Tea drinking features heavily in Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s posh kitchen-set play The Clinic at the Almeida Theatre. But this tea may or may not have intoxicating or calming effects; even those who fervently dislike infusions get a taste for it. And that is The Clinic, a mix of contemporary family drama and something more difficult to put a finger on.
If anything, the resonances in Mike Bartlett’s Albion have grown and strengthened as countrywide divisions have hardened.
Young writers and performers take a long hard look at climate change with entertaining results in Almeida Theatre’s digital season Shifting Tides.
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has thrown a whole new light on certain plays, the ones about isolation, loneliness and surreal landscapes.
Not to let a decade of theatre bloggery go by without marking the occasion, to kick things off, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite play for each year I’ve been blogging. It has been fun revisiting my best-of lists but absolute agony narrowing each list down to just one.
Albion is a meaty, emotional and funny play with a superb Victoria Hamilton drawing out the complexity of Audrey, even if you don’t feel sorry for her.
A magnetic stage presence, Lydia Wilson is a strong woman in The Duchess Of Malfi, clever, kind, stoic and justifiably angry. It makes her an all the more tragic figure.
Vassa, adapted from Maxim Gorky’s original by Mike Bartlett, is a pitch-black comedy rather than a farce, so pitch black that you struggle to see where the laughs are.
The performances are superb in The Doctor at the Almeida Theatre, Juliet Stevenson is as formidable as her character and Ria Zmitrowicz’s dry one-liners are a refreshing light relief particularly as the persistent tension can become a bit numbing.
Sonia Friedman Productions is celebrating after the Broadway transfers of The Ferryman and Ink garnered six wins at the 2019 Tony Awards, while the National Theatre had plenty to be happy about following Bryan Cranston being named Best Leading Actor in a Play for Network and Hadestown (which finished a run at the National in January this year) scooping eight awards.
Maybe in a far-off dimension of time and space, at the crossroads of imagination and reality, our descendants will discover a stage adaption of The Twilight Zone which will fill them with the wonder and mystery of the original. But not here.
Musicals Company and Come From Away top the Olivier Awards 2019 nominations with nine nods each, while The Inheritance is the most recognised play with eight nominations. The ceremony takes place on Sunday 7 April at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by Jason Manford.
It’s time for Rev Stan’s best plays of 2018 overall, gleaned from everything I’ve seen – large productions and small, commercial theatres, subsidised and fringe.
Robert Icke’s conversational, documentary production of The Wild Duck at the Almeida Theatre makes this complex morality play immediately accessible.
August was dominated by Edinburgh for me but the London theatre wheels were still turning; here’s my round up of my favourite bits of news, my theatre hits and misses and few celeb spots…
While I’m having to scale back my theatregoing this year, the quality of the shows I’ve seen recently has made up for the reduction in volume. For anyone looking for inspiration, here are my latest recommendations.
There’s this terrible balance between keeping the list short enough to hold attention but making sure great shows get shared. Hence why I’ve been defeated here, yet again, and we have a top twelve.
In Robert Icke’s arresting adaptation of Mary Stuart, the scene opens with a sober-suited group of men watching two women in identical black velvet suits and white shirts, while a coin is spun to see which will be Queen Elizabeth I. One is Juliet Stevenson, one Lia Williams. They know no more than we do; they will obey the coin.
Any number of shows could have been included in this post; frankly it’s ludicrous that I decided to stick with my whole top 12 idea… As I’ve seen about 90 more individual shows than last year.
The full cast has been announced for the West End transfer of Robert Icke’s new adaptation of Mary Stuart. Following a critically acclaimed, sold out season at the Almeida Theatre in 2016-17, the production will open at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 15 January for a limited run before visiting Theatre Royal Bath, Salford Lowry and Cambridge Arts Theatre.
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