sat 17/02/2018

Royal Court

Girls & Boys, Royal Court review - Carey Mulligan is stunningly brilliant

This is Carey Mulligan week. She appears, improbably enough, as a hard-nosed cop in David Hare’s BBC thriller Collateral, as well as onstage at the Royal Court in London’s Sloane Square (she’s much better live than on film). In a 90-minute monologue...

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Gundog, Royal Court review - tedious and inconsequential

First the goats, and now the sheep – has this venue become an urban farm? Rural life, which was once so central to our English pastoral culture, is now largely absent from metropolitan stages. And from our culture. Apart from The Archers or the...

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Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Royal Court review - iconic 1980s title makes a welcome return

The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start. For a while, it looked as if this fresh appraisal of a benchmark 1982 Court title would close on the road, a casualty of the...

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My Mum's a Twat, Royal Court review - Patsy Ferran shines in a solo play that looks back in anger

That ages-old dictum "write what you know" has given rise to the intriguingly titled My Mum's a Twat, in which the Royal Court's delightful head of press, Anoushka Warden, here turns first-time playwright, much as the Hampstead Theatre's then-press...

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Best of 2017: Theatre

Year-end wrap-ups function as both remembrances of things past and time capsules, attempts to preserve an experience to which audiences, for the most part, have said farewell. (It's different, of course, for films, which remain available to us...

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Goats, Royal Court review - unfocused and muddled

The civil war in Syria spawns image after image of hell on earth. Staging the stories of that conflict presents a challenge to playwrights: how do you write about horror in a way that is both accurate and entertaining? Goats, by Syrian playwright...

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Bad Roads, Royal Court, review – memorably unsettling

War is morally acidic: it dissolves social rules, loosens inhibitions and gives permission to men to behave like animals. And the people who have to put up with this deluge of amorality and abuse are, of course, women. It is one of the strengths of...

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'I come from there': how the Royal Court brought home plays from Ukraine, Chile and Syria

The autumn season of plays at the Royal Court leads with international work. B by Guillermo Calderón (from Chile), Bad Roads by Natal'ya Vorozhbit (from Ukraine) and Goats by Liwaa Yazji (from Syria) have a long history with our international...

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Victory Condition, Royal Court review - Ballardian vision of the contemporary

What does it mean to feel contemporary? Feel. Contemporary. According to theatre-maker Chris Thorpe, whose new play Victory Condition has just opened at the Royal Court in tandem with Guillermo Calderón’s B, being contemporary is a really disturbing...

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B, Royal Court review - intriguing, ironical, but flawed

In the 1960s, we had the theatre of commitment; today we have an attitude of non-committal. Once, political playwrights could be guaranteed to tell you what to think, to describe what was wrong with society – and what to do about it. Now, as Chilean...

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Road, Royal Court review - poetry amidst the pain

Who'd have guessed that the London theatre scene at present would be so devoted to the numinous? Hard on the heels of Girl from the North Country, which locates moments of transcendence in hard-scrabble Depression-era lives, along comes John Tiffany...

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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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