Directed by Simon Godwin, the domestic comedy drama sets up an immediately recognisable scenario in which a repressed, dysfunctional family come together for the ritual of Christmas Day.
Despite being blown away by True West, something about Sam Shepard makes me a little wary. I liked rather than loved Fool For Love and ultimately steered clear of the recent Buried Child and it was with a little trepidation that I allowed myself to make my way into A Lie of the Mind, produced here at the Southwark Playhouse by the folks at Defibrillator Theatre.
A day or so after Theresa May’s keynote speech about Brexit the words Europe and European carry an electric charge. For Leavers, they represent the evil empire; for Remainers, a world we have lost. In this context, seeing a play by Germany’s most performed playwright feels more than usually significant.
Roland Schimmelpfennig’s 2013 play Winter Solstice receives its British premiere at the Orange Tree in this Actors Touring Company production directed by Ramin Gray. And it is well worth the effort as though it may flirt with the experimental, it also cuts through to the elemental – as piercing an insight into the rise of the far right as we’ve seen on any stage.
Pleasing on the eye and ear, this 1930s Noël Coward script is brought to life for 2016 by director Tom Attenborough and a cast of five. Telling the story of two newly married divorcees who find themselves honeymooning in conjoining suites, the play follows Elyot and Amanda as they differentiate between love and marriage and perception and reality – both with each other and their new partners.
A major revival of Noël Coward’s hilarious masterpiece, Private Lives will embark on a prior to the West End UK tour starring stage and screen stars Tom Chambers (Top Hat, Strictly Come Dancing) as the loveable and charming Elyot and Laura Rogers (Tipping The Velvet, An Ideal Husband) as the unconventional and vivacious Amanda, alongside Charlotte Ritchie (Call The Midwife, One Night in November) as Sybil and Richard Teverson (Downton Abbey) as Victor.