sun 03/07/2022

drama

The White Card, Soho Theatre review - expelling the audience from its comfort zone

We’re in New York City, in an upscale loft apartment, with that absence of stuff that speaks of a power to acquire anything. There are paintings on the walls, but we see only their descriptions: we learn that the owner (curator, in his word) really...

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Girl on an Altar, Kiln Theatre review - machismo, murder and motherhood in mesmerising myth

Playwrights return to classical myths for two main reasons – to shine a light on how we live today and because they're bloody good yarns.Marina Carr's re-telling of Clytemnestra's story is boldly innovative in its conception and execution, but...

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Bliss, Finborough Theatre review - bleak but tender

When Bliss, a new play adapted from an Andrei Platonov short story by Fraser Grace, made its debut in Russia in early 2020, Cambridge-based company Menagerie were told that their production was “very Russian”.I’m no expert on Russian culture, but I...

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Tom Fool, Orange Tree Theatre review - testing family values

It’s not hard to see, watching Tom Fool at the Orange Tree Theatre, why Franz Xaver Kroetz is one of Germany’s most staged playwrights.Born in Munich in 1946, he’s known for unflinching portrayals of poverty and what it does to people. Directed...

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Three Floors review - nothing like good neighbours

A speeding drunk driver arrows down a silent street into a Roman block of flats. The impact’s reverberations ripple through the next 10 years, in Nanni Moretti’s soulful, Italian all-star adaptation of Eshkol Nevo’s novel, Three Floors Up.The...

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After the End, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - suddenly relevant two-hander

Mark was teased about the fallout shelter at the bottom of his garden by his co-workers (that wasn’t the only thing – every friendship group has a target for micro-aggressions) but his foresight pays off when terrorists explode a suitcase bomb on a...

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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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How to Survive an Apocalypse, Finborough Theatre review - millenarian millennials

Despite its painfully relevant title, How To Survive An Apocalypse was written in 2016. If only Canadian playwright Jordan Hall knew, eh? The end times aren’t just creeping but hurtling towards us, these days. Luckily for those weary of Covid...

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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare for this time of year. Will Sharpe, best-known for directing the dark...

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The Nest review – intriguing, off-kilter family drama

The Nest is a peculiar animal, hard to nail down, parts family drama and social satire, but with a creepy sense of suspense rippling under the surface that threatens to bust the plot wide open. The fact that it’s written and directed by...

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Paradise, National Theatre review - war, woe, and a glimmer of hope

Philoctetes, Odysseus, Neoptolemus: the men’s names in Sophocles’ Philoctetes are all unnecessarily long and weighed down by expectations. Poet Kae Tempest’s lyrical new adaptation for the National Theatre focuses on the chorus, spinning out the...

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CODA review - warm-hearted comedy about growing up in a Deaf family

When CODA opened Sundance in May, it was an instant hit with that liberal, kindly audience and was snapped up by Disney at great expense. It’s easy to see why – CODA is a funny, easy-to-watch coming of age comedy that allows viewers to feel warm and...

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