sat 18/05/2024

farce

Pandemonium, Soho Theatre review - satire needs a shot of Pfizer's finest to revive tired storylines

In 2020, throughout the country, many people’s lives were affected adversely by an ever-present threat to our already fragile society. Though most got over it, many people still bear the cost every day, sapping them of energy, making them cough and...

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Mathias Énard: The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers' Guild review - a man of infinite death

"Death, as a general statement, is so easy of utterance, of belief", wrote Amy Levy, "it is only when we come face to face with it that we find the great mystery so cruelly hard to realise; for death, like love, is ever old and ever new". In Mathias...

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Oh What A Lovely War, Southwark Playhouse review - 60 years on, the old warhorse can still bare its teeth

In Annus Mirabilis, Philip Larkin wrote,"So life was never better than In nineteen sixty-three (Though just too late for me) – Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP."That might be the only point...

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La Cage Aux Folles, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - 40 years on, the drag show still entertains and educates

Forty years ago, the world was very different for gay men. AIDS was devastating their communities, especially in the big cities where hard-won enclaves of acceptance were being hollowed out, one sunken-eyed friend after another. Media screamed “Gay...

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Tony Williams: Cole the Magnificent - fantastical tale blends myth, poetry and comedy

Cole the Magnificent is a picaresque, fantastical tale of the life (or lives) of a man, Cole, following his adventures as he progresses through a mythical pre-Norman Britain, from adolescence to old age, and beyond. It is episodic and poetic, by...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2023 reviews: The Grand Old Opera House Hotel / YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

The Grand Old Opera House Hotel, Traverse Theatre ★★★The Traverse Theatre’s biggest, most lavish production for the 2023 festival is bold, colourful and joyful. It’s also, however, a somewhat patchy creation. Aaron (a gangly, gormless Ali...

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The Unfriend, Criterion Theatre review - dark comedy is (largely) audience-unfriendly

We all have that friend. The person you met on holiday and couldn’t shake off. You added each other on Facebook, but they posted so much you’ve quietly unfollowed them. You can’t quite bring yourself to unfriend them, though. In The Unfriend, a new...

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The Tempest, Shakespeare's Globe review - occasional gales of laughter drown out subtlety

Alexei Sayle, in his angry young man phase, once said that you can always tell when you’re watching a Shakespeare comedy, because NOBODY'S LAUGHING. That’s not entirely true, of course, but sometimes a director has to go looking for the LOLs and...

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The Comeback, Noël Coward Theatre review - frantic farce with touches of vaudeville

Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen together form The Pin, a sketch duo who have won much critical acclaim and full houses in the Edinburgh Fringe shows. They have also added a huge social media following in 2020 with their lockdown skits spoofing the new...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2019 review: Crocodile Fever

Chekhov famously pronounced that if you’re going to bring a gun on stage, you’ve got to use it. Is the same true for a chainsaw? To discover the answer, just head along to Meghan Tyler’s wild, over-the-top, gruesome Crocodile Fever at the...

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Noises Off, Lyric Hammersmith review - farce doesn't catch fire

Michael Frayn's Noises Off is a modern classic, a backstage sex farce that pokes affectionate fun at a profession he loves. And now Jeremy Herrin, one of our most accomplished directors, revives it for Lyric Hammersmith, where the play was premiered...

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The Glass Piano, Print Room at The Coronet review – fascinating story undermined by absurdism

Often the greatest works of dramatic absurdism spring from the worst extremes of human experience, whether it’s Ionesco’s Rhinoceros responding to fascism, or Havel’s The Garden Party satirising the irrational cruelties of Prague’s Soviet occupiers...

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