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VIDEOS & PHOTOS: ABBA, friendships, the joys of fandom & paying tribute to Paul O’Grady – Terri Paddock hosts a The Way Old Friends Do post-show Q&A

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Other Recent Articles, Photos, Plays, Touring, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Following the news of Paul O’Grady’s unexpected death, this specific performance of The Way Old Friends Do at London’s Park Theatre was dedicated to the comedian and drag legend, whose voice opens the show. Writer and star Ian Hallard paid tribute to O’Grady before curtain-up, and we started the post-show talk with Ian and director Mark Gatiss recalling how enthusiastically O’Grady recorded his voiceovers – despite not loving ABBA.

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FROM DOWN UNDER: Siegfried in Bendigo

In Australia, Concerts, International, Musicals, Opera, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Simon ParrisLeave a Comment

The abundant musical and artistic quality impresses again as Melbourne Opera presents Siegfried, third instalment in their mighty Bendigo Ring Cycle. Seen last September in concert, Siegfried comes to rich dramatic life in its fully staged production. Led by sturdy heldentenor Bradley Daley in the title role, the opera begins gradually with domestic drama before surging on to dragon slaying, a helpful singing bird, and the romantic rescue of Brünnhilde.

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‘Chaotically energetic, honest, raw & wild’: LORD OF THE FLIES – Leeds ★★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Fairy Powered ProductionsLeave a Comment

Leeds Playhouse and Belgrade Theatre Coventry’s co-production of William Golding’s Lords of the Flies is brought to the stage and re-imagined 70 years after it was first written. Nigel Williams’ adaptation and Amy Leach’s direction of this production realistically correlates to the world many live in.

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‘A blistering experience’: A LITTLE LIFE – Harold Pinter Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

Anyone who has read the book will know what to expect or if you haven’t then there are enough content warnings to prepare you at least for some of what is to come in Ivo van Hove and Koen Tachelet’s stage adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. In practice it is a blistering experience that realigns the source material to create a more integrated theatrical experience using plenty of techniques that van Hove more usually applies to working with his Dutch company.

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‘You have to admire Jameson’s chutzpah’: TEN DAYS – The Space (Online show)

In London theatre, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Taking as his central text American journalist John Reed’s seminal book Ten Days That Shook The World, Matthew Jameson’s “labour of love” project Ten Days (it has taken a mere 10 years or so to get this work finished) provides a convoluted history lesson which sets out the main events in some detail and introduces a whole gallery of historical figures who played their part in the process.

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‘Feels less spicy & naughty than once it did’: HAY FEVER – Sonning ★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Alun HoodLeave a Comment

Seeing Hay Fever at the lovely Mill at Sonning, not far from the Thames-side village Cookham, where Coward’s play is actually set, feels almost like immersive theatre. It also feels a little like stepping back in time to a gentler era. Some people may find it a little staid, but it’s not hard to see why it proves so perennially popular.

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‘An excellent group of actors convincingly play off one another’: FARM HALL – Jermyn Street Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Tom BoltonLeave a Comment

This scenario is a ready-made play, a situation where some of the greatest scientific minds of their time are confronted with the consequences of their personal and political actions. The transcripts of the Farm Hall recordings were published in the 1990s, and other plays have been produced using their contents. However, Katherine Moar’s play, which has its first full production at the Jermyn Street Theatre, makes good use of the material to create a compelling drama, in which a large cast is handled well.

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‘Anne Reid does an uncanny turn’: MARJORIE PRIME – Menier Chocolate Factory

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Artificial intelligence and robotics have long been a boon to us ethical-scifi buffs, films like AI and I, Robot mercifully saving us from rocket ships and aliens called Xzxvyvrgg. In Jordan Harrison’s play Marjorie Prime at the Menier Chocolate Factory it is inner space – and a recognisable world – which gets invaded by parasitic cyberthink.

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‘It’s brilliant to see underrepresented voices brought to life’: ALFIE’S FIRST FIGHT – Touring

In Children's theatre, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by The Family StageLeave a Comment

Oliver Sykes’ debut children’s novel is inspired by growing up as a keen amateur boxer in a single parent family on the breadline. Having long been a passionate advocate for underrepresented voices, Sykes brings his own personal experiences to the page in Alfie’s First Fight, which promises to be a cross between Jacqueline Wilson and Rocky Balboa.

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‘A celebration of hard won opportunity that must never be torn away’: WALDO’S CIRCUS OF MAGIC & TERROR – Touring

In Circus, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Katharine KavanaghLeave a Comment

Waldo’s Circus of Magic and Terror is advertised as a new musical, and it does have songs in, but it also has much more. To me, it feels like a play with music, dance, creative access design, and circus acrobatics mixed together. And the combination is very effective. The show is powerful, with funny moments, beautiful moments, and devastatingly sad moments as it reminds us of terrible things that have happened to people who are considered ‘different’ through history.