mon 18/12/2017

playwrights

Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, Wyndham’s Theatre review – paradoxically predictable

Playwright Simon Stephens and director Marianne Elliott are hyped as a winning partnership. Their previous collaborations include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a massive Olivier award-winning hit, and her sensitive revival of...

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The Blinding Light, Jermyn Street Theatre, review – Jasper Britton is fascinatingly febrile

Anyone who likes playing “Spot the weirdo” will find themselves instantly at home in Howard Brenton’s new play, which has its world premiere in this West End fringe venue, a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus. Its subject is Swedish playwright and...

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The 'self-experimenter': Howard Brenton on Strindberg in crisis

I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel...

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Knives in Hens, Donmar Warehouse review – Yaël Farber not symbolic enough

Hark, is that the call of the earth I hear? In a frenetic urban world, the myth of rural simplicity exerts a strong pull. Surely a simpler life is possible; a more natural rhythm and a slower pace? Oh yes, I can smell burnt peat, and almost scent...

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When Sam Shepard was a Londoner

Sam Shepard came to live in London in 1971, nursing ambitions to be a rock musician. When he went home three years later, he was soon to be found on the drumstool of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. But in between, not long after he arrived in...

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'You win in the end!' Deborah Bruce introduces her play 'The House They Grew Up In'

My inspiration for The House They Grew Up In, my new play at Chichester Festival Theatre came about five years ago, in the café of an art gallery near my house. This café had a slightly intimidating air, full of its own importance, as if the art in...

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Bodies, Royal Court review – pregnant with meaning

Surrogacy is an emotionally fraught subject. The arrangement by which one woman gives birth to another’s baby challenges traditional notions of motherhood, and pitches the anguish of the woman who can’t have children herself against the agony of...

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Hir, Bush Theatre review – transgender home is sub-prime

Donald Trump’s electoral success was, we have been told, fuelled by the anger of the American working class. But how do you show that kind of anger on stage, and how do you criticise its basis in traditional masculinity? One way, and this is the...

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Killology, Royal Court review – both disturbing and life-affirming

The monologue is a terrific theatre form. Using this narrative device, you can cover huge amounts of storytelling territory, fill in lots of background detail – and get right inside a character’s head. But the best monologues are those that...

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An Octoroon review - slavery reprised as melodrama in a vibrantly theatrical show

Make no mistake about it, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a playwright to watch. London receives its first opportunity to appraise his vibrant, quizzical talent with this production of An Octoroon, for which he received an OBIE in 2014 (jointly with his...

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The Ferryman, Royal Court, review - ‘Jez Butterworth’s storytelling triumph’

I hate the kind of hype that sells out a new play within minutes of tickets becoming available. I mean, isn’t there something hideously lemming-like about this kind of stampede for a limited commodity? It almost makes me want to hate the show –...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Jez Butterworth

Jez Butterworth is back. Even before the critics have uttered a single word of praise The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes and set in rural Derry in 1981 at the height of the IRA hunger strikes, sold out its run at the Royal Court in hours. It...

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