No ‘turn’ unstoned? The fourteen young performers in Hair certainly give a credible impression of being out of their skulls on psychedelic substances while still managing to deliver some sharply-focused choreography and powerful vocals.
A starry home team enthusiastically play up the comedy. Sarah Tynan is one of ENO’s most technically perfect sopranos but she’s also their wittiest actress and her Rosina is effortlessly sung and enjoyably mettlesome.
Filth, farce and absurdism are individually difficult to pull off so combining all three in a ripely uncensored 50th-anniversary version of Joe Orton’s Loot is high risk, but when it works it’s excellent.
Jordan Tannahill’s taut, 75-minute darkly comic real-life social drama Late Company draws two Toronto couples into God of Carnage country as they attempt to broker closure over the suicide of Joel, bullied at high school for homosexuality.
Antic Disposition’s RayBan-and-head-mike-modernised Richard III contrasts the glorious 12th century setting of Temple Church, with a terrific crash course in modern ensemble acting and a booming soundtrack.
Against the odds, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ is an energetic, sharp and witty triumph. I say ‘against the odds’ because, in the over-extended franchise Olympics, Adrian Mole would be in a straight fight with Bridget Jones for the right to lose to Harry Potter in the final.
I started to wonder whether being cast with an all Indian company – to reflect the population of a typical Lancashire street of terraces nowadays – might better highlight the characters’ issues and dilemmas,
There’s more than a touch of Bette Davis in The Anniversary in this Jamie Lloyd-directed version of Alexei Kaye Campbell’s acidulated family drama Apologia, now lightly Americanised to suit the talents of Stockard Channing.