little scratch (deliberately styled in lower case) is adapted by Miriam Battye from Rebecca Watson’s 2020 debut novel, and was first staged at the Hampstead Theatre in 2021. It now transfers, with a slight cast change, to the New Diorama.
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon takes a look at what critics have said about Lolita Chakrabarti’s staging of Maggie O’Farrell’s novel, Hamnet.
Directed by Lisa Millar and choreographed by Christopher Tendai, Wonderland in Alice is an original adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s tale that explores its themes and tropes through contemporary dance and music, trippy visuals and dynamic stage design.
A good double bill of one act plays can be a bit of a rarity. It might consist of pieces with radically different themes by diverse writers who adopt varying tones forming an unsatisfactory pairing. Or it might just gel as a cohesive evening where each element benefits from the presence of the other and enhances the overall experience. Fortunately Generation Games, currently playing at the White Bear Theatre, falls into the latter category with both plays examining intergenerational gay relationships.
It’s a joy to have the intimate Swan auditorium open again, refurbished after going dark in the first sudden Covid closure, and to see once again a strong, nimble RSC ensemble conjuring up the past in Hamnet.
The sun is setting on Michael Longhurst’s time at the Donmar Warehouse and his penultimate production is a timeless classic, Noel Coward’s sparky and charismatic relationship comedy about middle aged love, Private Lives, a fairly safe bet which this century alone has resulted in some great comic pairings from Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan to Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor. But Coward’s work is tricky to get right and it always looks far easier than it really is.
This touring production of Home, I’m Darling did have me questioning the role we all play in setting out norms and the judgements we make about people, lifestyle choices and assets but it was certainly not a gloomy comment on any of that. All in all it was a perfect combination of vintage style, jive and humour.
The Downstairs studio space of the Hampstead Theatre manages to continue to offer an opportunity to go beyond the usual naturalism of traditional storytelling, and this is exemplified by Cordelia Lynn’s new play Sea Creatures, which is an experiment in new writing, partly a family play and partly a symbolist drama. While not entirely successful, it does have its good points.
Celebrating over 50 years since its initial publication, Judith Kerr’s Mog the Forgetful Cat is now an institution for families all across the UK, as they settle down to a bedtime story together. As the nation’s favourite feline, it’s perhaps surprising that it has taken a golden anniversary to see Mog hit our stages
The RSC’s production of Julius Caesar is dynamic and refreshing. Atri Banerjee’s directorial debut for the company is a brave, brilliant and bold experience, bringing this 400-year-old play bounding on to the stage in a way that has never been seen before but is most definitely a must see.
Emma Rice’s adaptation of Brief Encounter certainly adds a fresh look at the 1945 British romantic film directed by David Lean, which had originally been adapted from the Noël Coward play of 1936, Still Life.
Eugene O’Hare’s astonishing three-hander, The Dry House, premiering at the new Marylebone Theatre in a well nigh perfect production by the author himself, continues to demonstrate his remarkable ability to pan beautiful gold from ugliness.
Children will be spellbound by the magic of the set and the catchy tunes in The Lost Spells, and adults will be reminded of the innocence of their childhoods. All will be reminded of the beauty of the natural world, and hopefully inspired to protect it. A delight.
It doesn’t take long to understand why Rafaella Marcus’ debut play Sap garnered so many rave reviews at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The quality of the writing and its exceptional delivery under Jessica Lazar’s direction make an instant impression, even before the complexity of the play and its themes fully comes to light.
We are not meant to be sure of anything, but the author is no Florin Zeller. What we do know is that the infuriating, self-consciously poetic piece Sea Creatures at the Hampstead Theatre was written by Cordelia Lynn during a four week writers’ “residency” in America.
Wow! James Norton naked! Wow! New play by Ivo van Hove. Wow! It’s four hours long. Wow! Wow! Wow! The much anticipated play of the year, an adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s 700-page bestselling novel of 2015 A Little Life, comes to the West End in a huge blaze of publicity.
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy at the Apollo Theatre is a powerful and thought-provoking production which offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by young black men in today’s society.
Sucker Punch by Roy Williams delivers more than one or two physical and emotional punches throughout the play. Set within the boxing club environment throughout the production. Every battle fought within the play takes place in or around the boxing ring.
The Union Theatre reopened some time ago but Betty Blue Eyes is its first in house production since then, a revival of the Stiles and Drewe musical from 2011 about social mobility, the wedding of Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and a pig heist.
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon looks at what is being said about Berlusconi – A New Musical, based around the politician Silvio Berlusconi. The musical continues to play at the Southwark Playhouse’s Elephant venue until 29 April 2023.