mon 17/12/2018

Southwark Playhouse

The Sweet Science of Bruising, Southwark Playhouse review - boxing clever

There are not that many plays about sport, but, whether you gamble on results or not, you can bet that most of them are about boxing. And often set in the past. Joy Wilkinson's superb new drama, The Sweet Science of Bruising, comes to the Southwark...

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The Rink, Southwark Playhouse - lesser-known musical lands afresh

Two dynamite lead performances and the chance to savour an underappreciated score give genuine charge to The Rink, a decades-old Broadway flop that feels reborn for Southwark Playhouse. A short-lived star vehicle for Chita Rivera (who...

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The Country Wife, Southwark Playhouse review – knowing Restoration update

Even in its successful early days Wycherley’s 1675 comedy was notorious, but it was considered too lewd to be staged at all between the mid-Eighteenth Century and 1924. Although the play has found an affectionate place in the canon in more recent...

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Angry, Southwark Playhouse review – wondrously roaring Ridleyland

Monologues are very much the flavour of the start of this theatrical year. At the Royal Court, we have Carey Mulligan in Dennis Kelly’s brilliant Girls & Boys, coming hot on the tottering heels of Anoushka Warden’s My Mum’s a Twat, while at the...

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Collective Rage, Southwark Playhouse review - a rollicking riot

“Pussy is pussy” and “bitches are bitches” but Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage at Southwark Playhouse smashes tautologies with roguish comedy in a tight five-hander smartly directed by Charlie Parham.The play is set in New York and follows the ad...

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Dear Brutus, Southwark Playhouse review - a judicious mix of comedy and sadness

Confused people, some of whom may have made the wrong choices in life and love, find themselves in an enchanted wood at Midsummer. Dear Brutus has long been seen to echo Shakespeare’s comedy of metamorphosis, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A huge...

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Mother Courage, Southwark Playhouse review - this production is not one for our times

One of the questions that can be asked of Brecht is whether for a modern audience his Verfremdungseffekt — or alienation effect — still works as intended, provoking genuine reflections on justice by distancing audiences from emotional...

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Dessert, Southwark Playhouse review - undercooked and overwrought

"What is this, Saving Private Ryan?" a character randomly queries well into the actor Oliver Cotton's new play, Dessert. Well, more like a modern-day An Inspector Calls on steroids, with the volume turned up so high in Trevor Nunn's production...

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The Cardinal, Southwark Playhouse review - 'rarely produced play has renewed punch'

James Shirley is a rarely performed 17th-century playwright whose oeuvre has generally been consigned to theatrical study and research. Written for King Charles I at a time of great political upheaval and with the English Civil War looming, not to...

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School Play, Southwark Playhouse

Hot on the heels of Katherine Soper's award-winning Wish List, about the UK benefits system in crisis, and John Godber's This Might Hurt, about an NHS in crisis, comes this play about our education system in crisis. One suspects there will be plenty...

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Dream On: Surprises in the Athenian Wood

Doctor Peter Raby (Emeritus Fellow at Cambridge University) was quick to pull me up on my first stab at A Midsummer Night's Dream – an indulgence-of-a-production played out in a university park to the sound of cucumber flirting with Pimm's. His...

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Cyrano de Bergerac, Southwark Playhouse

Given that Edmond Rostand’s 1897 tragicomic verse play Cyrano de Bergerac gave the word "panache" to the English language, it’s an irony that panache is the quality most woefully lacking in Russell Bolam’s production of Glyn Maxwell’s adaptation. It...

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