All stories by David Nice on BroadwayStars

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Testament of Mary, Barbican by David Nice

If you’re tempted to see Fiona Shaw’s impressive solo performance as Mary the mother of a son she can’t bring herself to name – and see it you probably should – then bear two thing…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:57AM
Friday, April 25, 2014

Uncle Vanya/Three Sisters, Wyndham's Theatre by David Nice

London has had its fair share recently of Chekhov productions from Russia, though none anywhere near as quietly truthful as these from Moscow's Mossovet State Academic Theatre. Veteran film …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:57AM
Friday, March 28, 2014

Inner Voices, Barbican by David Nice

We’ve now learned from the films of Paolo Sorrentino and honorary Roman Ferzan Ozpetek what great and nuanced ensemble acting the Italians can produce. Even so, the towering star of the cu…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 08:00AM
Monday, February 17, 2014

HMS Pinafore, Hackney Empire by David Nice

Showboys will be boys – gym-bunny sailors, in this instance – as well as sisters, cousins, aunts, captain’s daughters and bumboat women. We know the ropes by now for Sasha Regan’s al…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:39AM
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Barbican by David Nice

An insider once told me that you get a grant for including puppets in a production. Which may account for the amount of crap puppetry haphazardly applied in the theatre. That’s certainly c…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:53AM
Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Days, Young Vic by David Nice

For those of us who never saw Samuel Beckett’s favoured performer Billie Whitelaw on stage as indomitable, buried-alive Winnie, peculiarly happy days are here again with another once-in-a-…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:10PM
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre by David Nice

Read Erich Kästner’s 1928 novel about young Emil Tischbein and the Berlin boys he enlists to catch a thief, and you’ll come away feeling warm if slightly incredulous at the strong moral…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:37AM
Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eat Pray Laugh!: Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour, London Palladium by David Nice

Now here’s a funny thing, possums. Back in 1990 when one great Australian Dame, Joan Sutherland, gave her farewell performance, another, a certain housewife superstar from the Melbourne su…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:50AM
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Patrice Chéreau, 1944-2013: a partial view by David Nice

It has be partial, because of the iconoclastic French actor-director’s 10 opera productions, I’ve only seen two, on screen only – but a big two at that – and only three of his 11 fil…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:15AM
Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Duchess Theatre by David Nice

Arturo Ui, king of the Chicago cabbage trade, is Brecht’s Richard III. Egad, he even speaks in iambic pentameters, with a fair few nods at Shakespeare, though a certain cowlick and moustac…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:30AM
Thursday, September 5, 2013

Edward II, National Theatre by David Nice

Shallow in its cartoonish whizz through the tergiversations of a troubled reign, hugely energetic in its language and structure, Marlowe’s horrible history is never less than compelling an…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:06AM
Thursday, August 8, 2013

Liolà, National Theatre by David Nice

Sicilian location, Irish populace, Balkan Roma music: Richard Eyre’s production of a Pirandello bagatelle could easily have turned into the kind of Europudding more common in cinema. That …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:48AM
Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pipe Dream, Union Theatre by David Nice

Rodgers and Steinbeck: sound unlikely? Well, self-proclaimed “family show” man Hammerstein may have baulked at words like ‘whorehouse’ when he created a play for music out of Steinbe…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:31AM
Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gabriel, Shakespeare's Globe by David Nice

If there’s a more thinly written, loosely structured and hammily acted play than Samuel Adamson’s panorama of Purcell’s London, then I have yet to endure it. Baffling, because this is …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:04PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Season in the Congo, Young Vic by David Nice

No theatre in London, surely, has offered us more miracles of transformed space than the Young Vic. Small it may be, but its productions often feel big in every way, and none more so than Jo…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:03AM
Friday, June 7, 2013

Dances of Death, Gate Theatre by David Nice

There are two dances to unheard music in Howard Brenton’s pithy Strindberg reduction. One spells trouble for the interloper between the vampire couple who suck the blood of others to susta…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:11AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Public Enemy, Young Vic by David Nice

Everything seems so free and easy, so do-as-you-darn-well-pleasey, in the Stockmanns’ fjord-view model home. Cheery friends in bright 70s clothes drop in to chew the social cud as well as …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 02:55AM
Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ubu Roi, Cheek by Jowl, Barbican Silk Street Theatre by David Nice

Or, The Lord and Lady Macbeth of the Seizième, as imagined by a bourgeois teenager who fancies himself to be Bougrelas, heir to the Polish throne. That's one way of looking at the concept s…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:49AM
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mies Julie, Riverside Studios by David Nice

Snow flurries outside, steam heat within. Writer-director Yael Farber’s transposition of Strindberg from a Swedish estate to a farm in South Africa’s Karoo region on the eve of a storm i…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:15AM
Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Threepenny Opera, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall by David Nice

Given a fair few strange and languishing Brecht-Weill pieces that The Rest is Noise Festival’s Berlin strand might have explored, Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO had a tough time of it by pi…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:06AM
Friday, March 1, 2013

Liza Minnelli, Royal Festival Hall by David Nice

It’s Weimar Berlin time as the Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise festival moves through the 20th-century music scene – so it must be Liza Minnelli time too. Or must it? Though she�…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:15PM
Friday, February 15, 2013

Rhinocéros, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Barbican Theatre by David Nice

I laughed quite a bit going round the exhibition to which the Barbican’s latest theatre events are tied, The Bride and the Bachelors. Pioneer Marcel Duchamp’s 1921 “Readymade” Why No…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:00AM
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dear World, Charing Cross Theatre by David Nice

It's odd that Jerry Herman merits only a passing mention in Stephen Sondheim's two-volume autobiographical take on Broadway words and music, Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat. In a co…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:30AM
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Uncle Vanya, Vakhtangov Theatre Company, Noël Coward Theatre by David Nice

Hot on the heels of the latest English uncle over at the Vaudeville comes Dyadya Vanya from Moscow, bringing with it no samovar or old lace. Rimas Tuminas, the Vakhtangov Theatre's artistic …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:30AM
Friday, September 14, 2012

Three Sisters, Young Vic by David Nice

Updating Chekhov is nothing new, despite the preliminary flurries about this production, yet the singular directorial take can only highlight the master’s modernity in the bigger issues. I…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:30PM
Friday, June 1, 2012

Globe to Globe: Timon of Athens, Shakespeare's Globe by David Nice

Diamonds one day, stones the next: compulsive giver Timon’s swift descent into raving misanthropy would be better packed into a gritty pop ballad than a full-length more

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:33PM
Saturday, April 28, 2012

Globe to Globe: Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe by David Nice

The rain it raineth every day this week, sometimes with monsoon-like persistence. Yet there’s no dousing the ardour of groundlings and thespian visitors to the global Shakespeare village w…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 10:20AM
Friday, April 27, 2012

Globe to Globe: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's Globe by David Nice

Of all Shakespeare’s plays, his reprise of Falstaffian humour to please Queen Bess is surely the most specific in its prosaic gallimaufry of earthy English vocabulary. Yet it’s also the …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:06AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011: Schoolroom Fairies and a Cross-dressing Mezzo by David Nice

Two precisely imagined dream-visions bookend a cornucopia on the musical front. I’ll start with the deadly but save the apparently frivolous for the top slot. Christopher Alden’s pitiles…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:00PM
Friday, December 16, 2011

Dick Whittington, New Wimbledon Theatre by David Nice

You know what to expect from an audience with Dame Edna Everage. The London-loving Merry Widow of Moonie Ponds can be trusted to hurl her gladdies, patronize the paups in the cheap seats, di…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:57AM
Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hamlet, Schaubühne Berlin, Barbican Theatre by David Nice

Ken Russell is, it seems, alive and well and directing Germans in Shakespeare. Actually, no, it's outgrown theatrical terrorist Thomas Ostermeier, but it might as well be our Ken to judge fr…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:23PM