tue 27/09/2022

drama

The Two Popes, Rose Theatre review - sparkling with wit and pathos

It can’t have been an easy pitch. “Popes. Both foreign, yes. German and Argentinian – sorry, can’t change either. Eighty-something and the other’s a decade younger. Mainly just talking about their pasts and their different approaches to Roman...

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Where the Crawdads Sing review - picturesque film glosses over its darker themes

Derived from Delia Owens’s massively successful novel, Where the Crawdads Sing is the story of Kya Clark, a girl from an abusive, broken home in the North Carolina marshlands who raises herself almost single-handedly. The few people she encounters...

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The Dance of Death, Arcola Theatre review - hate sustains a marriage in new version of Strindberg classic

Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of August Strindberg's 1900 paean to the power of loathing over loving uses the now familiar trick of dressing characters in period detail while giving them the full range of the 21st century's argot of disdain and...

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The White Card, Soho Theatre review - expelling the audience from its comfort zone

We’re in New York City, in an upscale loft apartment, with that absence of stuff that speaks of a power to acquire anything. There are paintings on the walls, but we see only their descriptions: we learn that the owner (curator, in his word) really...

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Girl on an Altar, Kiln Theatre review - machismo, murder and motherhood in mesmerising myth

Playwrights return to classical myths for two main reasons – to shine a light on how we live today and because they're bloody good yarns.Marina Carr's re-telling of Clytemnestra's story is boldly innovative in its conception and execution, but...

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Bliss, Finborough Theatre review - bleak but tender

When Bliss, a new play adapted from an Andrei Platonov short story by Fraser Grace, made its debut in Russia in early 2020, Cambridge-based company Menagerie were told that their production was “very Russian”.I’m no expert on Russian culture, but I...

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Tom Fool, Orange Tree Theatre review - testing family values

It’s not hard to see, watching Tom Fool at the Orange Tree Theatre, why Franz Xaver Kroetz is one of Germany’s most staged playwrights.Born in Munich in 1946, he’s known for unflinching portrayals of poverty and what it does to people. Directed...

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Three Floors review - nothing like good neighbours

A speeding drunk driver arrows down a silent street into a Roman block of flats. The impact’s reverberations ripple through the next 10 years, in Nanni Moretti’s soulful, Italian all-star adaptation of Eshkol Nevo’s novel, Three Floors Up.The...

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After the End, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - suddenly relevant two-hander

Mark was teased about the fallout shelter at the bottom of his garden by his co-workers (that wasn’t the only thing – every friendship group has a target for micro-aggressions) but his foresight pays off when terrorists explode a suitcase bomb on a...

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What If If Only, Royal Court review - short if not sweet

Few sights speak so eloquently of loss, of an especially cruel and painful loss, as one glass of wine, half-full, alone on a table. A man speaks to a partner who isn’t there, wishes her back, but knows that she has gone. Then another woman...

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How to Survive an Apocalypse, Finborough Theatre review - millenarian millennials

Despite its painfully relevant title, How To Survive An Apocalypse was written in 2016. If only Canadian playwright Jordan Hall knew, eh? The end times aren’t just creeping but hurtling towards us, these days. Luckily for those weary of Covid...

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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare for this time of year. Will Sharpe, best-known for directing the dark...

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