At 53, Simon Evans isn’t so different from circuit comedians half his age – a rhetorical stream of invective squirted squarely at current events, with the exception that he speaks entirely in well-honed sentences, not an er, ah or um in sight
“You put the grill on high, and the bread under it. Turn it over half-way through. And then you take it out and scrape it.” That extract from my eight-year-old school essay could just as easily have come from the book and script of Toast, a delightful and fond depiction of food writer Nigel Slater’s formative years.
The London Fringe has been diligent in ploughing back catalogue after back catalogue for ‘forgotten’ musicals, and Maggie May has not been seen in London for 55 years.
Every time I see a new musical made from a recent-ish film, I wonder if this could be ‘the one’, the one that jumps the shark and enters the canon of the regularly performed.
Andy Nyman does sterling work to bring Tevye off the page, breaking the fourth wall to chat with the Almighty, and rubbing his arthritic joints to punctuate Sheldon Harnick’s lazy ‘deidle deidle deidle dumb’ lyrics in ‘If I Were A Rich Man’.
One of the best things about Admissions at Trafalgar Studios is how far it will get up the noses of the ‘woke’ twitterati. I can think of a couple of agenda-toting print critics who’ll also be hammering their keyboards like warriors to be sneeringly unpleasant about the play.
At last, Rufus Norris’ National Theatre has come of age. Breathtaking, brave and brilliantly acted, Downstate is a landmark play. It’s listed as a ‘collaboration’ between NT and Steppenwolf, but the Chicago company’s prints are all over this glistening weapon.
The Phlebotomist is an exceptional concept for a ‘first play’ and Hampstead has made a real discovery in Ella Road and partnered her script with Sam Yates’ slick direction.
Maybe in a far-off dimension of time and space, at the crossroads of imagination and reality, our descendants will discover a stage adaption of The Twilight Zone which will fill them with the wonder and mystery of the original. But not here.
With technically excellent 360 degree projection and sound, and some smart and crisp choreography from the passionate cast, Gingerline’s The Great Expedition is a truly enjoyable, immersive and all-enveloping evening.