thu 05/08/2021

Almeida Theatre

Hymn, Almeida Theatre online review - highs and lows of a soulful brother bonding

Contact without touch: among the many readjustments that the pandemic has brought to theatre, its demands that restrict direct contact almost to nothing must be among the most testing. We have learnt much about how rigorously any new production –...

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Nine Lessons and Carols, Almeida Theatre review – spiky portrayal of a world turned upside down

How do you create a secular version of the Nine Lessons and Carols? The original can feel like a formulaic trot through tunes and stories as stale as fossilised mince-pies. Yet it helps to remember that in essence it reflects on the story of a world...

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Theatre Unlocked 4: Shows in concert and a contemporary classic comes to TV

After months spent sifting amongst the virtual, I'm pleased to report that live performance looks to be on the (socially distanced) rebound. The week ahead sees the start of a six-week run at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park of the alfresco...

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Albion, Almeida Theatre review - more rewarding and resonant than ever

It's not been three years since Albion premiered at the Almeida Theatre, since which time Brexit has happened and, not without coincidence, Mike Bartlett's time-specific play is beginning to look like one for the ages. Set amongst a...

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The Duchess of Malfi, Almeida Theatre review - a radically original perspective on Webster's tragedy

This play can be a challenge for modern audiences: a woman who is ostensibly in a position of power, "a prince" in Renaissance terms, is nevertheless constrained by social expectations and a prisoner of the will of her overbearing brothers. A widow...

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Vassa, Almeida Theatre review - delayed opening doesn't land

Even the mighty Almeida is allowed the occasional dud and it’s sure as hell got one at the moment with Vassa. Maxim Gorky’s 1910 play (rewritten in 1935) about a matriarch in extremis some years back proved a stonking West End star vehicle...

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The Doctor, Almeida Theatre review - Robert Icke's long goodbye

After six years, associate director Robert Icke bids farewell to the Almeida Theatre. In this time he has pioneered contemporary versions of classic stories, such as 1984, Oresteia, Uncle Vanya, Mary Stuart and Hamlet with Andrew Scott. Against the...

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The Hunt, Almeida Theatre review - tense Scandinoirland drama

For a while, child abuse has been banished from our stages. After all, there is a limit, surely, to how much pain audiences can be put through. Now, however, the subject is back, thanks to the Almeida Theatre's new stage adaptation of the 2012...

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Three Sisters, Almeida Theatre review - middle of the road with flashes of magic

About a year ago, director Rebecca Frecknall electrified this venue with an award-winning revival of Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke, rescuing the play from obscurity and showcasing the star qualities of actor Patsy Ferran. Now Frecknall and...

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Shipwreck, Almeida Theatre review - Trump-inflected fantasia mixes the polemical and the poetic

Just when you think you may have heard (and seen) enough of Donald J Trump to last a lifetime, along comes Anne Washburn's ceaselessly smart and tantalising Shipwreck to focus renewed attention on the psychic fallout left by 45. How did we get here...

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Best of 2018: Theatre

Will pride of place amongst theatre productions every year go in perpetuity to the work of Stephen Sondheim? One might be tempted to think so given the preeminence during 2017 of Dominic Cooke's breathtaking revival of Follies (due back in the...

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The Tragedy of King Richard II, Almeida Theatre review - Simon Russell Beale leads revelatory interpretation

Joe Hill-Gibbins’ uncompromising production of The Tragedy of Richard II hurtles through Shakespeare’s original text, stripping and flaying it so it is revealed in a new shuddering light. Narcissistic, petulant and indecisive, Simon Russell Beale’s...

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