How far would you go to achieve domestic perfection? What even is domestic perfection? Is our happiness shaped by or confounded by traditional gender roles? These are the questions Laura Wade poses in her feminist satire Home, I’m Darling.
Mates blogger: Not Exactly Billington
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For three years, #ReadaPlayaWeek was a, well, weekly feature of our blog. Starting out as a way to familiarise myself more with the canon, long-established and establishment writers were a regular feature.
Katori Hall teams up once again with director James Dacre to present the extraordinary Our Lady of Kibeho, a study on belief that is at once universal and deeply personal, while also scrutinising the communal seeds of warfare.
Anaïs Mitchell has instigated something special, and I hope, and expect, Hadestown to evolve further throughout the years, as each new version creates its own musical and mythological traditions.
“The inheritance of wisdom, community and self” – Matthew Lopez. Each year, around March, I think of a brilliant way to start the Best of the Year list. Each year, around December, I forget it. In the year when football nearly came home and the UK has been stuck on a political pause, theatre has been the lodestar.
This year, after a reported £3.6 million refurbishment at Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre, it has reopened. Sandi Toksvig’s new version of Treasure Island, directed by Matthew Forbes, is its first major production.
From catchy tunes and magical turns to a solid moral lesson for kiddies to learn, Suba Das has created a joyous show in The Cat in the Hat, I urge, families, friends and theatre-lovers to go.
With White Christmas, Curve has yet again produced a classy production filled with yuletide magic and enough fluffy escapism to warm hearts on these cold winter nights.
Now, Laurence Connor and James Powell’s new production of Les Misérables (seen on Broadway a few years ago) gives Les Mis a fresh look which will assure its longevity.
The night before Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination on the balcony outside of his Memphis motel room, Katori Hall’s play The Mountaintop takes us inside Room 306 where he was staying.
Having come to Rock of Ages with no prior reference other than the 2012 film version (mostly memorable for featuring a surprisingly entertaining performance from Tom Cruise) I was, let’s say, unprepared for the stage show. It’s an altogether louder, more unsavoury affair.
A Very Very Very Dark Matter lacks the coherence and pleasing culmination of the playwright’s other works. Despite the ‘upbeat ending’, this play displays none of Martin McDonagh’s trademark pitch-black farce.
The Madness of George III offers a great part for an actor, one which Mark Gatiss relishes. His vocal and physical tics are memorable, while never reducing mental illness to a series of quirks.
To say Calendar Girls The Musical is celebratory seems cliché, yet there’s no better description; Calendar Girls is an unashamed celebration of love, life, and community (and cake!).
Overall, Cilla the Musical is a watchable and well-produced show. On the other hand, I think there’s possibly a more interesting story in there.
Bourne’s Swan Lake is timeless, this production as fresh as ever, while a company that embodies a tireless amount verve, ingenuity, precision and emotion ensure this is a revival to be universally celebrated.
Despite a lack of connection, The Wipers Times celebrates a great, previously untold story, about war, journalism, tenacity, and the need for humour in difficult times.
The Lovely Bones is one of the best plays I’ve seen this year. In fact, Melly Still’s vital production is the best page to stage adaptation I’ve seen since Curious Incident.
In Bill Buckhurst’s production of Sweet Charity we benefit from the delicate balance between the seediness of the New York backstreets with the technicolor of Charity’s blithe daydreams.
Whatever criticisms people may have of McDonagh, his neat plotting and big jokes are enough to entice people not usually interested in theatre. It may be Aidan Turner drawing the crowds in, but it’s Martin McDonagh keeping them satiated.
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