sat 18/05/2024

Orange Tree

Testmatch, Orange Tree Theatre review - Raj rage, old and new, flares in cricket dramedy

Cricket has always been a lens through which to examine the legacy of the British Empire. In the 1930s, the infamous Bodyline series saw the new nation, Australia, stand up to its big brother’s bullying tactics. In the 1970s, the all-conquering West...

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Uncle Vanya, Orange Tree Theatre review - Chekhov served up choice

"We all live here in peace and friendship," notes Telegin (David Ahmad), otherwise known as Waffles, early in Uncle Vanya, to which one is tempted to respond, "yeah, right."As casually bruising a play as I know, Chekhov's wounding yet also brutally...

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Northanger Abbey, Orange Tree Theatre review - larky retelling of Austen’s satire with a poignant core

What Zoe Cooper has concocted in her loving rewiring of Jane Austen’s first completed novel looks at first sight like a knockabout satire of a satire. But her aim is more sober than that: a queer rereading of this text as she first experienced it as...

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Meetings, Orange Tree Theatre review - three-hander that chews on big issues

Mustapha Matura’s 1981 play, Meetings, is still a knockout. Supply the characters with mobile phones and it could be set in the present day. What makes it topical is the central issue it chews on: is the modern world all it’s cracked up to be,...

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The Swell, Orange Tree Theatre review - mind-bending romantic drama

There are some songs, and singers, that make your heart swell. One of them, for me, is Ani DiFranco’s 1998 single “Little Plastic Castle”, so I was delighted to see that Isley Lynn, in the playtext of her new show at the Orange Tree Theatre, has...

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The Circle, Orange Tree Theatre review - acerbic reflections on the price paid for love

Tom Littler opens his account as artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre with one of the more radical choices one can make in 2023 – directing a 102 year-old play pretty much how it would have been done in 1921.It’s all very period (...

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Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre review - lively, but overly idealistic

Do the right thing! But doing the right thing isn’t easy – especially if you are a teen. And a female teen who is being pressurised by your mother and your school teacher. It takes courage to make the best decisions, it’s scary and it’s hard.In...

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Arms and the Man, Orange Tree Theatre review - a rollicking take on Shaw's satirical classic

For his final bow as artistic director of the Orange Tree, Paul Miller has decided to go out with a bang, amid much giggling and snorts of laughter. This isn’t George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man as a barbed but fairly conventional comedy: Miller...

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The False Servant, Orange Tree Theatre review - Marivaux's cruel comedy gets a modern spin

There probably isn’t a more able translator of vintage drama than Martin Crimp, the playwright whose 2004 version of Pierre Marivaux’s 1724 play about deceit, greed and sexual politics has been revived at the enterprising Orange Tree. The finale has...

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The Misfortune of the English, Orange Tree Theatre review - don't fret, boys, it's only death

“We all make history, one way or another.” But some of us make more history than others, and a group of 27 English schoolboys who got lost in Southern Germany in 1936 haven’t made much, unfortunately. Scottish playwright Pamela Carter has brushed...

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Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre review - bursting with heart

“You could read at home,” says Bettina (Anoushka Chadha), Year 10, her school uniform perfectly pressed, hair neatly styled. “You could be an annoying little shit at home,” retorts her sister Asha (Safiyya Ingar), Year 13, all fire and fury in Doc...

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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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