sun 26/05/2019

Theatre Reviews

The Lehman Trilogy, Piccadilly Theatre review - stunning chronicle of determination and dollars

Rachel Halliburton

Mammon and Yahweh are the presiding deities over an epic enterprise that tells the story not just of three brothers who founded a bank but of modern America. Virgil asked his Muse to sing of ‘arms and the man’, yet here the theme becomes that of ‘markets and the man’: a tale of daring, determination and dollars that chronicles capitalist endeavour from the cottonfields of Alabama to the crash of 2008.

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Superhoe, Brighton Festival 2019 review - a darkly vital one-woman show

Thomas H Green

Tonight comes with a caveat, delivered before proceedings begin by the one-woman show’s writer and performer Nicôle Lecky, who’s sitting in a chair centre-stage. She damaged her foot during Sunday’s matinee at the Brighton Festival, dancing about, and has since had to do the whole thing seated.

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ANNA, National Theatre review - great thriller, shame about the tone

aleks Sierz

Stasiland is a fascinating mental space. As a historical location, the former East Germany, or GDR, is the archetypal surveillance state, in which each citizen spies on each other citizen, even if they are intellectual dissidents. The Communist state acts like Big Brother, keeping tabs on everyone. This was memorably invoked by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in his 2006 film debut, The Lives of Others.

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Gravity & Other Myths: Backbone, Brighton Festival 2019 review - eyeboggling and very human circus show

Thomas H Green

Shows by Gravity & Other Myths fall into the realm of “contemporary circus”. It’s an off-putting moniker, bringing to mind a performance where there’s no clowning but quite possibly much “thought-provoking” interpretive dance.

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salt., Royal Court review - revisiting the Atlantic slave trade

aleks Sierz

Most of the facts about the Atlantic slave trade are well known; what is less easily understood is how history can make a person feel today. A question which invites an experimental approach in which you test out emotions on your own body. In 2016, the artist Selina Thompson did just that.

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White Pearl, Royal Court review - comic racial stereotypes

aleks Sierz

Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone's commitment to staging a diversity of new voices is very laudable, and with White Pearl she has found a show that is original in setting, if not in theme. Written by Anchuli Felicia King, a New York-based, multidisciplinary artist of Thai-Australian descent, this international playwriting debut is a comic satire on the cosmetics industry and race in a South-East Asian setting.

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My Left Right Foot: The Musical, Brighton Festival 2019 review - foul-mouthed comic brilliance

Thomas H Green

My Left Right Foot tiptoes right to the precipice of massive offense. For some, it tumbles right in. During the interval audience members can be heard tutting at the amount of times “the c-word” is casually thrown around. But it’s not just the swearing.

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Orpheus Descending, Menier Chocolate Factory review - Tennessee Williams scorcher needs more firepower

Matt Wolf

Where would Tennessee Williams's onetime flop be without the British theatre to rehabilitate it on an ongoing basis?

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Henry IV Parts 1 & 2/Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe review - helter-skelter ensemble history trilogy

Heather Neill A

Henry IV Part One (***)

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The Firm, Hampstead Theatre review - ferociously funny exploration of gang culture

Rachel Halliburton

We are living in a time when gang culture rips and roars its way down London streets, and through newspaper headlines, at increasingly alarming levels. Recent news reports revealed how a surge in knife and gun crime is leading to more young black men being murdered in the capital than anywhere else in the country, with problems increasingly amplified by social media and drugs money.

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