fri 17/08/2018

Theatre Reviews

The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's Globe review - a chilly tale for a time of austerity

alexandra Coghlan

“A sad tale’s best for winter,” Leontes’ young son Mamillius tells us. By that logic the current summer heatwave should be bringing us a Winter’s Tale overflowing with joy – the songs of Bohemia drowning out the shouted accusations and desperate howls of Sicilia. But that’s not what director Blanche McIntyre has in mind.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wilton's Music Hall review - a stereotype-smashing evening of pagan delights

Rachel Halliburton

The Faction’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a production in which women are more likely to kick ass than sleep with one – a muscular, mischievous take on the Bard’s most light-hearted play about forbidden love.

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Genesis Inc, Hampstead Theatre review - Harry Enfield in ungodly mess

aleks Sierz

We are now pretty familiar with the idea that human reproduction (making babies) has been turned into big business, and there have already been several good recent plays about desperate couples and surrogacy – Vivienne Franzmann’s Bodies and Satinder Chohan’s Made in India – so is there any more to be said about giving nature a helping hand?

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Fun Home, Young Vic review - a simply sublime musical memoir

Marianka Swain

It seems only too fitting that David Lan’s luminous reign at the Young Vic should draw to a close with this bold, creatively thrilling international import.

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One for Sorrow, Royal Court review - imploding family drama

aleks Sierz

It’s the stuff of nightmares. There’s a massive explosion, the sound of smashing glass, falling debris and police sirens. Gunshots. Panic in the streets. It could be the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, in which the Bataclan venue was the scene of a massacre, except this time it’s happening in London. Yes, the stuff of nightmares.

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The Town Hall Affair, The Wooster Group, Barbican review - electric anarchy

Rachel Halliburton

Iconoclasm, orgasms, and rampant rhetoric are all on irrepressible display in The Wooster Group’s recreation of the 1971 Manhattan debate that pitted Norman Mailer against some of the leading feminists of the day.

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Finishing the Picture, Finborough Theatre review - projections in a realm of mirrors

Katherine Waters

In the early 20th century, Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov spliced together images of people looking at things with a bowl of soup, a woman on a divan and an open casket. Each object represented a different emotional state – hunger, desire and grief – but each subject “looking” at the object was the exact same image, repeated. The cast-down eyes implied to be considering nourishment were the exact same eyes that appeared to stare in utter loss at death.

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Kiss Me, Kate, Opera North, London Coliseum review - Cole Porter delivered in true company style

David Nice

First palpable hit of the evening: a full orchestra in the pit under hyper-alert Opera North stalwart James Holmes, saxophones deliciously rampant. Second hit: they've got the miking of the voices right (very rare in West End shows). Third: the first ensemble number, "Another opening, another show", sends spirits soaring.

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Julius Caesar, BBC Four review - electrifying TV launch of all-women Shakespeare trilogy

David Nice

Who would have thought, when Phyllida Lloyd's Donmar Julius Caesar opened to justified fanfare, that two more Shakespeare masterpieces would be sustained no less powerfully within the women's-prison context over the following years?

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English, Festival of Voice, Wales Millennium Centre review – lost in language

Owen Richards

Despite the Welsh repute for singing, the Festival of Voice in Cardiff has always been more than just music.

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