mon 16/09/2019

playwrights

The King of Hell’s Palace, Hampstead Theatre review - Chinese scandal freezes the blood

New artistic directors are popping up all over British theatre. Every week seems to usher in a refreshingly versatile talent taking the reins of a major theatre. Tonight, veteran new writing advocate Roxana Silbert, the new head of Hampstead Theatre...

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For Services Rendered, Jermyn Street Theatre review – uneven revival of 1930s drama

“I don’t think I have the right to influence her,” says an older character of her daughter in For Services Rendered, W Somerset Maugham’s 1932 anti-war drama. If only all elder statesmen and women felt the same about the youth. Tom Littler’s revival...

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Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, Royal Court review - brilliant meta-theatrical experience

Playwright and performer Tim Crouch is one of Britain's most innovative creatives, with a big back catalogue of challenging and stimulating stage work. Typically he tells stories about profound loss, while simultaneously questioning the basis of...

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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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Go Bang Your Tambourine, Finborough Theatre review - out-dated and long-winded

Theatre legends die hard. Playwright Philip King, who passed away in 1979, was once hailed as the monarch of the farceurs, and his best-know play, See How They Run (1944), features the immortal line: "Sergeant, arrest most of these vicars!". Like so...

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Equus, Trafalgar Studios review - passionate intensity

When he gave Martin Dysart, the troubled psychiatrist protagonist of Equus, a line in which he speaks about “moments of experience” being “magnetised”, Peter Shaffer might almost have been talking about theatre itself. It’s a phrase that comes close...

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Jellyfish, National Theatre review - Ben Weatherill's play hits the right notes

The intense relationship between a single parent and a single child is ramped up to its highest level when it involves a mother whose daughter has learning disabilities. From that dynamic, writer Ben Weatherill has crafted a warm, engaging and...

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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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Rust, Bush Theatre review - slender yet invigorating

The best kind of two-hander is the play about couples. And the most dramatic way of saying something about relationships is to show a couple who are in trouble, bad trouble. Crisis. Especially if they start off well together. Kenny Emson's smart,...

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Europe, Donmar Warehouse review - timely, tender, brutal and brilliant

In the middle of the current decade, there was a mild vogue for reviving a handful of the great plays of the 1990s, such as Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking and Patrick Marber's Closer. Now the Donmar Warehouse's new artistic director, the...

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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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Sweat, Gielgud Theatre review - searing drama of working life

There’s a joke early on in Sweat, Lynn Nottage's superlative drama about American working lives, in which a lively bar-room conversation turns to the seemingly unlikely subject of NAFTA. It’s 2000, the Bush presidency just around the corner, and the...

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