mon 23/05/2022

National Theatre

The Father and the Assassin, National Theatre review - Gandhi's killer puts his case in a bold, whirlwind production

The young Indian man stepping towards us on the vast Olivier stage is unremarkable enough, slight and boyish in manner. When he speaks he is direct, even cheeky: he wants us to like him. But this is Nathuram Godse, Gandhi's blood-stained murderer....

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Middle, National Theatre review - a bit of a muddle

The traditional, and much derided, well-made play is meant to have a beginning, middle and end. Although playwright David Eldridge often writes in opposition to these outdate forms, his trilogy about relationships, which started in 2017 with the hit...

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The Corn Is Green, National Theatre review – Nicola Walker teaches a life lesson

Let’s talk repertoire. Over the past decade the range of British plays, especially those from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, has shrunk in state-subsidized theatres. You can no longer easily see work by Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Restoration...

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Our Generation, National Theatre review - Alecky Blythe captures the world of teenagers today

Do you happily binge four hours of mind-candy TV in one sitting? Alecky Blythe’s latest verbatim play, Our Generation – which runs for 3hr 45min at the Dorfman space of the National Theatre – might take almost as long but will probably be much more...

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Small Island, National Theatre review - visually ravishing tale with an epic sweep

With its violent storms, bombed out cities and stories of families ripped apart by war, Small Island feels very much like a play for our times. From its stunning opening, in which the frantic silhouettes of humans are interwoven with black-and-white...

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Wuthering Heights, National Theatre review - too much heat, not enough light

“If you want romance,” the cast of Emma Rice’s new version of Wuthering Heights say in unison just after the interval, “go to Cornwall.” They’re using the modern definition of romance, of course – Emily Brontë’s novel is full of the original meaning...

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Trouble in Mind, National Theatre review - race, rage and relevance

The National Theatre has a good record in staging classic American drama by black playwrights. James Baldwin's The Amen Corner, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs have all had terrific new stagings. Now it’s...

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Stephen Sondheim in memoriam - he gave us more to see

It seemed impossible and yet, the other evening, while idly flicking through emails, I learned the unimaginable: Stephen Sondheim, age 91, had passed away. And very quickly by all accounts, given that he was reported to have enjoyed a Thanksgiving...

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Manor, National Theatre review – ambitious, but unconvincing

After all the tides of monologue plays have ebbed, British new writing is now paddling in the pools of state-of-the-nation drama. At the Royal Court, there is Al Smith’s Rare Earth Mettle, while the National Theatre is staging Moira Buffini’s Manor...

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Death of England: Face to Face, National Theatre at Home review - anti-racist trilogy ends with a bang

One of the absolute highpoints of new writing in the past couple of years has been the Death of England trilogy. Written by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer, these three brilliant monologues have not only explored vital questions of race and racism,...

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York's Theatre review - pure theatrical magic

This show has been a long time coming. Neil Gaiman had the first inklings of The Ocean at the End of the Lane when he was seven years old and living near a farm recorded in the Domesday Book. Several decades later, he wrote a short story for his...

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The Normal Heart, National Theatre review - Ben Daniels triumphant

Hypocrisy. Is this the right word? I don’t mean the play, but the audience. Of course, in the middle of the current COVID 19 crisis, there’s bound to be a certain amount of discomfort when watching Larry Kramer’s 1985 modern activist classic about...

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