fri 22/06/2018

Theatre Reviews

The Great Wave, National Theatre review - moving epic of global loss

aleks Sierz

You could call it an absence of yellow. Until very recently British theatre has been pretty poor at representing the stories of Chinese and East Asian people, and even of British East Asians. In 2016, Andrew Lloyd Webber called British theatre “hideously white” and, despite the sterling work of groups such as Yellow Earth theatre company, there have been several casting controversies where white actors have played Chinese and East Asian characters.

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Hamlet, RSC, Hackney Empire review - Paapa Essiedu's winning Dane

Matt Wolf

Shakespeare's death-laden play is alive and well and breathing with renewed force in Hackney, the last British stop for an RSC touring Hamlet that moves on from London to the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC in May.

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Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: A Reimagining, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - a gentle exploration of life, love and death

alexandra Coghlan

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining – it’s not a title that trips off the tongue. Nor one, frankly, that inspires much excitement, with its clunky functionality and on-trend buzzword. But set that aside and buy a ticket immediately, because Gyre & Gimble have made magic with their latest show.

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Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out

Katherine Waters

Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing at Hoxton Hall. It’s kind of a treat, and kind of not.

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Humble Boy, Orange Tree Theatre review - love, death and science in Middle England

aleks Sierz

Good programming is an art, and Paul Miller – artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre – is clearly on a continuous roll with his inspired mixing of the old and the new, forgotten classics and new voices, revivals and premieres. And he loves to take risks.

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Brief Encounter, Empire Cinema review – poignant, hilarious revival

Heather Neill

It would be so easy to make fun of the 1945 Noel Coward/ David Lean film in which, famously, nothing happens between two guilt-ridden married lovers. That oh-so-British middle class restraint, those flet, perfectly enunciated vowels, the overwhelming romantic rush of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 – isn’t it all a bit OTT, just crying out for a French-and-Saunders-style send-up?

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Returning to Haifa, Finborough Theatre review - a bumpy journey into the Arab-Israeli past

Jenny Gilbert

This year the state of Israel marks its 70th birthday. Which means it will also be the year Palestinians remember the Nakba, the catastrophe, the mass dispossession.

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Macbeth, National Theatre - Rufus Norris goes for drab, gory and tricksy

ismene Brown

Fair is foul and foul is drab, gory and tricksy in Rufus Norris’s first stab at Shakespeare direction at the National Theatre, Macbeth.

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Summer and Smoke, Almeida Theatre - exquisite renaissance of Tennessee Williams's neglected play

Marianka Swain

That this 1948 Tennessee Williams play is rarely performed seems nothing short of a travesty, thanks to the awe-inspiring case made for it by Rebecca Frecknall’s exquisite Almeida production.

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The Best Man, Playhouse Theatre review - Gore Vidal’s plodding presidential drama

aleks Sierz

Is it possible to get too much of American politics?

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