It would be unsurprising, indeed completely understandable, for a new state-of-the-nation play focusing on the treatment of, and opportunities for, disabled people in present-day UK, to fetch up on stage as a furious, ranty polemic. Francesca Martinez’s dramatic writing debut, All Of Us at the National, goes down a rather more unexpected and interesting route however.
If the plotting is predictable, and the story arc unremarkable, the image of life represented is both strongly compassionate and often very pleasurable. In true welfare state style, comedian Francesca Martinez’s debut play All of Us at the National Theatre not only informs and educates, but also entertains.
Thirty-eight Shakespeare plays in a year, that was the aim, and the project is completed by The Two Noble Kinsmen as performed at the Globe Theatre in a 2018 production helmed by Barrie Rutter.
Great Apes, originally written by Will Self and adapted for the stage by Patrick Marmion, played at east London’s Arcola Theatre in 2018 and is now available to stream online.
Hogarth’s Progress is an ambitious production that, although not entirely flawless, alternates moments of great fun with thought-provoking, timeless questions on the arts, life and politics, and effortlessly captivates the audience.
The oft-misquoted George Santayana once said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and taking a glance at Nick Dear’s Hogarth’s Progress, you can’t help but feel it is most apposite for the folks at the Rose Theatre Kingston.
Keith Allen and Bryan Dick will star as William Hogarth, older and younger, in the double bill of Nick Dear’s Hogarth’s Progress at Rose Theatre, Kingston. Full casting is now announced.
Rose Theatre Kingston has announced the full cast for Nick Dear’s double-bill Hogarth’s Progress. Anthony Banks directs Bryan Dick as the younger William Hogarth in the first major UK revival of Dear’s The Art of Success, and Keith Allen as the older William Hogarth in the world première of The Taste of the Town.
The Two Noble Kinsmen is a fun-filled boisterous romp that’s worth sticking with. It might not make much sense but there are some outstanding performances and flashes of Barrie Rutter’s famously fresh, unstuffy, unorthodox direction.
Barrie Rutter and the Globe are made for each other. Fresh out of his storming leadership with Northern Broadsides, he returns here under the new regime, this time as director of a pretty ridiculous Shakespeare collaboration with John Fletcher, loosely based on Chaucer.
A welcome performance of a lesser-known play, providing as much entertainment as food for thought – the music and dance are real highlights.
Olivier Award winner for musical Kinky Boots, Matt Henry will make his Shakespeare’s Globe debut in Barrie Rutter’s The Two Noble Kinsmen, by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, opening in The Globe on 25 May (press night is 30 May).
Great Apes at the Arcola Theatre is a fascinating play that is both wildly entertaining and extremely thought-provoking.
Fatherland has been described as a verbatim piece, though it is unclear how much the stories have been edited to fit the trio’s own agenda.
This particular ‘new town’ was designed to rehouse the overspill population from the poorer parts of Liverpool but the forced creation of new communities is rarely so simple as that, and it is this impact that McLean explores here, by following the thread of a 30 year friendship.
The story starts in 2009 with Paul, a fortysomething professional who works in computing, returning to his home town, Skelmersdale, a 1960s overspill from Liverpool. Now living in Dublin, he’s come to see his mother, Hazel, who migrated to Britain from Ireland because she was an unmarried mother.
New play about two friends who grow up together is well structured, if a bit slender.
A hairdo can be eloquent. When Bryan Dick as Willie Mossop first emerges quaking with humility from a trapdoor under old Hobson’s shop, above a flapping leather apron and ragged shirt his dishevelled hair sports the nerdiest of centre partings – borderline imbecile indeed, with sad flapping black locks ei