The third of the Old Vic’s ‘In Camera’ live streamed performances is Brian Friel’s 1979 play Faith Healer, often described as his masterpiece.
It is in the second half of Squad Goals where the play comes to life and comes into its own. The football tournament is depicted through two long, dance sequences that burst with a ferocious, kinetic energy that absolutely fills the stadium.
The Talking Heads monologues The Shrine and Bed Among the Lentils are absorbing and thrilling and touching and – here is the surprise – amid Alan Bennett’s wry pathos the playlets are often enormously funny.
Ultimately this Old Vic in Camera production of Faith Healer, starring Michael Sheen, David Threlfall and Indira Varma, is a flawless rendition of a deeply engrossing and emotional text.
With a thought-provoking script at its heart and a flawless performance from Maureen Lipman, Rose is an important and powerful production which proves essential viewing.
This version of Look Back in Anger is from 30 odd years later and was mounted by Renaissance Theatre, then a relatively new company formed by a young Kenneth Branagh. The play was directed by Judi Dench, his is a made for television re-creation from 1989.
In OPEN Ealing’s Love Screens – three short plays that are written by Nicolas Ridley and directed by Anthony Shrubsall – relationships are placed under the microscope: those that have run their course, those that have remained in a state of inertia and those that may blossom, given the right circumstances.
The Bridge Theatre’s most savvy decision is in teaming The Shrine with Bed Among the Lentils, placing together two of our finest actors who effortless and regularly transition between stage and screen – Monica Dolan and Lesley Manville.
Strictly 18-plus, Pinocchio Gets Wood is a riot of filth in words and gestures right from the first appearance of Dame Ciabatta Myflange (the tireless Daniel Page). No Widow Twankey, this Dame makes a living selling sex toys.
Although I have visited Brick Lane a number of times over the years, much of We Are Shadows: Brick Lane this was refreshingly new to me and the adventure was a delightful experience.
Magnificently played and realised by Maureen Lipman, Martin Sherman and Scott Le Crass, Rose is well worth viewing.
With this year being topsy turvy and in need of a few laughs, there is plenty to be found in the Guildford Fringe Theatre Company’s summer pantomime Pinocchio Gets Wood which contains all the elements for a fun hour’s entertainment.
Martin Sherman’s intense play is revived by Hope Mill Theatre with an absorbing performance from Maureen Lipman as the 80-year-old recounting the events of her life.
Included in the shows offered at this year’s digital Edinburgh Fringe, comes Hollow. It is a musical from performer David Kent and collaborator Dereck Walker, weaving supernatural stories with folk melodies.
Play Dead London, a company specialising in immersive murder-mysteries, first arrived on the scene in 2012 and, judging by their reviews, it has most certainly made an impact in the immersive market.
Good things come to those who wait, an axiom that applies in duplicate to Stephen Beresford’s latest play Three Kings screened via the Old Vic’s innovative In Camera series for just five performances.
John Chapman ties up a few loose ends by catching up with short play/film Shielders as part of the Traverse Theatre Festival and the live stream of Stephen Beresford’s play Three Kings, starring Andrew Scott and streamed from The Old Vic.
Set adrift in the ocean of indifference and ineptitude of government guidelines, theatres and producers are finding creative solutions to stage shows, and this socially-distanced production of C-o-n-t-a-c-t is a wonderful way to experience an intriguing and uplifting play.
C.O.N.T.A.C.T is an opportunity to reacquaint oneself and make contact with an art form so close to so many, on a whole new level.
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.