wed 11/12/2019

playwrights

The Wind of Heaven, Finborough Theatre review - a welcome, if strange, Emlyn Williams rediscovery

This is the third Emlyn Williams piece to be presented here in a decade: The Druid's Rest in 2009 was followed by the enormous success of Accolade, directed by Blanche McIntyre, two years later.If it's a truism that neglected plays may well have...

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The Arrival, Bush Theatre review - boys will definitely be boys

Family dramas are a staple of British new writing, but as well as talking about our nearest and dearest, can they also say something about the wider society? The Arrival, by director turned playwright Bijan Sheibani, who won an Olivier award for...

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Sydney & the Old Girl, Park Theatre review - black comedy too melodramatic

Actor Miriam Margolyes is a phenomenon. Not only has this Dickensian starred in high-profile shows both here and in Australia, a country whose citizenship she took up in 2013, but she is also Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. And a...

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First Person: Simon Stephens - the contemplation of kindness

Light Falls is the sixth play that I have written for the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester and the fourth that its outgoing Artistic Director, Sarah Frankcom, will direct.She directed On the Shore of the Wide World, Punk Rock and Blindsided. In...

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First Person: Hannah Khalil on museum as metaphor in her new play for the RSC

It all started in 2009 in the National Portrait Gallery. I’d had a meeting nearby so popped in to get a cuppa and stare at the beautiful rooftop view of London from their top-floor café, but a picture caught my eye. It was part of an exhibition of...

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[Blank], Donmar Warehouse review - strong but dispiriting

Clean Break, the theatre company that specialises in working with women in the criminal justice system, is doing a lot of celebrating. It's the 40th anniversary of this unique female organisation and already this year they have put on a variety of...

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A History of Water in the Middle East, Royal Court review - feminist dreams and passions

Sabrina Mahfouz is a British-Egyptian writer who has explored issues of Muslim and British identity in various formats. Her work includes poetry, fiction, anthologies and performances, as well as plays. And she's pretty prolific. Since her Dry Ice...

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Baby Reindeer, Bush Theatre review - break, break, breaking Gadd

True stories, even in a fictional form, have the power to grip you by the throat, furiously shake your body and then give you a parting kick in the arse. This is certainly true of stand-up comedian Richard Gadd's Baby Reindeer, a blistering...

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A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Trafalgar Studios review - tragi-comic masterpiece

Playwright Peter Nichols died aged 92 last month, just before the opening of this starry West End revival of his most celebrated masterpiece. A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1967) is based on his own family experience of bringing up his disabled...

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Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp., Royal Court review - still experimental after all these years

At the age of 81, Caryl Churchill, Britain's greatest living playwright, is still going strong. Her latest is a typically imaginative quartet of short plays. Each of them is vividly distinct, being linguistically agile, theatrically pleasurable and...

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Two Ladies, Bridge Theatre review - Cvitešić and Wanamaker really rock

Are first ladies second-class citizens? Do they always have to stand behind their husbands? What are they really like as people? Questions such as these have inspired Irish playwright Nancy Harris to explore the relationship between two fictional...

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The King of Hell’s Palace, Hampstead Theatre review - Chinese scandal freezes the blood

New artistic directors are popping up all over British theatre. Every week seems to usher in a refreshingly versatile talent taking the reins of a major theatre. Tonight, veteran new writing advocate Roxana Silbert, the new head of Hampstead Theatre...

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