wed 13/12/2017

Royal Court

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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Anatomy of a Suicide, Royal Court review - devastatingly brilliant

Dorothy Parker’s take on suicide is called “Resumé”: it goes, “Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live.” Although this seems to cover 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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Manwatching, Royal Court review - the vagina manologues

This monologue first saw the light of day at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. It's a frank – very frank – piece about female sexuality by an anonymous heterosexual female author, performed by a different male comic each night, who reads it sight unseen...

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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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