The Normal Heart is a play of fights. Set in the early 1980s in New York, gay men are dying, but gay activist Ned Weeks is struggling to get anyone to do anything.
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Two actors on stage describe their characters as if the direction in the playtext is part of the script. It is the first of many quirks in Aleshea Harris’ dark revenge comedy Is God Is.
Chloe Nelkin has run theatre, arts and opera PR company, Chloe Nelkin Consulting, for 10 years, and we sat down to talk about how theatres responded during lockdown and what the legacy will be. I also asked her what we should look out for and what she’s most looking forward to seeing.
The three sisters in Shelagh Stephenson’s play The Memory of Water – Teresa (Lucy Black), Mary (Laura Rogers) and Catherine (Carolina Main) – have gathered at their mother’s home ahead of her funeral.
The Two Character Play at London’s Hampstead Theatre was at times interesting and enjoyable and at others frustrating and perplexing.
Last year a critic described a dramatic response to the Black Lives Matter protests, to which Benedict Lombe contributed, as ‘more lecture than theatre’. The quote is projected onto the set of her debut play, Lava, at the Bush Theatre.
Anna X by Joseph Charlton is a fresh, contemporary play set in New York that explores identity and acceptance in the modern age.
J’Ouvert bursts onto the stage and it is the theatre experience I’ve been waiting to get back to. Theatre that can pack a powerful punch and do it while at the same time be entertaining.
I really wanted to like Walden, it was my first trip to the theatre since they were last open in early December, but it just didn’t deliver the promised tension and drama.
London has an abundance of pub theatres, and the Old Red Lion in Islington is one of my favourites. The space is tiny with pew-like seating on two sides of the tea-tray sized stage.
Travis Alabanza’s play Overflow is set in the toilet of a club from where transgirl Rosie (Reece Lyons) has locked herself in.
All By Myself is a production by Part of the Main theatre company for Applecart Arts and it explores identity during the Covid crisis when your only connection to the outside world is via the internet.
The Young Vic is celebrating its 50th birthday and while I’ve only been visiting since 2007-ish, I’ve seen many fantastic and memorable plays there in that time.
Three Kings, beautifully written by Stephen Beresford, gives Andrew Scott even more scope to sprinkle his performance magic. Created especially for the Old Vic’s In Camera season, it is described as a scratch performance but only the lack of embellishments like set and fancy lighting give any sign of this.
Blindness is adapted by Simon Stephens from a novel by José Saramago and tells the story of an epidemic in which people suddenly go blind.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, hate crime targeted at East and South-East Asians has tripled. We R Not Virus is a series of monologues, films and poetry responding to that.
Head of theatre and artist development at Brixton House (formally Ovalhouse*) Owen Calvert-Lyons talks about life during the lockdown, the post-Covid future for fringe theatre and streaming.
While there might not be quite as many meaty stage roles for actresses as there are actors (is that changing?), the plethora of acting talent I’ve seen over the past 10 years made this quite tricky to narrow down.
The idea of re-performing Lungs while the actors safely socially distance got me thinking about other plays which have been performed over the past year or two that could be similarly revived.
You can’t beat the experience of sitting in a theatre watching a live performance, but one of the lockdown-positives is a chance to watch stuff I sadly missed and Barber Shop Chronicles is one of those.
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