Richard Eyre, in one of the bravest and most visionary casting decisions ever, chose Hoskins to play Frank Loesser’s low-life Nathan Detroit in what was to be the National Theatre’s groundbreaking and first ever musical production, Guys and Dolls. The production scooped countless awards and nominations and is still talked about to this day. With his three fellow leads and a faultless company of actors and creatives, Hoskins learned to tap-dance, polished up his singing and proved that his indomitable Cockney charm could work as well on Broadway as in Bethnal Green. Born in 1983, some months after her dad had moved on from the show’s cast, one of Rosa Hoskins’ fondly spoken regrets is that she had never seen her dad’s take on Nathan Detroit.
I’m not the only theatre person who was focused on the Conservative Party Conference last week. Though she may not have anticipated quite the extent of the spitting, pig mask wearing protests outside the gates of the “Tory scum” meetings, Tooting Arts Club producer did intentionally time the opening of her Tooting Arts Club revival […]
Punks Paul, Jan and Louis are working-class lads living in south London. School didn’t do much for them and unemployment is high, so they hang around and smoke, nick cars and try to pull girls. They’re bored, angry and frustrated at the lack of opportunities available to poor kids like them. They want to improve their quality of life and feel like they belong in society, but society’s too busy fighting terrorism and racism to pay them any attention so they do their best to get by, or not. It sounds like the present, right? Nope.
It has long been recognised that when writing about his world, Barrie Keefe’s finger is firmly on society’s pulse. With Barbarians however Keefe goes one step further, not just finding that pulse, but slicing it open in front of us, confronting his audience with those bloody, ugly realities that, skin-deep, continually surround us.
A 1970s trilogy of short plays, Barbarians follows three disaffected young men from their confused and sometimes angry adolescence into adulthood. Keefe’s deployment of irony is always a treat and the evening’s opening play, Killing Time is peppered with his trademark black humour as the teenagers, not long out of school, contemplate an evening of petty crime.