tue 18/01/2022

new writing

Rice, Orange Tree Theatre review - whip-smart, but unsure where it stands

“Careful, there’s a hole in the floor.” The warning’s an unusual one, passed along conscientiously by the stewards at the door of the tiny Orange Tree Theatre.The hole in question is long and angular and will soon be filled with water, stretching...

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What If If Only, Royal Court review - short if not sweet

Few sights speak so eloquently of loss, of an especially cruel and painful loss, as one glass of wine, half-full, alone on a table. A man speaks to a partner who isn’t there, wishes her back, but knows that she has gone. Then another woman...

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How to Survive an Apocalypse, Finborough Theatre review - millenarian millennials

Despite its painfully relevant title, How To Survive An Apocalypse was written in 2016. If only Canadian playwright Jordan Hall knew, eh? The end times aren’t just creeping but hurtling towards us, these days. Luckily for those weary of Covid...

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Curious, Soho Theatre review - a young playwright puts herself centre-stage

Jasmine Lee-Jones has a hard act to follow – namely, herself. Her award-winning 2019 debut play, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, announced the arrival at the Royal Court of a blistering writing talent whose two sparring women made...

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The Lodger, Coronet Theatre review - underdeveloped family drama

The Coronet Theatre is a beautiful space – it’s a listed Victorian building, and the bar’s like something out of a film about Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately, Robert Holman’s The Lodger, a new play about family and trauma, doesn’t live up to its...

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First Person: theatre director Christopher Haydon on how the Rose Theatre, Kingston, can bloom anew

Programming a theatre during a pandemic has been like trying to nail jelly to a set of constantly moving goalposts. Government indecision meant that reopening dates shifted repeatedly while the configuration of our auditorium kept changing as we...

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Paradise, National Theatre review - war, woe, and a glimmer of hope

Philoctetes, Odysseus, Neoptolemus: the men’s names in Sophocles’ Philoctetes are all unnecessarily long and weighed down by expectations. Poet Kae Tempest’s lyrical new adaptation for the National Theatre focuses on the chorus, spinning out the...

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10 Questions for novelist Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami sits firmly amongst the Japanese literati for her sharp and pensive depictions of life in contemporary Japan. Since the translation of Breasts and Eggs (2020), she has also become somewhat of an indie fiction icon in the UK, with her...

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Lava, Bush Theatre review - poetic writing, mesmerically performed

What’s in a name? In Benedict Lombe’s incendiary debut play at the Bush Theatre, the answer to this question encompasses a whole continent, an entire existential experience - the Black experience, to be exact - though not in the way that "roots...

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ANNA X, Harold Pinter Theatre review - lacking in substance

There just isn’t enough there, with ANNA X. Daniel Raggett’s production is the third and final of the RE:EMERGE season at the Harold Pinter Theatre, with Emma Corrin of Lady Di fame in the lead. The graphic design – the brightly-striped faces of...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing. It is...

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The Invisible Hand, Kiln Theatre review - balanced on a knife edge

A lot’s changed since Kiln Theatre boss Indhu Rubasingham directed The Invisible Hand’s first UK outing in 2016, not least the theatre’s name (it was known as the Tricycle back then). But in Rubasingham’s capable hands, American Ayad Akhtar’s taut...

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