fri 07/10/2022

National Theatre

The Crucible, National Theatre review - visually stunning revival of Miller's classic drama

How can this beauty arise from such ugliness? The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s 1953 drama about the Salem witch trials of 1692, is rife with unwavering prejudices, selfish slander, and sickening motives. But under Lyndsey Turner’s aesthetically...

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The Boy with Two Hearts, National Theatre review - poignant yet humorous story of family forced to flee Afghanistan

It’s particularly poignant to watch this story in the knowledge that a little over a year after US-led troops withdrew from Afghanistan, women and girls are enduring a renewed repression of their rights under the Taliban. The real-life story of The...

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All of Us, National Theatre review - revelatory, but problematic

Has the pandemic made us more angry? Although Francesca Martinez’s debut play, which is at the National Theatre, was programmed before COVID, its belated opening has not dampened the playwright’s fiery criticism of the effects of Tory government...

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Much Ado About Nothing, National Theatre review - Shakespeare’s comedy goes Hollywood musical

After gender-flipping the National’s Malvolio, the director Simon Godwin might have been expected to be equally bold with Much Ado About Nothing at the same address. A same-sex Beatrice and Benedick romance? Dogberry in bondage gear, zonked out on...

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Jack Absolute Flies Again, National Theatre review - fluffy as a cloud but hugely entertaining

Can a comedy have too many jokes? That may seem an odd question, but one that applies to this latest high-octane, eager-to-please outing by Richard Bean, which flies out of the hanger at such high velocity that it’s in danger of crashing before it...

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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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