Downstate at the National Theatre is a remarkable thing. An absolute masterpiece of writing, performed so sensitively and with such bravery.
Bruce Norris, previously best known for race drama Clybourne Park takes on social taboo issues without a pause.
If we accept that people are widely diverse, we have to accept that paedophiles are too. Not all the same identi-monster. Moreover, if their horrifying actions pose us questions we need to think very clearly about answers.
At last, Rufus Norris’ National Theatre has come of age. Breathtaking, brave and brilliantly acted, Downstate is a landmark play. It’s listed as a ‘collaboration’ between NT and Steppenwolf, but the Chicago company’s prints are all over this glistening weapon.
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Pam MacKinnon’s production of Bruce Norris’ new play Downstate at the National Theatre.
Downstate is a challenging, difficult play with humour and wit inflected with wisdom, carefully balancing entertainment without detracting from the seriousness of the subject matter.
Whether rehabilitation is truly possible for such serious crimes committed by sex offenders, Bruce Norris never really decides, leaving only a dramatically engaging but morally troubling outcome in Downstate at the National Theatre.
Rufus Norris has unveiled the National Theatre’s plans for 2019 and beyond. Highlights include the world premiere of Small Island adapted by Helen Edmundson from Andrea Levy’s novel, directed by Rufus Norris.
There’s something special in the timelessness of some pieces of theatre, their themes and arguments as relevant to audiences today as they were when they were written years, decades, even centuries ago. Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui falls into the middle category, written in 1941 as an allegorical response to his nation’s fall to Nazism, and was magisterially revived at Chichester a few years back.
Lenny Henry makes his Donmar debut in the theatre’s revival of Bertolt Brecht’s play. Here is what critics have been saying about the production so far.
Well, to start at the end, I can’t remember a more personally `engaged’ ending than Simon Evans manufactures for the climax of Brecht’s 1940s political satire on the rise of Hitler in an American gangland setting.
Take a look at all the production photos of the Donmar’s new take on Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, led by Lenny Henry, making his Donmar debut.
How do you get, keep and wield power? What do you use it for, and why? And, if you will stop at nothing, how can the rest of society stop you?
Rehearsals are well under way for Bruce Norris’ new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s satirical masterpiece The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Simon Evans with design by Peter McKintosh. The production, led by Lenny Henry who makes his Donmar debut playing the title role, runs 21 April to 17 June 2017, with a press night on 2 May. Rehearsals photos …
Lenny Henry is joined in the cast of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Michael Pennington, who recently played King Lear at the Royal & Derngate Northampton, as Dogsborough.
This is that finely balanced thing: a comedy built around a tragedy. Six summers ago, a new-fledged critic for the Times, I wrote about its British premiere: “Bruce Norris’ play is billed as a satire on race and property in America, in 1959 and then the present day, but it reaches wider. Norris is in fact occupying territory somewhere between Arthur Miller and vintage Ayckbourn, and holding it triumphantly.”