wed 01/02/2023

drama

A Christmas Carol, RSC, Stratford review - family show eases back the terror and winds up the politics

Life is full of coincidences and contradictions. As I was walking to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on his feet in the House of Commons delivering yet another rebalancing of individual and collective resources. On...

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Here, Southwark Playhouse review - award-winning kitchen sink drama goes down the drain

The kitchen sink drama has been a standby of English theatre for 70 years or more, but not always with an actual sink on stage. But there it is, in an everyday home that harbours a secret or two in Clive Judd’s debut play, the winner of the 2022...

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The Doctor, Duke of York's Theatre review - Juliet Stevenson will see you now

Robert Icke is an expert in corporate tragedy. I don’t mean that in a bad way - just that he has a penchant for taking classics (Hamlet, The Oresteia, Mary Stuart) and transporting them, with the help of designer Hildegard Bechtler, to the frosted-...

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Rose Theatre review - new production of classic proves a gruelling experience

Brecht – as I suppose he intended – is always a shock to the system. With not a word on what to expect from his commitment to the strictures of epic theatre in the programme, a star of West End musical theatre cast in the lead and a venue...

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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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