fri 20/07/2018

playwrights

Allelujah!, Bridge Theatre review - hilarious but dark, darker, darkest

The NHS is us. For decades our national identity has been bandaged together with the idea, and reality, of a health service that is free at the point of delivery. Such an object of myth and pride cries out for comic treatment, and now the spritely...

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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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The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre review - an acting tour de force

There's surprising and then there's The Lehman Trilogy, the National Theatre premiere in which a long-established director surprises his audience and, in the process, surpasses himself. The talent in question is Sam Mendes, who a quarter-century or...

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Alkaline, Park Theatre review - faith, friendship and failure

Britain is rightly proud of its record on multiculturalism, but whenever cross-cultural couples are shown on film, television or the stage they are always represented as a problem. Not just as a normal way of life, but as something that is going...

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Charlotte Jones: ‘Plays come from your scar tissue’

I think it’s always a dangerous sport to try and consciously unravel where your ideas come from. Lest you break the spell and inadvertently silence yourself…There’s always the superficial reasons, of course: the geography and the history of a play....

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The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre review - Aidan Turner makes a magnetic West End debut

Aidan Turner may not reveal those famously bronzed pecs that have made TV's Poldark box office catnip in his West End debut. But what Michael Grandage's funny and fiery revival of The Lieutenant of Inishmore reveals in spades is the...

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Finishing the Picture, Finborough Theatre review - projections in a realm of mirrors

In the early 20th century, Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov spliced together images of people looking at things with a bowl of soup, a woman on a divan and an open casket. Each object represented a different emotional state – hunger, desire and grief...

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Fatherland, Lyric Hammersmith review - loud and proud, shame about the content

Masculinity, whether toxic or in crisis (but never ever problem-free), is a hardy perennial subject for British new writing, and this new piece from playwright Simon Stephens, Frantic Assembly director Scott Graham and Underworld musician Karl Hyde...

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Translations, National Theatre review - an Irish classic returns with cascading force

What sort of physical upgrade can a play withstand? That question will have occurred to devotees of Brian Friel's Translations, a play that has thrived in smaller venues (London's Hampstead and Donmar, over time) and had trouble in larger spaces: a...

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Tartuffe, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - dual-language production loses its way

The idea of producing a classic play in a mix of two languages is pretty odd. What kind of audience is a bilingual version of Molière’s best-known comedy aiming at, you wonder. Homesick émigrés? British francophiles with rusty A-level French?...

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King Lear, BBC Two review - modernised TV adaptation is a mixed blessing

Some have contended that King Lear is unstageable, and perhaps it’s unfilmable too. Richard Eyre‘s new version for the BBC sets Shakespeare’s most remorselessly bleak tragedy in a pseudo-modern Britain where historic stately homes co-exist with...

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Nightfall, Bridge Theatre, review - moving but over-exposed

Playwright Barney Norris is as prolific as he is talented. Barely out of his twenties, he has written a series of excellent plays – the award-winning Visitors, follow-ups Eventide and While We’re Here – as well as a couple of novels and lots of...

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