wed 20/02/2019

new writing

Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre review - Stephen Rea is utterly compelling

David Ireland is a playwright who likes to jolt his audience and Cyprus Avenue, a dark absurdist comedy about an Ulster unionist afraid of losing his identity, does just that. This co-production between Dublin's Abbey Theatre and the Royal Court was...

Read more...

Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The striking cover for the Brighton Festival 2019 programme shouts out loud who this year’s Guest Director is. Silhouetted in flowers, in stunning artwork by Simon Prades, is the unmistakeable profile of Malian musician Rokia Traoré. Taking place...

Read more...

Cost of Living, Hampstead Theatre review - tough but tender

The Off Broadway production of Cost of Living two years ago brought Martyna Majok the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the height of acclaim of which most new writers – Majok, with four plays behind her, has yet to turn 35 – can only dream. High...

Read more...

Approaching Empty, Kiln Theatre review - more minicab than Uber

Write what you know, says the adage, and that's exactly what playwright Ishy Din has done with his new play, Approaching Empty, now at the Kiln in Kilburn. The middle-aged Middlesbrough-born writer, who has had a handful of casual jobs (retail,...

Read more...

Time Is Love/Tiempo es Amor, Finborough Theatre review - sultry yet static

Confessions first: I fell asleep mid-way through Time Is Love/Tiempo es Amor, from too much time on trains and planes over the New Year. I was kindly allowed back for a second visit to the Finborough Theatre show, for a Sunday matinee, dosed with...

Read more...

The Cane, Royal Court review - hey teacher, leave them kids alone

Playwright Mark Ravenhill, who shot to fame in 1996 with his in-yer-face shocker Shopping and Fucking, has been more or less absent from our stages for about a decade. The last play of his that I saw at the Royal Court was the Cold-War fantasy Over...

Read more...

Nine Night, Trafalgar Studios review - hilarity and heartbreak

This is Natasha Gordon’s first play, and in it she has created an entire world. A world of grief and laughter, conflict and closeness. A world that is very specifically located within Britain's Jamaican community, yet one whose themes of loss and...

Read more...

The Hoes, Hampstead Theatre review - sex and drink and grime

Because of the #MeToo movement, and the revival of feminist protest, the theme of sisterhood now has a much stronger cultural presence than at the start of the decade. It seems to be a great time to be a female playwright, and Ifeyinwa Frederick's...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Producer Elyse Dodgson

The Royal Court Theatre has long been a leader in new British drama writing. Thanks to Elyse Dodgson, who has died aged 73, it has built up an international programme like few others in the arts, anywhere. At the theatre, Elyse headed up readings,...

Read more...

A Guide For The Homesick, Trafalgar Studios review - warmly funny and deeply moving

This blisteringly intense evening at Trafalgar Studios begins with two strangers in an Amsterdam hotel bedroom and – through a series of personal revelations – ends up spanning continents. With just 80 minutes and two actors, Ken Urban’s...

Read more...

Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif is a widower and an academic who, since writing a book on curiosity cabinets a decade ago, has quietly sunk into a kind of irrelevance. Both have...

Read more...

Eyam, Shakespeare's Globe review - plague drama, dark and loose

The end-of-season contemporary writing slot at the Globe must be a proposal as full of promise for playwrights as it is perhaps intimidating. There’s the sheer scale of the space and the chance to write for a large cast; a historical subject seems...

Read more...
Subscribe to new writing