sun 17/02/2019

new writing

The Woods, Royal Court review - Lesley Sharp triumphs again

Blackout. Dark, the colour of childhood fear. Black, the colour of despair. Black. No light visible; no colours to see. Just pitch black, maybe even bible black. This is how Robert Alan Evans’s The Woods, which stars the brilliant Lesley Sharp and...

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Olga Tokarczuk: Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead review - on vengeful nature

In a small town on the Polish-Czech border where the mobile signal wanders between countries’ operators and only three inhabitants stick it out through the winter, animals are wreaking a terrible revenge. The bodies of murdered men, united in their...

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Dance Nation, Almeida Theatre review - a tarantella through the convulsions of the teenage psyche

Lycra, jealousy and pubescent ambition are put under the spotlight in Clare Barron’s provocative probe into the American competitive dancing scene. Dance Nation is a tarantella through the convulsions of the teen psyche as its characters respond to...

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Emilia, Shakespeare's Globe review - polemic disguised as a play

It feels like Michelle Terry’s first summer season at the Globe has been building up to Emilia for a while now. The theme is Shakespeare and race, so Othello was something of a given. It's joined by The Winter’s Tale, as if the Emilias of these two...

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Homos, or Everyone in America, Finborough Theatre review - a complex pattern of glee and profundity

I’m still not entirely sure what the full associations of the title of New York playwright Jordan Seavey’s new play – its second element, at least: the first speaks for itself – may be, but with writing this accomplished any such uncertainties fall...

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Pity, Royal Court review - whacked-out and wearing

The apocalypse arrives as a series of collegiate sketches in the aptly-named Pity, the Rory Mullarkey play that may well prompt sympathy for audiences who unwittingly find themselves in attendance. Less provocative by far than this same writer's...

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Charlotte Jones: ‘Plays come from your scar tissue’

I think it’s always a dangerous sport to try and consciously unravel where your ideas come from. Lest you break the spell and inadvertently silence yourself…There’s always the superficial reasons, of course: the geography and the history of a play....

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One for Sorrow, Royal Court review - imploding family drama

It’s the stuff of nightmares. There’s a massive explosion, the sound of smashing glass, falling debris and police sirens. Gunshots. Panic in the streets. It could be the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, in which the Bataclan venue was the scene...

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

One space, one person, one story, one voice – the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment. On a stage of packing boxes and boards, over the course of just over an hour, Paterson Joseph relays and plays the life of...

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My Name is Lucy Barton, Bridge Theatre review - Laura Linney is luminous in a flawless production

In Harold Pinter’s memory play Old Times, one of the women declares, “There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.” Elizabeth Strout’s heroine in My Name Is Lucy Barton is in the reverse position. When it comes to...

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The Strange Death of John Doe, Hampstead Theatre review - ambitious but not entirely successful

Regular air travel is a hassle. All that queuing, all that security, all those hot halls, and then the endless waiting, the bawling kids and the limited legroom. Basically air travel sucks. But at least it’s reasonably safe. The same cannot be said...

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Sophie Mackintosh: The Water Cure review - on the discipline of survival

A body can be pushed to the brink, to the point where thoughts flatten to a line of light, and come back from death, but the heart is complex and the damage it wreaks barely controllable. For Grace, Lia and Sky, the three sisters of Sophie...

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