tue 20/08/2019

Orange Tree

French Without Tears, Orange Tree Theatre

Over the past quarter century the reputation of toff playwright Terence Rattigan has been restored, mainly by strong stagings of his classic dramas, such as Deep Blue Sea. But his first smash hit, French Without Tears, has been the unicorn of...

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When We Were Women, Orange Tree Theatre

Can you peg a whole play on a decent twist? When We Were Women’s narrative tease pays off interestingly, but takes a hell of a long time getting there. It leaves little space to explore the ramifications of an intriguing revelation, a frustration...

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Play Mas, Orange Tree Theatre

Mustapha Matura's 1974 play is a celebration of liberation, both social and political, and a sly warning about the possible pitfalls of sudden freedom. Mas (or Masquerade) is the Trinidadian version of Carnival, an exotic mixture of Christian and...

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Little Light, Orange Tree Theatre

The Orange Tree’s renaissance continues with this searing piece from playwright of the moment Alice Birch, who will shortly follow up last year’s subversive Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again with an interrogation of the porn industry for Rufus Norris’s...

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The Distance, Orange Tree Theatre

Are there any real taboos left? I mean, there have been scores of plays about incest, about abuse and about paedophilia. Have all proverbial stones been turned over? According to Deborah Bruce, a director turned playwright, there is one situation...

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Orange Tree Theatre Festival, Programme 1, Orange Tree Theatre

Sam Walters, Britain's longest-serving artistic director of a theatre (43 years!), looks to the past as well as the future with his Orange Tree swansong. This varied festival features nine plays and six world premieres across two programmes, all of...

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Squirrels/The After-Dinner Joke, Orange Tree Theatre

In French, when you want to end a digression and get a conversation back on point, you say "revenons à nos moutons". It's a commonly used idiom, meaning literally "let's get back to our sheep", the sheep representing the  actual subject under...

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The School for Scheming, Orange Tree Theatre

Usually, to describe a play as "of its time" is a criticism. It is suggestive of drama that hasn't aged well, that doesn't work quite as well for today's audience as it did for the original crowd. First performed in 1847, Dion Boucicault's The...

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Invincible, Orange Tree Theatre

It's unusual for a play to be political without being preachy, or dull, or both. As obsessed as we are with class distinctions, we aren't as good as we should be at pulling them apart. Invincible is therefore something rare, for it turns social...

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It Just Stopped, Orange Tree Theatre

Would you be able to tell if the world had ended? For Beth and Franklin, the wannabe intellectuals at the heart of Stephen Sewell's play, it proves quite difficult to ascertain whether life as they know it has come to an end from their privileged...

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Middlemarch: Dorothea's Story, Orange Tree Theatre

Adapt a Jane Austen novel for the stage and you have a generous handful of characters and a selection of drawing rooms in which to put them. Adapt a George Eliot novel and you’re faced with a whole town of people – figures from grand houses,...

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Springs Eternal, Orange Tree Theatre

The American repertoire has featured big-time on the London stage this year but perhaps nowhere more oddly than courtesy the ever-adventurous Orange Tree's staging of a World War Two play from Susan Glaspell, here receiving its world premiere. Long...

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