sun 27/05/2018

Hampstead Theatre

Describe the Night, Hampstead Theatre review - epic take on the mythology of Putin

Five years ago, when New York playwright Rajiv Joseph started on his fantasy disquisition on truth, lies and the recent history of Russia, no one was talking about a new Cold War and trump was still a thing you did in a game of cards. Now, at the...

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Caroline, or Change, Hampstead Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke conquers

It's long been a theatrical given, especially in musicals, that characters need to be seen to change: a climactic duo in the eternally crowd-pulling Wicked makes that abundantly clear. ("Because I knew you," goes the lyric, "I have been changed for...

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Dry Powder/Yous Two, Hampstead Theatre review - Hayley Atwell has competition

Sometimes it pays to come in under the radar. By way of proof consider two simultaneous Hampstead Theatre premieres, one boasting star wattage courtesy Hayley Atwell fresh off TV's Howards End, the other a debut play from a young writer...

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Best of 2017: Theatre

Year-end wrap-ups function as both remembrances of things past and time capsules, attempts to preserve an experience to which audiences, for the most part, have said farewell. (It's different, of course, for films, which remain available to us...

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Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre review - intriguing yet opaque

The play that famously got away when one of its stars (quite literally) jumped ship is back. In 1995, Stephen Fry abandoned the West End premiere of Simon Gray's espionage drama Cell Mates, leaving co-star Rik Mayall in the lurch and prompting Gray...

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The Slaves of Solitude, Hampstead Theatre review - crude, over-dramatic and under-motivated

The Second World War is central to our national imagination, yet it has been oddly absent from our stages recently. Not any more. Nicholas Wright’s new play, an adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s 1947 novel about lonely English women and American...

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Prism, Hampstead Theatre review - a life through the lens

Jack Cardiff was one of the all-time greats of cinematography, the man who shot such Powell and Pressburger classics as The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death, worked on John Huston’s The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine...

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Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious

As with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls that get thrown our way, the American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins defies categorisation. On the basis of barely a handful of plays, two of which happen now...

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Kiss Me, Trafalgar Studios review - Richard Bean two-hander is affecting if slight

Hampstead Theatre Downstairs' habit of sending shows southward to Trafalgar Studios continues with Richard Bean's Kiss Me. A character study set in post-World War One London, it's a two-hander concerning the attempts of a war widow to conceive a...

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Deposit, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - capital's housing crisis lands centre-stage

Matt Hartley's personal take on London's housing crisis returns to the Hampstead Theatre's studio space downstairs and is sure to hit audiences where, so to speak, they live. First seen at the same address in a production not open to the press, the...

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Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre review - vivid outline in search of a fuller play

"This is the most fun province in Iraq" isn't the sort of sentence you hear every day on a London stage. On the basis of geographical breadth alone, one applauds Occupational Hazards, in which playwright Stephen Brown adapts global adventurer-turned...

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'Backstabbing, betrayal and love': Ryan Craig on Filthy Business

The monster has come alive and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Thirteen actors playing three generations of a very explosive family arrive in full period costume. Towering Dexion shelving units, heaving with foam and cushions and fabrics and...

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