Monday, March 19, 2018

Hamlet, RSC, Hackney Empire review - Paapa Essiedu's winning Dane by Matt Wolf

RSC's touring Hamlet is well worth catching anywhere en routeShakespeare's death-laden play is alive and well and breathing with renewed force in Hackney, the last British stop for an R…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 01:00AM
Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: A Reimagining, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - a gentle exploration of life, love and death by Alexandra.coghlan

A beguilingly beautiful show from the UK's most exciting puppeteersVivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining – it’s not a title that trips off the tongue. Nor one, frankly, that i…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 09:00PM
Saturday, March 17, 2018

Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out by Katherine Waters

Adulteress, mother and immigrant tell their stories in three monologuesHot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing a…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:22AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Antony Sher: The Year of the Mad King - extract by Antony Sher

The actor's 'Lear Diaries' tell of his preparation to clamber up theatre's tallest peak for the RSCIn 1982 Antony Sher played the Fool to Michael Gambon’s King in the R…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:00AM
Monday, March 12, 2018

Humble Boy, Orange Tree Theatre review - love, death and science in Middle England by Aleks.sierz

Spirited revival of Charlotte Jones's 2001 hit buzzes with funGood programming is an art, and Paul Miller – artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre – is clearly on a continuous…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:20PM
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Brief Encounter, Empire Cinema review – poignant, hilarious revival by Heather Neill

Emma Rice's lauded version of the film returns with charm and inventiveness intactIt would be so easy to make fun of the 1945 Noel Coward/ David Lean film in which, famously, nothing ha…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 10:42AM
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Summer and Smoke, Almeida Theatre - exquisite renaissance of Tennessee Williams's neglected play by Marianka Swain

Patsy Ferran anchors a radiant coming-of-age taleThat this 1948 Tennessee Williams play is rarely performed seems nothing short of a travesty, thanks to the awe-inspiring case made for it by…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 09:19PM

Macbeth, National Theatre by Ismene.brown

Rory Kinnear plays the homicidal Thane like a Mitchell brother on the rampageFair is foul and foul is drab, gory and tricksy in Rufus Norris’s first stab at Shakespeare direction, Macbeth …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:13PM

Returning to Haifa, Finborough Theatre review - a bumpy journey into the Arab-Israeli past by Jenny Gilbert

Adaptation of Palestinian novella needs less tell, more showThis year the state of Israel marks its 70th birthday. Which means it’s also the year Palestinians remember the Nakba, the catas…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:01PM
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Best Man, Playhouse Theatre review - Gore Vidal’s plodding presidential drama by Aleks.sierz

Martin Shaw and Maureen Lipman fail to heat up chilly political thriller Is it possible to get too much of American politics? With Donald Trump’s daily tweets invading our digital space, a…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:01PM
Friday, March 2, 2018

Fanny and Alexander, Old Vic review - agile but shallow Bergman adaptation by David.nice

Three strong performances weakened by miscasting elsewhere and restless soundtrackCould an epic cinematic masterpiece be turned successfully into a three-act play? Confession first: Ingmar B…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:05AM
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Harold and Maude, Charing Cross Theatre review - Sheila Hancock serene in thin production by Saskia Baron

Theatrical adaptation of the 1971 cult Californian movie doesn't set the stage on fireThe practice of mining the rich seam of popular movies to turn them into stage plays or musicals se…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:00AM
Monday, February 26, 2018

theartsdesk in Minsk: feasting with Belarus Free Theatre by Jasper.rees

The renowned underground theatre company confronts the past and present at home and abroadBudzma! (Cheers!) At a long, food-laden table in a noisy room of Minsk, the capital of Belarus, a to…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:00AM
Saturday, February 24, 2018

'The greatest play ever written': translating 'The Cherry Orchard' by Rory Mullarkey

Rory Mullarkey introduces his new version of Chekhov's masterpiece for Bristol Old Vic“The Cherry Orchard is the greatest play ever written,” I declared, confidently, aged 16, to my…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:02AM
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Frozen, Haymarket Theatre review - star cast explores the reality of evil by Aleks.sierz

Suranne Jones, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya convincingly examine human darknessWhatever the weather, this week is Frozen. On Broadway, the Disney musical of that name begins previews, but …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:59PM
Monday, February 19, 2018

The B*easts, Bush Theatre review - Monica Dolan is almost flawless by Katherine Waters

Hectic monologue from smoking, drinking, fast-talking psychotherapist about women's bodiesLila had breast implants at the age of eight. Karen, her mother, is required to take psychother…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 08:14PM
Friday, February 16, 2018

Angry, Southwark Playhouse review – wondrously roaring Ridleyland by Aleks.sierz

Six monologues about extreme emotions offer trips to outer space and dystopiaMonologues are very much the flavour of the start of this theatrical year. At the Royal Court, we have Carey Mull…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:30PM

Girls & Boys, Royal Court review - Carey Mulligan is stunningly brilliant by Aleks.sierz

Dennis Kelly’s remarkable new monologue is a terrific experienceThis is Carey Mulligan week. She appears, improbably enough, as a hard-nosed cop in David Hare’s BBC thriller Collateral, …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:59AM
Thursday, February 15, 2018

'These star-crossed lovers are so young': adapting 'Brighton Rock' by Bryony Lavery

How to turn Graham Greene's novel into a play: the playwright Bryony Lavery explainsI never have the idea of adapting anything at all myself. The suggestions always come from directors …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:51PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The York Realist, Donmar Warehouse review - a miniaturist masterpiece by Matt.wolf

Pitch-perfect Peter Gill revival surpasses its original Peter Gill has been a quiet if invaluable mainstay of the Donmar over time. But the Welsh playwright-director has rarely been better s…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:31AM
Sunday, February 11, 2018

'Why we understand each other': Peter Gill on The York Realist by David Benedict

The playwright-director reflects on his 1999 play, revived at the Donmar and Sheffield CrucibleFingers on buzzers… Question: What’s the connection between Days of Wine and Roses, Small C…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 09:00PM
Friday, February 9, 2018

All or Nothing: The Mod Musical, Arts Theatre - plenty of room for ravers by Adam.sweeting

Tribute to the short but brilliant career of the Small FacesIf the Small Faces weren’t quite The Beatles or the Stones, they were one of the classic British bands of their era, and their r…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:30AM
Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Divide, Old Vic review - Alan Ayckbourn’s overblown dystopia by Aleks.sierz

Epic, very long satire on religion and sexual segregation prefers comedy to tragedyPlaywright Alan Ayckbourn basically comes in two flavours: suburban comedies of embarrassment and sci-fi fa…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:31AM
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Gundog, Royal Court review - tedious and inconsequential by Aleks.sierz

New misery fest about rural life is symbolic, but lacks drama and resonanceFirst the goats, and now the sheep – has this venue become an urban farm? Rural life, which was once so central t…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:05PM

Long Day's Journey Into Night, Wyndham's Theatre review - Lesley Manville hits ecstatic, fatal highs by Ismene.brown

A fine staging of O'Neill's family tragedy crowned by an indelible performanceEugene O’Neill’s 1945 play Long Day’s Journey Into Night is famously a portrayal of the hellish …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:00AM

Collective Rage, Southwark Playhouse review - a rollicking riot by Katherine Waters

Absurd romp through love, lust, and friendship is a knock-out“Pussy is pussy” and “bitches are bitches” but Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage at Southwark Playhouse smashes tautology…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:30AM
Monday, February 5, 2018

Paines Plough Roundabout, Orange Tree Theatre review - too brief to really rock by Aleks.sierz

Three-piece repertory is well staged, but the short-play formula doesn’t really workHype is a dangerous thing. It often raises expectations beyond the reasonable, and disappointment inevit…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 02:01AM
Friday, February 2, 2018

Booby's Bay, Finborough Theatre review - a bit fishy by Katherine Waters

Play about the Cornish housing crisis isn't so swell Carry on out of London past the Finborough Theatre and you hit the A4. Follow it east as it becomes the M4, take a southern turn at …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:20AM

Julius Caesar, Bridge Theatre review – blood, sweat and bullets by Sam Marlowe

Nicholas Hytner’s rabble-rousing production pits the ruling elite against populismAll hail! Shakespeare’s Roman drama may be enjoying something of a resurgence at present, but it rarely …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:03AM
Monday, January 29, 2018

The Open House, The Print Room review - razor wit, theatrical brio by Tom.birchenough

A tyrannical family reunion and a dramatic volte-face in Will Eno's ingenious new dramaThe American family has seldom look more desperate. Will Eno’s The Open House depicts a gatherin…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:45AM
Friday, January 26, 2018

The Believers Are But Brothers, Bush Theatre review - a gimmick in search of a story by Aleks.sierz

One-man show about political extremism on the internet occasionally disturbs Do boys never leave the playground? Just when I was reasonably sure that the crisis of masculinity was an old-fas…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:01PM

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