tue 21/05/2024

tragedy

King Lear, Almeida Theatre review - Danny Sapani dazzles in this spartan tragedy

Less than three years after her magnificent Macbeth, Yaël Farber returns to the Almeida with another Shakespeare tragedy. Her take on King Lear (main picture) offers a full-bodied, slow-burn version of this devastating drama, where Danny Sapani...

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Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - 21st century interpretation delivers food for thought

Detective Chief Inspector Othello leads a quasi-paramilitary team of Metropolitan Police officers investigating gang activity in Docklands. With a chequered past now behind him, he has reformed and has the respect of both the team he leads and his...

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The Good John Proctor, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Salem-set drama loses some of its power in London

It is no surprise that the phrase “Witch Hunt” is Donald Trump’s favoured term to describe his legal travails. Leaving aside its connotations of a malevolent state going after an innocent victim whilst in the throes of a self-serving moral panic, it...

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King Lear, Wyndham's Theatre review - Kenneth Branagh helms a pared-down tragedy

Few would have imagined that Kenneth Branagh’s return to the West End would see him garbed in fur-lined, prehistoric clothes. But this is how he takes on the gargantuan role of King Lear, in a compact, fast-paced production of Shakespeare’s great...

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Trueman and the Arsonists, Roundhouse Studio review - new warnings in old lessons

A dystopian present. Sirens ring out across the city. Firefighters rush to the wrong locations. A man insists on entry to a big house. He’s not selling anything, so he can’t be an arsonist can he? His friend turns up and she’s pretty upfront about...

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The Changeling, Southwark Playhouse review - wild ride proves too bumpy to land all its points

Writing about the upcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the National Theatre in The Guardian recently, the usually reliable Michael Billington made a rare misstep. He called for the successor to Rufus Norris, the departing artistic director,...

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Othello, Riverside Studios review - three Iagos pitch Shakespeare's villain into the 21st century

Shakespeare gives Iago over 1000 lines to implant the jealous rage in Othello, so there’s plenty to of raw material to work with. The director Sinéad Rushe has had the idea to split these weaselly words between three actors, a device that seems so...

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Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - uneven production of intermittent power

That Shakespeare speaks to his audiences anew with every production is a cliché, but, like so many such, the glib blandness of the assertion conceals an insistent truth. The Thane of Glamis has had some success in life, gains preferment from those...

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A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Finborough Theatre review - 86 years, punctuated by fun and funerals

The family pet dies. It’s a problem many parents face, and when Gracie learns from her evasive father that her dog isn’t just gone, but gone forever, her five-year-old brain cannot process it and so begins a lifelong relationship with deaths,...

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Medea, @sohoplace review - Sophie Okonedo is commanding in a dated version of the Greek tragedy

What is one to do with Greek tragedy on the contemporary stage? For Simon Stone, whose Phaedra is currently playing at the National Theatre, the answer is a kind of radical adaptation that retains the myth’s backbone but revises all else.For an...

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Phaedra, National Theatre review - stunning acting in stunning show

How can old texts speak to us now? The point is not just to adapt classics, but to reimagine them – and that’s exactly what hotshot Australian director Simon Stone does. Having brilliantly staged Lorca’s Yerma with Billie Piper, he now turns his...

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The Forgiven review - the shelterless sky

John Michael McDonagh’s acerbic tragedy of manners and morals sees West meets East, in a literal car crash of sloppy behaviour and messy intentions.Alcoholic doctor David and blocked children’s author Jo (Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain) are...

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