mon 15/07/2019

new writing

The Rubenstein Kiss, Southwark Playhouse review - slick spy drama doesn't quite come together

It's an ideal time to revive James Phillips's debut The Rubenstein Kiss. Since it won the John Whiting Award for new writing in 2005 its story, of ideological differences tearing a family apart, has only become more relevant. Joe Harmston directs a...

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Admissions, Trafalgar Studios review - topical and whiplash-smart

Joshua Harmon knows how to stir and excite an audience and does that and more with Admissions, newly arrived in the West End as part of the ongoing tsunami of American theatre across the capital just now. Opening the same day as news reports of...

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We're Staying Right Here, Park Theatre review - rough and not entirely ready

We're Staying Right Here, Henry Devas's debut play premiering on the smaller of the Park Theatre's two stages, carries a trigger warning on the theatre website: "May be affective for people coping with mental health issues". There's also, we're told...

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Eden, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - thoughtful commentary on people and principles

"It's gonna be the best golf course in the world," a man in an Aertex shirt and a bright red baseball cap is assuring us. "The best. I guarantee it." You can tell he's the kind of person who thinks talking quickly and loudly is the same thing as...

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All in a Row, Southwark Playhouse, review - soapy and shrill pity party

Time once again to roll out that line about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. The creators of All in a Row, a new play at Southwark Playhouse about the last evening at home for an autistic non-verbal 11-year-old before his...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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