fri 29/07/2016

Kate Bassett

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Bio
Kate is an arts journalist and a drama critic for The Times. She has written on theatre, film, books, dance and comedy for the Telegraph, Independent on Sunday, New Statesman etc. Her book In Two Minds: A Biography of Jonathan Miller was shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize, Sheridan Morley Prize and HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize in 2013.

Articles by Kate Bassett

Treasure Island, National Theatre

This isn't just a piratical treasure hunt. The NT is also on a rescue mission. The master plan here is, surely, to retrieve Robert Louis Stevenson's vintage adventure story about buccaneers and...

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Blithe Spirit, Gielgud Theatre

Maybe, just maybe, Noël Coward is scarier than you think. As a rule of thumb, when ghosts feature in plays, they're meant to be creepy as hell, calling for some horrid crime to be revenged, and/or a...

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1984, Almeida Theatre

Winston Smith is alone. Isolated in a pool of light, with an anglepoise lamp at his shoulder, he is about to pen the first entry in his private diary. But he is, of course, being watched. Mark...

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The Duck House, Vaudeville Theatre

This political satire is hardly a case of rapid-response playwriting. Opening in London's West End last night, after a month touring the regions,The Duck House is a farce about a fictional MP caught...

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From Morning to Midnight, National Theatre

We first see the bank clerk, who can’t bear his dull life, serving behind the cashier's till, like an automaton. In Melly Still's hugely inventive, visually stunning multimedia production of...

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Henry V, Noel Coward Theatre

It has been a hard slog, but he's emerging victorious in the end. Essentially, Shakespeare's Henry V tracks a military campaign. In Act One, the eponymous king declares war on France. By Act Five,...

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Home, Arcola Theatre

This is a strange one. Precious little happens and, in some ways, little is said in David Storey's muted chamber play from 1970. Two men named Harry and Jack – getting on in years, but keeping...

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The Scottsboro Boys, Young Vic

Forever breaking into song and dance, musicals are fun, fun, fun. They are primarily what folks go to for uplifting entertainment, are they not? Actually, many of the best aren't anything like that...

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The Light Princess, National Theatre

Once upon a time, there were two cultures, and they were at odds. A forested wilderness stretches between the kingdoms of Sealand and Lagobel, as we glean from the childishly-drawn, giant map that...

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The Commitments, Palace Theatre

The setting is Dublin. We're talking modern-day and down-at-heel in this major new musical which has a deliberately scruffy look – with a launderette glowing in the dark and a concrete, four-storey...

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The Lightning Child, Shakespeare's Globe

Having boundaries actually sets us free. So Neil Armstrong's wife argues. She is dogmatically keen to stop her husband rocketing off to the moon in the first scene of The Lightning Child – a...

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Farragut North, Southwark Playhouse

They’re eating out of the palm of his hand. Or so he thinks. Stephen Bellamy is a spin doctor, only 25 years old but already a hotshot in American electioneering. At the off, in Beau Willimon’s...

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Eddie Izzard, Wembley Arena

Eddie Izzard is lining up his targets. He’s taking issue with dictatorial authority figures, with God, royals and priests, right-wingers and high-profile liars. These days, he doesn’t merely natter...

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Extract: In Two Minds - Jonathan Miller

When I first mentioned to a colleague that I was embarking on a biography of the doctor/director Jonathan Miller, he instantly yelped, “My God, your work’s cut out! The man must have met half the...

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Simon Munnery, Soho Theatre

Bubbles are emanating from Simon Munnery's head. They're streaming out of a huge, black stovepipe hat which he has cobbled together from cardboard and sticky tape. He has also slung an electric...

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Sam Simmons, Soho Theatre

Sam Simmons: the award-winning Australian gives a deliberately shamateur performance

The award-winning Australian comedian Sam Simmons is shuffling around in a pair of bread loaves. He's wearing them like slippers and trying to take bites out of them at the same time. Indeed, his...

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How to contact Kate Bassett

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Bland taste to this breakfast starring Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly

Kommilitonen, Welsh National Youth Opera, Barry

Student opera triumphs over the confusions of audience promenading

Rotterdam, Trafalgar Studios

New drama about a transgender lesbian is hugely enjoyable

DVD: Mapplethorpe - Look at the Pictures

Definitive account of America's most controversial photographer

Masters of the Pacific Coast: The Tribes of the American Nor...

Fascinating revelations about the rich culture of America's little-kno...

The Commune

Thomas Vinterberg gently examines free love's cost in 1970s Copenhagen

Béatrice et Bénédict, Glyndebourne

Vin ordinaire all round in what should be a sparking if undramatic caprice

The Plough and the Stars, National Theatre

Revival of Sean O’Casey’s modern classic is relevant, but a bit sombre

CD: Sonzeira – Tam Tam Tam Reimagined

Brilliant re-working of epochal 1950s album

Half A Sixpence, Chichester Festival Theatre

The Tommy Steele musical gets a triumphant, banjo-rehabilitating refresh