thu 28/01/2021

new writing

Julia Bell: Radical Attention review - a clear rendering of our withering attention spans

You go out for a walk and leave your devices at home; your head feels a little bit clearer. But when you get back and plonk yourself in front of a screen, has anything really changed? Our unhealthy, deliberately engineered dependence on technology,...

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Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, Royal Court online review – the news, but better

Edition 2 of Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, an experimental new piece of online theatre from the Royal Court, doesn’t mess around. Within minutes, a cry of "Tory scum" is echoing around the Jerwood Theatre – the refrain of an anarchic...

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Overflow, Bush Theatre review – fear, fury and fun

Travis Alabanza is black, trans, queer and proud. And they’ve got a lot to be proud about. In 2016, they were the youngest recipient of the artist in residence post on the Tate workshop programme, and two years later starred in Chris Goode’s wildly...

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GHBoy, Charing Cross Theatre review - drugs and sex but no rock 'n' roll

A 35-year-old gay man has to figure out which way to turn in GHBoy, the Paul Harvard play whose connection to the chemsex world is embedded in its title. Will Robert (Jimmy Essex) settle into a relationship with Catalan university student Sergi (...

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Hermione Lee: Tom Stoppard, A Life review - the last word on a theatrical wordsmith

"The older he got, the less he cared about self-concealment," or so it is said of Sir Tom Stoppard, somewhere deep into the 865 pages of Tom Stoppard: A Life, Hermione Lee's capacious (to put it mildly) biography of the...

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Declan, Traverse Theatre online review - compressed and compelling

In normal times, Edinburgh Festival audiences would now be packing into the city’s invaluable Traverse Theatre, home to some of the most vibrant new writing in the country. Instead, the Traverse has created a new online venue, Traverse 3, that...

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Theatre Unlocked 4: Shows in concert and a contemporary classic comes to TV

After months spent sifting amongst the virtual, I'm pleased to report that live performance looks to be on the (socially distanced) rebound. The week ahead sees the start of a six-week run at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park of the alfresco...

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Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete

Filmed, as one would, well, imagine, prior to lockdown, Imagine .... My Name is Kwame hearkens to what now seems a bygone era of full and buzzy playhouses and adventurous theatre-making that was about the live experience and not some facsimile...

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Theatre Unlocked 3: Signs of activity after a long siesta

After a weeklong hiatus due to an absence of noteworthy material, this column is back heralding the return, as well, of something resembling live theatre. Okay, so the Simon Stephens premiere Blindness at the Donmar doesn't actually feature actors...

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Scrounger, Finborough Theatre online review – autobiography meets meta-theatre

During the current pandemic, stories about isolation have a particular resonance. Feelings of claustrophobia, loneliness and frustration slide off the stage and echo in our subconscious – yes, this is us alright. One of the most prescient is Athena...

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Jenny Diski: Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told? Essays review - a posthumous collection from the pages of the LRB

“Jenny Diski lies here. But tells the truth over there.” That was Diski’s response to daughter’s Choe’s observation that if she were buried – a friend had just offered her a spot in a plot she’d bought amid the grandeur of Highgate Cemetery – she’d...

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Theatre Unlocked 2: A starry premiere and musical revival alongside Greek tragedy where it began

Theatres will begin gently unlocking their doors as we head into August. In the meantime, a beleaguered community continues to find fresh and startling ways to sustain interest and excitement, whether that be the premiere of a new play starring...

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