In Complicité Theatre’s Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead, Kathryn Hunter keeps the audience engaged as her confidante and our gateway into shining a light on the anti-ecological policies of local government. The production team, especially Dick Straker’s video design, should also be commended.
Mates blogger: Michael Davis
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The latest from Michael on MyTheatreMates
Written and performed by Collette Cooper, Tomorrow May Be My Last is an unabashed love letter to Joplin, and her legacy as a performer and human being. Anyone who knows anything about Joplin’s life knows that there is a lot to unpack and near impossible to convey succinctly or in-depth.
Using examples from the past 180 years, Four Poems From Ukraine oscillates between poems performed in English (by actors in London and Toronto), and Ukrainian actors performing in their native language (with English subtitles), with filmed footage of the bombsites of Irpin.
The years following the 1929 Wall Street Crash left many Americans (and the rest of the world) facing economic hardship – a state of affairs that lasted right up until the Second World War. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the parallels between the events from nearly 100 years ago with what is happening today, with people trying to eke out a living during these depressed times. Esteemed playwright and director Conor McPherson uses this backdrop for the show Girl from the North Country, which is currently touring the UK at the moment.
If you could meet your 15-year-old-self, what would you say? Would your point of view be any different from theirs? Or perhaps the only deviation would be time has honed your views with greater clarity and nuance? Written by Elin Doyle and directed by Laura Kirman, Guinea Pigs is about a teenager whose father is connected to the British nuclear testing programme – its aftermath having major physical and emotional repercussions.
Given the nature of the show and its subject matter, The Quality of Mercy is an ‘understated’ affair. However, this is not a criticism or back-handed compliment. Quite the opposite. Flay has distilled all the facts and the myriad of opinions on the matter and created a deftly-fashioned show that lifts the layers off Shipman’s cognitive reasoning and treats the victims with the utmost respect.
Lazarus Theatre Company’s latest production of Doctor Faustus (which is directed by Ricky Dukes), takes place with modern dress, but retains Christopher Marlowe’s original words (albeit in a truncated version).
Developed by Broken Silence Theatre for the digital segment of the Brighton Fringe Festival, Fragments is a triple bill of short audio plays celebrating playwrights from Sussex and the South East of England. Covering topics such as doubts and pressure, belonging and loss, each of the plays gets under the skin of the raw emotions that are seldom candidly talked about in public.
While the title of Jasmine Lee-Jones’ play is provocative by anyone’s standards, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Ask anybody about the rights of disabled people, and most would say in principle that they should be given every opportunity to live life to the fullest. But given this assumption, why is it so hard to imagine that they are interested in dating – and all that that entails?
During one’s formative years, it’s not uncommon to ‘fall in love’ with a pastime or something that inspires a lifelong ‘passion’. For some, it is Britney Spears.
Female-led theatre covers every topic imaginable, but one subject that you would expect to be insightful is what’s motherhood REALLY like.
Halloween season is once more upon us and the London Horror Festival has plenty of macabre productions to satisfy the most dedicated aficionado. One show that stands out from the rest online is Blind by Ryots Productions.
Parodies of familiar tales are a well-loved staple of comedic storytelling. Everyone from the Carry On films to Spike Milligan and Mel Brooks have successfully employed this strategy, often injecting social satire into the mirth.
Every person who has ever been diagnosed with cancer asks at some point “What do I do now?” and “How can I carry on?” While the ‘tropes’ of behaviour post-diagnosis are familiar to people as the five stages of grief, there is a world of difference between being ‘intellectually aware’ of such things and ‘living in the thick of it’…
During the 20th century, absurdism and surrealism surfaced in literature to make pertinent points about human nature and ‘the real world’. Prime examples include Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and by George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In both cases, anthropomorphism features – a state of affairs that is tonally ‘taken for granted’.
Written by Peter Mulligan, Loop examines different philosophical outlooks one might have and how they ‘help’ (or not) with expectations of life.
In keeping with its nuanced writing, Colour shows how people of all backgrounds are susceptible to feigning civility, using acts of ‘kindness’, ‘politeness’ and even smiling to hide their innermost thoughts and feelings.
Originally conceived in 2018, the House of Blakewell’s Everything Is Absolutely Fine is a fitting show to usher in theatre for 2021 and prescient in the way it broaches mental health issues.
An anthology of female-led black comedy, Obscenities (which is written by Venetia Twigg and Will Nash) is evidence of theatre’s ability to adapt to our current Covid restrictions. Split into three short episodes, each segment is underpinned by characters who find themselves in uncomfortable situations.
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