sat 24/06/2017

playwrights

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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Nuclear War, Royal Court review - ‘deeply felt and haunting’

Text can sometimes be a prison. At its best, post-war British theatre is a writer’s theatre, with the great pensmiths – from Samuel Beckett, John Osborne and Harold Pinter to Caryl Churchill, Martin Crimp and Sarah Kane – carving out visions of...

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The Philanthropist, Trafalgar Studios review - 'Simon Callow's direction is underpowered'

Christopher Hampton's witty comedy, first performed in 1970, ingeniously inverts Molière's The Misanthrope, centring as it does on a man whose compulsive amiability manages to upset just about everyone.At the heart of the play is Philip, the polar...

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Consent, National Theatre, review - thrilling revenge drama

Rape is such a serious social issue that it’s hardly surprising that several recent plays have tackled it. I’m thinking of Gary Owen’s Violence and Son, James Fritz’s Four Minutes Twelve Seconds and Evan Placey’s Consensual. All of these discuss,...

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'Backstabbing, betrayal and love': Ryan Craig on Filthy Business

The monster has come alive and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Thirteen actors playing three generations of a very explosive family arrive in full period costume. Towering Dexion shelving units, heaving with foam and cushions and fabrics and...

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I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Finborough Theatre

In I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Halley Feiffer has written a right curmudgeon of a central role. David is a successful playwright, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who has no difficulty slotting himself directly into the great American drama tradition. He...

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Top Trumps, Theatre 503

There's an irony to be found in the fact that America's 45th president is already abolishing any and all things to do with the arts even as his ascendancy looks set to provide catnip to artists to a degree not seen since the heyday of Margaret...

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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 as soon as he arrived in London was waylaid...

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