It is almost uncanny how an Arthur Miller play like All My Sons, treated respectfully, can in the most wrenchingly extreme story still catch the common rhythms and tides of family and neighbourhood.
Mates blogger: Libby Purves
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The minute you walk in the joint (Hey, big spender!), the trumpets and sax blare an impertinent welcome and you’re in the right dive for Sweet Charity.
After the interval, The Three Sisters, mercifully, in mood and pace, could be a different play. I left happy enough. But goodness, the first scenes badly need more vigour. And a trim.
I saw 22 plays in two days at the INK Festival 2019, but it was hardly half a bite of what was on offer. In three days there were 40, each performed several times. Everyone made jigsaws, scuttled between them, as if at a miniature – and better-natured– Edinburgh fringe.
Here’s to indicative handstands, meaningful cartwheels, benign defiance of common prudence, here’s to Lost In Translation Circus’ Hotel Paradiso.
My one grudge against the Old Laundry’s loving Beatrix Potter production Where is Peter Rabbit? – first aired three years ago – is that they waited till my youngest toddler was 31.
This isn’t the Wind in the Willows by Alan Bennett or Disney. In Metta Theatre’s cheeky, exuberant hip-hop musical version, Kenneth Grahame’s oar-plashing sylvan tale is kidnapped by the unruly class at The Willows school, next to the rough Wildwood Estate where the Weasel gang rule.
Specific though the SA setting is, Kunene & The King opens great vistas of heart-stopping universal wisdom about death, guilt, reconciliation and human need.
You can’t fault the atmosphere: Jasmine Swan’s set takes you straight to the wide skies and muddy, reedy mystery of Breydon Water, where the Norfolk and Suffolk Broadland rivers meet and strange old structures rot quietly into history.
Admissions is by the same Broadway writer as Bad Jews and even better. And nicely topical too, both sides of the Atlantic, since it’s about the middle-class obsession with shoehorning their 17- and 18-year-old kids into the ‘right’ colleges.
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