fri 22/10/2021

playwrights

Raya, Hampstead Downstairs review - a richly fraught reunion

Thirty years on, Alex and Jason meet at a university reunion and cab it back to Jason’s old student house where Alex is thinking “probably…” and Jason is thinking “probably not…”  - each, it turns out, with good reason. We look on as the clumsy...

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Tarantula, Southwark Playhouse online review – spine-tingling love and trauma

I think I can safely say that polymath playwright Philip Ridley has had a good lockdown. In March last year, when The Beast of Blue Yonder, his new show for Southwark Playhouse, was closed due to the pandemic, he came up with an idea called The...

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom review - keeping things theatrical

There was always bound to be a hint of melancholy watching George Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Try as you might to focus on the film, you can never quite shake the fact that you’re watching the final performance of Chadwick Boseman, whose life...

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Rocks review - impressively well-crafted neo-realist drama

Rocks is a beautifully made slice of neo-realist filmmaking which deserves to get a wide audience but may well slip off the radar in the current climate. It really should be experienced in a cinema as the camerawork by Hélène Louvart is stunning and...

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Larry Kramer: 'I think anger is a wonderful useful emotion'

Larry Kramer, who has died at the age of 84, was the Solzhenitsyn of AIDS who indomitably reported from the gay gulags of Manhattan’s quarantined wards and revolving-door hospices. “I felt very much like a journalist who realises that he has been...

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Midnight Your Time, Donmar Warehouse online review – intimate and quietly moving

During lockdown, some of the best online theatre has been shows that are specially created for this digital format. Much better than dull records of dramas that might have worked well on stage, but now seem sadly moribund and exceedingly slow on the...

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Shoe Lady, Royal Court review - Katherine Parkinson is a footsore Beckettian

On my way to see this show, I see an urban fox. Before I can take a photo, it scrambles away. And I'm sure that, as it goes, it winks at me. This weird moment is a great prologue to EV Crowe's new play, virtually a monologue starring Katherine...

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First Person: Hassan Abdulrazzak on the real-life drama behind American deportation to the UK

You are at a party having a good time when someone gives you a glass of champagne. You take one and then another and soon the party is over. You get in the car to go home and are driving along when you see a police car in the rearview mirror: how...

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Far Away, Donmar Warehouse review - one for the devotees

Caryl Churchill, Britain's best living playwright, is enjoying a spate of high-profile revivals of her classic work. Last year, the National Theatre staged her Top Girls, and an upcoming production of A Number is coming soon to the Bridge Theatre....

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Brighton Festival 2020 launches with Guest Director Lemn Sissay

This morning the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England launched and announced its programme of events. With Guest Director, British and Ethiopian poet-playwright-broadcaster Lemn Sissay, MBE, at the helm, Brighton Festival 2020 is...

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The Sugar Syndrome, Orange Tree Theatre review - pushing empathy to the limit

Your sweet tooth can get you into trouble. Lots of trouble. In this revival of Lucy Prebble's provocative debut, first staged at the Royal Court in 2003, the metaphor of sugar, and of the powerful attractions of this drug-like substance – bad for...

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Scenes with Girls, Royal Court review - feminist separatism 2.0

Last night, I discovered the gasp index. Or maybe just re-discovered. The what? The gasp index. It's when you see a show that keeps making you exhale, sometimes audibly, sometimes quietly. Tonight I gasped about five times, then I stopped counting...

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