mon 22/07/2024

playwrights

Shifters, Bush Theatre review - love will tear us apart again

For the past ten years, Black-British playwrights have been in the vanguard of innovation in the form and content of new writing. I’m thinking not only of writers with longer careers such as Roy Williams and debbie tucker green, but also of Inua...

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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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Richard Schoch: Shakespeare's House review - nothing ill in such a temple

Richard Schoch, in the subtitle of his new book on Shakespeare’s House, promises something big: “a window onto his life and legacy.” To the disgruntled reader – pushed to the brink by one too many new books on Shakespeare, each nervously...

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Don't Destroy Me, Arcola Theatre review - a theatre history curio

British Theatre abounds in forgotten writers. And in ones whose early work is too rarely revived. One such is Michael Hastings, best known for Tom & Viv, his 1984 biographical drama about TS Eliot and his wife Vivienne, so in theory it’s great...

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Mad About the Boy: the Noël Coward Story, BBC Two review - the making of The Master

They called Noël Coward “The Master”, and Barnaby Thompson's 90-minute documentary marking 50 years since his death reminded us why. Though there was nothing here in the way of hitherto unknown revelations, the tale of how a boy who left school at...

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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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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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Oh What A Lovely War, Southwark Playhouse review - 60 years on, the old warhorse can still bare its teeth

In Annus Mirabilis, Philip Larkin wrote,"So life was never better than In nineteen sixty-three (Though just too late for me) – Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP."That might be the only point...

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Blue Mist, Royal Court review - authentic, but not entirely convincing

Multiculturalism, according to the Home Secretary, has failed, so where does that leave British Black and Asian communities? Well, certainly not silent. In Mohamed-Zain Dada’s vigorous 90-minute debut play, Blue Mist, the pronouncements of the...

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The Pillowman, Duke of York’s Theatre review - starry but slack

British theatre is getting a bit timid – is that right? Ahead of the opening of this revival of Martin McDonagh’s unforgettable 2003 masterpiece, The Pillowman, its director Matthew Dunster has spoken of the tendency of playwrights and theatres...

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Mad About the Boy review - entertaining cradle-to-grave Noel Coward documentary

Devoted fans may not learn anything that new about Noel Coward from Barnaby Thompson’s documentary Mad About the Boy, but they will doubtless see some new things. And those who know “the Master” only from his early plays, hardy perennials these...

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