arthur Miller feel the most appropriate), a piece in which the reassessment of ties of blood is played out against a...

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First Person: playwright Chinonyerem Odimba on birthing her potent and timely new show

People often ask how long a play takes to make its way out of you. And it’s always a valid question because no matter how beautiful, soft, joyful, or short a play is, there is a wrestling match that takes place between the idea lodging itself...

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Extract: Where My Feet Fall - Going For A Walk in Twenty Stories

I began work on Where My Feet Fall a few months into the pandemic of 2020. After lockdown was announced we all became better walkers, and the collection took on greater resonance.The writers I selected were invited to do one of two things – recall a...

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Our Generation, National Theatre review - Alecky Blythe captures the world of teenagers today

Do you happily binge four hours of mind-candy TV in one sitting? Alecky Blythe’s latest verbatim play, Our Generation – which runs for 3hr 45min at the Dorfman space of the National Theatre – might take almost as long but will probably be much more...

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Steve, Seven Dials Playhouse review - everything’s charming, except the script

Steven (David Ames) is having a birthday party. He’s invited his closest friends – two of whom have recently started dating their personal trainer, Steve – and his partner, of course: Stephen (Joe Aaron Reid). Their eight-year-old son, Stevie, is...

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