sun 16/12/2018

Old Vic

A Christmas Carol, Old Vic review - Dickens adaptation returns, depth and mince pies intact

The Old Vic's revival of its successful Christmas Carol first seen this time last year had me at the mince pies: they were served before curtain up by a Bob Cratchit figure while we admired the shoal of Victorian lanterns lighting the way over a...

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Wise Children, Old Vic review - Emma Rice in fun if not quite top-flight form

"What could possibly go wrong?" The question ends the first act of Wise Children, the debut venture from the new company birthed by a director, Emma Rice, who must have asked herself precisely that query at many points in recent years....

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A Monster Calls, Old Vic - wild, beautiful theatre that beguiles and bruises

A raw pagan vitality animates this extraordinary story about a teenage boy wrestling with tumultuous emotions in the face of his mother’s terminal illness. Director Sally Cookson has taken the potent blend of myth and realism in Patrick Ness’s book...

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Mood Music, Old Vic review - riveting critique of the music biz

Playwright Joe Penhall and the music biz? Well, they have history. When he was writing the book for Sunny Afternoon, his 2014 hit musical about the Kinks, he had a few run-ins with Ray Davies, the band’s lead singer. A couple of years ago The Stage...

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Fanny and Alexander, Old Vic review - agile but shallow Bergman adaptation

Could an epic cinematic masterpiece be turned successfully into a three-act play? Confession first: Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is my No. 1 film. On one level a slow-burn, pre-World-War-One family saga, on another a timeless human comedy...

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The Divide, Old Vic review - Alan Ayckbourn’s overblown dystopia

Playwright Alan Ayckbourn basically comes in two flavours: suburban comedies of embarrassment and sci-fi fantasies. His latest, The Divide, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival last year in a two-part six-hour version, has been...

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic review - Rhys Ifans takes on Scrooge, triumphantly

Fresh from the success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack Thorne now gives us his exuberant adaptation of another much-loved text. Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol is the well-worn morality fable seared into our collective memory...

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The Lorax, Old Vic Theatre review - a sage tale for young theatre goers

With mentions of Theresa May, cricket jumpers and DMs, Trump slurs and a host of characters with Northern accents, The Old Vic's return version of Dr Seuss' The Lorax, proves itself to be poles apart from the recent, popular Universal Pictures movie...

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Girl from the North Country, Old Vic review – Dylan songs hit home, the rest is weirdness

Plays with songs in, or more precisely plays with famous songs in, can feel like the uncanny valley of theatre. They’re not quite musicals and not quite tribute shows. They deliver on familiar tunes and disconcert with fresh narrative. You’re...

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Woyzeck, Old Vic review - John Boyega’s thrillingly powerful triumph

Welcome back, John Boyega. Less than a decade ago, he was an unknown budding British stage actor, then he took off as a global film star thanks to his role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens after his debut in Attack the Block, the comedy sci-...

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Old Vic

To the list of abiding theatrical partnerships one must surely add Tom Stoppard and the director David Leveaux. From his Tony-winning revival of The Real Thing onwards to Jumpers and Arcadia, all of which played both London and Broadway, Leveaux has...

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Art, Old Vic

I avoided seeing Art when it was first staged in 1996, even though Matthew Warchus’ production created a huge buzz and won an Olivier Award for Comedy. (On receiving the award, Yasmina Reza joked that she thought she’d written a tragedy not a comedy...

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