tue 19/10/2021

Royal Court

What If If Only, Royal Court review - short if not sweet

Few sights speak so eloquently of loss, of an especially cruel and painful loss, as one glass of wine, half-full, alone on a table. A man speaks to a partner who isn’t there, wishes her back, but knows that she has gone. Then another woman...

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Curious, Soho Theatre review - a young playwright puts herself centre-stage

Jasmine Lee-Jones has a hard act to follow – namely, herself. Her award-winning 2019 debut play, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, announced the arrival at the Royal Court of a blistering writing talent whose two sparring women made...

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Is God Is, Royal Court review – blister, flare and burn, baby, burn

God is a tricky one. Or should that be One? And definitely not a He. So when she says take revenge, then vengeance is definitely not only hers, but ours too. American playwright Aleshea Harris’s dazzlingly satirical 2018 extravaganza is about two...

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Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre review - a starry revival

A cosmologist and a beekeeper walk into a barbecue. Or a wedding. The beekeeper is in a relationship, or married, or just out of a relationship, or married again. The cosmologist shares the secret of the universe with him: it’s impossible to lick...

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Living Newspaper, Edition 3, Royal Court online review – bleak news, sharp words

“The crocus of hope is, er, poking through the frost.” When he uttered that dodgy metaphor back in February, Boris Johnson probably didn’t predict that it would become the opening number of the third edition of Living Newspaper, the Royal Court’s...

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Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, Royal Court online review – the news, but better

Edition 2 of Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, an experimental new piece of online theatre from the Royal Court, doesn’t mess around. Within minutes, a cry of "Tory scum" is echoing around the Jerwood Theatre – the refrain of an anarchic...

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My White Best Friend (And Other Letters Left Unsaid), Royal Court review – raw but generous

The strength of the response to the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter campaign has provoked some theatres to create provocative new work. Often, the keynote is personal feeling. One recent example is the Bush Theatre’s Protest: Black Lives...

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Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre online review - a mind in mesmerising meltdown

One of the most blistering stage performances in recent memory gets a renewed lease on life with the streaming of the 2019 screen version, aired last autumn on BBC Four, of Cyprus Avenue, the David Ireland play in which Stephen Rea unravels to...

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Shoe Lady, Royal Court review - Katherine Parkinson is a footsore Beckettian

On my way to see this show, I see an urban fox. Before I can take a photo, it scrambles away. And I'm sure that, as it goes, it winks at me. This weird moment is a great prologue to EV Crowe's new play, virtually a monologue starring Katherine...

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Scenes with Girls, Royal Court review - feminist separatism 2.0

Last night, I discovered the gasp index. Or maybe just re-discovered. The what? The gasp index. It's when you see a show that keeps making you exhale, sometimes audibly, sometimes quietly. Tonight I gasped about five times, then I stopped counting...

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A Kind of People, Royal Court review - multiculturalism falls apart

The trouble with prejudice is that you can't control how other people see you. At the start of her career, playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's work was set in her own Sikh community. But, like other playwrights from similar backgrounds, she has tended...

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Midnight Movie, Royal Court review - sleepless and digital

Eve Leigh is an experimental playwright who has tackled difficult issues for more than a decade. Yet most members of the public will know her, and her actor husband Tom Penn, as the neighbours who recorded an altercation between Boris Johnson and...

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