mon 26/09/2022

new writing

Clutch, Bush Theatre review - new comedy-drama passes its test

Max is big and black and Tyler is slight and (very) white, an odd couple trapped in a dual-control car as Max barks out his instructions and Tyler prepares for his driving test. If their relationship is to get started, like the clutch of the...

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Bright Half Life, Kings Head Theatre review - ups and downs of a tender lesbian love affair

A tender love story has arrived at the Kings Head theatre from the US, where its author, Tanya Barfield, is an award-winning playwright for both television and theatre. The plot is simple: two women — one white, one Black — meet in an office where...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: The Last Return / Psychodrama / Exodus

The Last Return, Traverse Theatre ★★★★★ Put a leafless tree prominently on stage – especially in an Irish play from an Irish company – and you’re asking for parallels to be drawn. And indeed, there’s a god-like figure that the characters in Sonya...

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The Darkest Part of the Night, Kiln Theatre - issues-led drama has its heart in the right place

Music plays a big part in the life of Dwight, an 11-year-old black lad growing up in early 80s Leeds. He doesn't fit in at school, bullied because he is "slow", and he doesn't fit in outside school, would-be friends losing patience with him.But he...

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A Doll's House, Part 2, Donmar Warehouse review - Noma Dumezweni nails it

Slamming the door on experience comes with repercussions in A Doll's House, Part 2, the thrilling Broadway entry from American writer Lucas Hnath that has arrived at the Donmar as part of an America-friendly season at that address including Marys...

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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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The Patient Gloria, Brighton Festival review - an electric exploration of the control and manipulation of women

The psychology of female desire in 1960s California, was a field awash with voyeurism and exploitation. This brilliant play uncovers not only the bizarre story of Gloria Szymanski, but catholic hypocrisy and everyday sexism too, with a nod to third...

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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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Marys Seacole, Donmar Warehouse review - frustrating yet unflinching

Inspiration jostles irritation in Marys Seacole, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Off Broadway hit from 2019 that has arrived at the Donmar as part of a banner season of late for Black American writing in the capital (cf. "Daddy": A Melodrama at the Almeida...

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First Person: playwright Naomi Wallace on finally hearing her work performed in English

The Breach is a coming of age story and an age-in-the-making story. The play takes place in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1990s, switching back and forth between teenagers in Louisville and their older selves 15 years later. The promise of the...

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Lava, Soho Theatre review - silences, secrets and lies

The title of James Fritz’s play is allusive, oblique even. I assume it refers to how, in the aftermath of a catastrophe such as an erupting volcano, it’s the lava that spreads outwards, changing the form of the surrounding landscape. It’s not the...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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