mon 26/02/2024

new writing

Double Feature, Hampstead Theatre review - with directors like these, who needs enemies

It’s awards season in the film world, which means that we’re currently swamped by hyperbolic shows of love and respect – actors and their directors gushing about how each could simply never have reached their creative heights without the other. Of...

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Samuel Takes a Break... in Male Dungeon No. 5 after a long but generally successful day of tours, The Yard Theatre review - funny and thought-provoking

You do not need to be Einstein to feel it. If the only dimension missing is time, 75% of a place’s identity can invade your very being, hollow you out, replace your soul with a void. It happened to me at Auschwitz and it’s happening to Samuel at...

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The Hills of California, Harold Pinter Theatre - ladies' night for Jez Butterworth

Art makes for unexpected bedfellows, and so it proves in Jez Butterworth's moving if meandering The Hills of California. Butterworth's first play in seven years owes a lot more to as unexpected a source as the musical Gypsy than it does to such...

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Brian Klaas: Fluke review - why things happen, and can we stop them?

One day in the early 90s I accepted the offer of a lift from a friend to a university open day I hadn’t been planning to go to. I ended up attending that university and there met my wife, and if I hadn’t done that my life would have been very...

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Best of 2023: Books

From wandering Rachmaninoff to Ulysses tribute, or a poet’s boyhood in Dundee to sleeplessness and arboreal inner lives, our reviewers share their literary picks from 2023.Prototype Press continues to publish much of the most interesting British...

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A Woman Walks into a Bank, Theatre 503 review - prize-winning play delivers on its promise

We’re in Moscow (we hear that quite a lot) where an ageing woman on a rare trip out of her apartment block catches sight of an advert in a bank’s window. She is soon inside and subjected to a sales pitch by a keen young bank "manager", torn between...

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Pandemonium, Soho Theatre review - satire needs a shot of Pfizer's finest to revive tired storylines

In 2020, throughout the country, many people’s lives were affected adversely by an ever-present threat to our already fragile society. Though most got over it, many people still bear the cost every day, sapping them of energy, making them cough and...

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Infinite Life, National Theatre review - beguiling new comedy about a world of pain

A sun deck with seven pale-green padded loungers is the latest setting for the latest National Theatre premiere from American playwright Annie Baker to people in her inimitable way. In her hands this banal space is as dramatically charged as...

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£1 Thursdays, Finborough Theatre review - dazzling new play is as funny and smart as its two heroines

It’s 2012 and the London Olympics might as well be happening on the Moon for Jen and Stacey. In fact, you could say the same for everyone else scrabbling a living in Bradford – or anywhere north of Watford – and we know what those left-behind places...

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Passing, Park Theatre review - where do we go from here?

“It’s nothing like Christmas,” Rachel (Amy-Leigh Hickman) hisses at her brother David (Kishore Walker). She’s trying to wrangle her family into their first ever Diwali celebration, but everything’s going wrong. Her dad Yash (Bhasker Patel) is...

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Nineteen Gardens, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - intriguing, beautifully observed two-hander tilts power this way and that

A middle-aged man, expensively dressed and possessed of that very specific confidence that only comes from a certain kind of education, a certain kind of professional success, a certain kind of entitlement, talks to a younger woman. Despite the fact...

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Backstairs Billy, Duke of York's Theatre review - starry and gently subversive, too

Rarely has a play's opening been so opportune. Just when it looked as if the West End was slipping into decline, along comes the smart, shrewd Backstairs Billy to allay mounting fears of late that the commercial theatre had lost all sense of quality...

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