tue 23/05/2017

playwrights

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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10 Questions for Playwright James Graham

Coalitions make for drama, and for comedy. We know that from, respectively, Borgen and the final series of The Thick of It. It is little wonder therefore that soon after the 2010 election delivered a hung Parliament, the National Theatre...

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'What would it feel like to watch women sew?'

It’s a strange time to be alive. Has it always felt like this? When else was there a time when so much felt to be at stake, and the ground moved beneath our feet with the continuous emergence of technologies that affect our everyday lives and our...

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First Person: A Man of Good Hope

To begin writing a book is to start something over which you are going to lose control. As it comes to life, a book acquires its own quiddity, its own interior authority, and if the writer does not obey this authority she ruins the book. A Man of...

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