wed 19/12/2018

new writing

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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Describe the Night, Hampstead Theatre review - epic take on the mythology of Putin

Five years ago, when New York playwright Rajiv Joseph started on his fantasy disquisition on truth, lies and the recent history of Russia, no one was talking about a new Cold War and trump was still a thing you did in a game of cards. Now, at the...

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Nightfall, Bridge Theatre, review - moving but over-exposed

Playwright Barney Norris is as prolific as he is talented. Barely out of his twenties, he has written a series of excellent plays – the award-winning Visitors, follow-ups Eventide and While We’re Here – as well as a couple of novels and lots of...

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Nine Night, National Theatre review - Jamaican family drama full of spirit

The good news about so-called black drama on British stages is that it has broken out of its gangland violence ghetto and now talks about a whole variety of other subjects. Like loss. Like death. Like mourning. So London-born actress Natasha Gordon’...

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The Writer, Almeida Theatre review - deconstruction run rampant

Forget write what you know: writing what you feel would seem to be the impetus driving Ella Hickson's often-startling The Writer, a broadside from the trenches that takes no prisoners, least of all the audience. Demanding and sometimes irritating,...

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