mon 18/12/2017

new writing

Belleville, Donmar Warehouse review - prickly and unnerving

The city of love provides a backdrop for marital discord and worse in Belleville, Amy Herzog's celebrated Off Broadway play now receiving a riveting British premiere at the Donmar. The director, Michael Longhurst, is rivaling Dominic Cooke (of...

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Parliament Square, Bush Theatre, review – uncomfortable blaze of anger

The political story of our time is the upsurge in support for Jeremy Corbyn, leftwing leader of the Labour Party, mainly by young activists who are both idealistic and energetic. But what would happen if one of them decided to go freelance, and...

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Poison, Orange Tree Theatre review - study of grief is both courageous and subtle

Should Brexit ministers need help understanding the cultural mindset of their continental counterparts, they might consider a subscription to the Orange Tree, the compact Richmond producing house that is defiantly opening its arms to Europe. This...

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Soldier On: a theatrical treatment of PTSD

I was invalided out of the army in 1986. I’d been an army scholar through school and had a bursary at university. I went on to drama school then became an actor, and subsequently a writer and director. But I’ve always been passionately interested in...

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The Retreat, Park Theatre, review - funny but a bit flat

Is Buddhism a path to finding spiritual enlightenment – or just an excuse for not facing your personal problems? Given that this question is implicit in the debut play by Sam Bain, script co-writer of nine series of Channel 4’s Peep Show, as well as...

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Heather, Bush Theatre review - Harry Potter satire burns bright

Harry Potter has a lot to answer for. The phenomenal success of JK Rowling’s books, and of their film versions, and of the stage play (now set to remain in the West End for all eternity), has created a template of extravagant cultural impact that...

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Young Marx, Bridge Theatre review - fast-moving but over-complicated

Given the rather uneven record of the National Theatre at the moment, there’s already a certain nostalgia for the days, which came to an end two years ago, when it was run by the two Nicks: Nick Hytner and Nick Starr. Together, they transformed this...

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Of Kith and Kin, Bush Theatre, review - comic but confused gay surrogacy drama

A new baby is like an alien invasion: it blows your mind and it colonises your world. For any couple, parenthood can be both exalting and devastating, with the stress hugging the relationship so tightly that eventually all its lies pop out. In his...

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Venus in Fur, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - pain and pleasure in a starry two-hander

A hit on Broadway, David Ives’s steamy two-hander now boasts Natalie Dormer and David Oakes, well-known for their screen work, in its West End cast, with Patrick Marber on directing duties. That plus the tabloid panting over Dormer’s skimpy S&M...

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Albion, Almeida Theatre, review – Victoria Hamilton’s epic performance

Prolific writer Mike Bartlett is the most impressive penman to have emerged in British theatre in the past decade. The trouble is that his work is so uneven. Although he wrote the amazingly imaginative play, Earthquakes in London, and the...

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Beginning, National Theatre review - assured, intimate, but short of surprises

Loneliness: in the age of the digital hook-up and the flaunting narcissism of social media, it’s become a strange sort of taboo – a secret shame, the unsexy side of singledom. So it’s good to see playwright David Eldridge putting it centre-stage in...

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The Busy World Is Hushed, Finborough Theatre review - new play puts the G-word centre stage

God makes few appearances at the modern playhouse – so few that the Finborough Theatre saw fit to print a glossary in the programme for its latest production. What begins with Agnostic, Annunciation and Aramaic runs all the way to Spirit Guide,...

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