In a strong year for new London productions, Curtains finishes 2019 on a high with a true song and dance show that glories in its love of the stage and the process of putting on a production.
Mates blogger: Maryam Philpott
Maryam Philpott is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Maryam's posts on MyTheatreMates. Take a look at our full list of theatre bloggers and our aggregated feed of all our Mates' posts. We’re always looking for new theatre bloggers. Could that be you? Learn about how to join us.
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In Teenage Dick Mike Lew has created a version of Richard III that suits the high school context extremely well, asking the audience to consider attitudes to disability, power and social structures that perpetuate all kinds of inequality.
With its comment on the burden of expectation placed on women, class struggle, race and sexuality, more than six decades on A Taste Of Honey has lost none of its bite.
Reimagined for the modern stage with a contemporary cast led by James McAvoy, Jamie Lloyd’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac feels at every moment like theatre at its most exciting, liberating and inclusive.
Melly Still’s reworking of April De Angelis’ adaptation of My Brilliant Friend gives the show both a flowing and episodic quality as the interior monologue of the protagonist in the books is replaced by fully dramatised scenes.
The skill with which this production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane has been developed clearly demonstrates a theatre company with a revitalised energy.
If this inaugural show, Ghost Quartet, means the new Boulevard Theatre is setting out its stall for a programme of unusually staged and challenging productions in the future then there is every reason to come back soon.
While the descent into a kind of collective insanity may seem strange in lieu of a plot in Annie Baker’s Antipodes at the National Theatre, as with all her work you find your thoughts returning to it again and again once the curtain comes down.
Part of the success of Lungs is that it is not the uber-liberal, finger-wagging climate change play you expect it to be, plus both the production’s stars are superb and entirely believable as the central couple.
It has been a long time since the West End saw a truly great Macbeth so perhaps this is a chance for Simm and Kirwan to buck the trend with impressive performances that offer a different perspective on their characters while creating a potency in their exchanges that is never less than compelling.
Marina Carr’s coherent vision for Blood Wedding delivers a production that is unforgiving, creating a portentous world in which notions of love and freedom will always be trampled by the stronger inheritance of history, violence and family legacy
In A Very Expensive Poison Lucy Prebble has serious arguments to outlay about the relationship between international governments and narrative misdirection, but the broadly comic approach to presentation feels at odds with the meaning of the play.
Hansard is a great political play, one that tells us everything about the society we have become and why the impasse of the last three years cannot be easily broken.
Jacobs-Jenkins explores how even fairly recent national history can be sanitised and reduced when examined from only one perspective in Appropriate at the Donmar Warehouse.
Like its predecessors, 2019’s Les Misérables: The Staged Concert will be long remembered as another notable event in the musical’s performance history, heralding the return of Michael Ball to a show he helped to establish, but this time in the role of Javert.
Actually has its issues as a drama and the heavily discursive competing narratives approach limits how the play is staged that can feel repetitive at times, but Ziegler has created a scenario and two complicated people who feel credibly drawn.
With plenty to say about the shallow foundations of political leaders hiding behind their PR machines, Jamie Lloyd’s triumphant Evita is raw, fresh and intense – “oh what a show!”
As the conclusion to a strong season of unusual Williams revivals, Southern Belles proves valuable and illuminating, concluding with an important moment of solidarity that leaves the audience with a sense of hope and the value of community to take home.
Max Vernon’s musical The View UpStairs making its European debut at the Soho Theatre and running for just five weeks, commemorates the 1973 arson attack on a gay bar in New Orleans which was the most significant event of its kind until 2016’s Florida shootings.
Gripping performances from Clive Owen and Lia Williams, and James Macdonald’s slow-burn direction allows Tennessee Williams’ writing in The Night Of The Iguana to cast its spell.
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