thu 21/11/2019

Old Vic

Lungs, Old Vic review - deluxe casting and slick delivery

Playing our monarch and her husband in The Crown has made actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith into TV drama royalty, so reuniting the pair onstage guarantees a hot ticket. What’s less clear is why Lungs, Duncan Macmillan’s rather thin 2011 play, merits...

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A Very Expensive Poison, Old Vic review – bold evocation of a post-truth world

If Russia is, as Winston Churchill once so memorably said, “a riddle, wrapped inside a mystery, wrapped inside an enigma”, then this play is an outrage, wrapped inside a farce, framed by a bittersweet love story. Through the prism of the polonium...

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Present Laughter, Old Vic review - Andrew Scott continues his rise and rise

"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" can be heard pulsating through the Old Vic auditorium as the curtain rises on its wondrous revival of Present Laughter: a decisive feather in the cap of artistic director Matthew Warchus's regime. But all Garry...

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All My Sons, Old Vic review - starry but disappointingly uneven

Superstar Sally Field has come to town. With two academy awards and countless other accolades, the actor who played Forrest Gump's mother and dozens of other roles, from Frog to Mrs Lincoln, in Hollywood blockbusters and on television now returns to...

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The American Clock, Old Vic review - Arthur Miller's musical history lesson drags

This year’s unofficial Arthur Miller season – following The Price and ahead of All My Sons at the Old Vic and Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic – now turns to his 1980 work, The American Clock, inspired in part by Miller’s own memories of the...

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic review - Dickens adaptation returns, depth and mince pies intact

The Old Vic's revival of its successful Christmas Carol first seen this time last year had me at the mince pies: they were served before curtain up by a Bob Cratchit figure while we admired the shoal of Victorian lanterns lighting the way over a...

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Wise Children, Old Vic review - Emma Rice in fun if not quite top-flight form

"What could possibly go wrong?" The question ends the first act of Wise Children, the debut venture from the new company birthed by a director, Emma Rice, who must have asked herself precisely that query at many points in recent years....

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A Monster Calls, Old Vic - wild, beautiful theatre that beguiles and bruises

A raw pagan vitality animates this extraordinary story about a teenage boy wrestling with tumultuous emotions in the face of his mother’s terminal illness. Director Sally Cookson has taken the potent blend of myth and realism in Patrick Ness’s book...

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Mood Music, Old Vic review - riveting critique of the music biz

Playwright Joe Penhall and the music biz? Well, they have history. When he was writing the book for Sunny Afternoon, his 2014 hit musical about the Kinks, he had a few run-ins with Ray Davies, the band’s lead singer. A couple of years ago The Stage...

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Fanny and Alexander, Old Vic review - agile but shallow Bergman adaptation

Could an epic cinematic masterpiece be turned successfully into a three-act play? Confession first: Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is my No. 1 film. On one level a slow-burn, pre-World-War-One family saga, on another a timeless human comedy...

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The Divide, Old Vic review - Alan Ayckbourn’s overblown dystopia

Playwright Alan Ayckbourn basically comes in two flavours: suburban comedies of embarrassment and sci-fi fantasies. His latest, The Divide, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival last year in a two-part six-hour version, has been...

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic review - Rhys Ifans takes on Scrooge, triumphantly

Fresh from the success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack Thorne now gives us his exuberant adaptation of another much-loved text. Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol is the well-worn morality fable seared into our collective memory...

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