mon 23/09/2019

farce

theartsdesk in Wexford: European opera feast

At the Wexford Opera Festival this autumn you could see a bicentenary performance of Verdi’s La traviata. Likewise Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. But that’s not why Ireland’s operatic showpiece is one of the most famous, admired and respected events...

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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Duchess Theatre

Arturo Ui, king of the Chicago cabbage trade, is Brecht’s Richard III. Egad, he even speaks in iambic pentameters, with a fair few nods at Shakespeare, though a certain cowlick and moustache locate him firmly at the centre of the 20th century...

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Sauce for the Goose, Orange Tree Theatre

"Doors and sardines. Getting on, getting off. Getting the sardines on, getting the sardines off. That's farce. That's the theatre. That's life." So says one of Michael Frayn's characters in Noises Off. In Sam Walters's giddy revival of Georges...

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The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

What is truth? Is it fixed or fluid, personal or universal? Does it require hard evidence or merely faith? These are the areas of interest poked and prodded in this co-production between the Traverse and Peepolykus, the company which previously...

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LFF 2012: In the House

Balancing cool calculation with a touch of Potiche’s farce, In the House (Dans la Maison) sees French director François Ozon return to the story-within-a-story structure and enigmatic imposter subject matter of Swimming Pool.It stars Fabrice Luchini...

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Holy Motors

Stop me if you know this one. What do you get if you combine Gallic absurdity with a pristine, pouting Eva Mendes and Kylie as a suicidal chanteuse? The answer, it turns out, is gloriously unpredictable entertainment – by turns satirical, melancholy...

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What the Butler Saw, Vaudeville Theatre

Clothes are shed, sensibilities skewered and political correctness defiantly ignored in this latest London revival of Joe Orton's wonderful play (the fourth, for what it's worth, in the capital during my time). But what most distinguishes Sean Foley...

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The Descendants

“Paradise can go fuck itself”: the candid words of a disillusioned middle-aged man in director Alexander Payne’s latest road-to-redemption dramedy. He’s referring to the irritating presumption that Hawaii’s idyllic surroundings in some way shield...

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2011: A Demon Barber, Demented Comedy and a Dogged Detective

In a year when there was precious little to laugh at economy-wise, some funny men and women were doing their best to keep our chuckle muscles in working order - although, strangely, you may think, few stand-ups were doing overtly political comedy -...

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2011: Farce, Fire and Fast Cars

Every now and again there's a TV series that lives up to the hype, and in 2011 it was Channel 4's Top Boy.  Although this crushing saga of gang violence, drug dealing and conflicted loyalties in Hackney was written by Irishman Ronan Bennett, it...

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Noises Off, Old Vic

The play-within-a-play device has honourable antecedents - playwrights from Thomas Kyd and Anton Chekhov through to Bertolt Brecht and Tennessee Williams have flirted with it, while Shakespeare loved it so much that he used it in several of his...

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You Can't Take It With You, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Oh, the joys of eccentricity. Welcome to the Vanderhof family of misfits. The head of the household, Grandpa Martin, refuses to pay any taxes, preferring to keep snakes on a hatstand. Good for frightening off the tax inspector, who unexpectedly...

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