fri 24/03/2017

Royal Court

The Kid Stays in the Picture, Royal Court, review – ‘sad, bad and sprawling’

The beauty of fiction is that its stories have both compelling shape and deep meaning – they are dramas where things feel right and true and real. The trouble with real life is that it’s the opposite: it is messy, frequently shapeless and often...

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A Profoundly Affectionate, Passionate Devotion to Someone (–noun), Royal Court Theatr

Love, we know, will tear us apart again. And again. And yet again. It will shred our nerves and rip through our guts; it will fill us with anguish, and then douse us in regrets. It will expose our weaknesses, and then make us say what we can never...

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Wish List, Royal Court Theatre

You could call it the Corbynisation of new writing. In the past couple of years, a series of plays have plumbed the lower depths, looking at the subject of good people trapped in zero-hour contracts and terrible working conditions. Like Ken Loach’s...

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Best of 2016: Theatre

Life threw numerous, possibly irrevocable curveballs at us all during 2016, which in turn made one even more aware of how lucky we were to find ourselves in the midst of so much sustenance by way of art. Time and again throughout the year, one...

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The Pass

John Donnelly’s play The Pass scored a slate of five-star reviews when it ran at the Royal Court early last year – theartsdesk called it “scorching” – and plaudits for Russell Tovey’s central performance were practically stellar (“a star performance...

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The Children, Royal Court Theatre

Over the past decade, one new theme in particular has emerged in contemporary British new writing: generational conflict. In several bright new offerings – such as James Graham’s The Whisky Taster (2010) and Mike Bartlett’s Love, Love, Love (2012...

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The Sewing Group, Royal Court Theatre

The beauty of the past is that it’s a foreign country, and you don’t need a visa to visit it. With the free movement of the imagination you can conjure up life as it might have once been experienced. You can even join a re-enactment society. In the...

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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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Harrogate, Royal Court Theatre

What’s incest got to do with a town in North Yorkshire? At first this seems a reasonable question to ask of Al Smith’s brilliantly written, if a little bit tricksy, play, which begins somewhere nearer to Guilford than to Leeds. The central character...

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Torn, Royal Court Theatre

The family is a war zone. Bam, bam, bam. For some people, it can be the most dangerous place on earth. Its weapons include domination and betrayal, blackmail and abuse, and its frontline is memory – what really happened, and who is most to blame? In...

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Unreachable, Royal Court Theatre

There are obvious reasons why films about the theatre outnumber plays about the movie industry, but here’s a play that bucks that trend. Anthony Neilson’s latest drama is located on a film set somewhere distant, hot and challenging but doesn’t allow...

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Opinion: Post-Brexit, we need theatre more than ever

In seeking to understand the historic, divisive and to some bewildering Brexit vote, I will turn to theatre. Through my regular exposure to it, I can number among my ever-widening acquaintance a young king, a whistleblower, a minimum-wage movie...

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