In The Machine Stops E. M. Forster unusually abandons his general milieu of the genteel classes and takes a look at a supposed future – the theme of connection, however, is still very much in evidence as he examines a world that is literally falling apart.
Mates blogger: John Chapman
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Broadcast on the fifth anniversary, one cannot but conclude that Grenfell, Scenes From The Enquiry is a devastating critique of a system which put money before people and allowed a tragedy which claimed the life of 72 victims to take place.
Voted back into power three times, Tony Blair left office with the accusations of being a manipulative liar ringing in his ears – not that that has ever slowed down the current incumbent. And it is this almost Shakespearian trajectory of the tragic hero gone to the bad which forms the backbone of Tony! at the Park Theatre.
Based on a true story Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan concentrates on the period in the early 2000s when the Taliban in Afghanistan had been pushed back following Western liberation/invasion – depending on your point of view.
Certainly a powerfully realised piece of drama, Mission at The Big House is all defiantly obscure, though it clicks into place eventually, and you cannot help but admire the skill that goes into the piece.
What do you do when the artistic muse has deserted you? Or when it has never really arrived?
Harold Pinter’s The Dwarfs is a fascinating glimpse into the development of one of the major playwrights of the 20th century and this production does it full credit.
All three of the short plays that feature in Fizzy Sherbet’s audio series centre on writer/performers who, not unnaturally, bring a depth of emotion to their own work.
I’m not sure whether I’ve actually been to Woking. It’s that sort of place – although how I’d know that if I’ve never actually been there, I really couldn’t say. I suppose it’s all because of its association with safe middle-class surburbia.
One of Sondheim’s earliest works Anyone Can Whistle has just opened at Southwark Playhouse. Notoriously a flop back in 1964, many have tried but few have succeeded in reviving its fortunes.
Diary Of A Somebody is credited to John Lahr, though technically he might be said to be the arranger/editor. For the actual words are those of Joe Orton as recorded in a journal that he decided to keep in 1966/7.
After a trying day (don’t ask), it was particularly pleasing therefore to unwind with Sasha Regan’s All-Male HMS Pinafore at Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End.
Having seen Marcus Brigstocke’s name attached to it, I instantly assumed this would be a broadly comic play that was strong on laughs and reasonably light on subject matter.
Animal behaviour but within a human framework. This is a powerful new play from Ruby Thomas at Hampstead Theatre.
Kipps – The New Half A Sixpence Musical is “new” in the sense that it’s an updated version of a musical first performed in the early 1960s to showcase the singing, dancing and banjo playing talents of Tommy Steele.
East Is East is a recent addition to National Theatre’s At Home catalogue and only appeared as a live production back in October.
Ruth Wilson is strong casting in the central role with a, for once, restrained Ivo van Hove directing.
Light as a souffle but such a delight. It’s doubtful whether there has ever been a classier bit of froth than this Cole Porter show.
The Shrek franchise opts for a modern-day spin on the traditional form, undermining expectations and undercutting some of the more winsome aspects with one-liners and witty put-downs.
The holidays have always been a time of rich pickings for dramatists, bringing together people (pre-Covid at least) who probably avoid each other for the rest of the year.
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