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‘A kind of triumph’: MOTHER GOOSE – Duke of York’s Theatre & Touring ★★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

The pleasure of Mother Goose at the Duke of York’s Theatre is in the feeling that despite the topflight cast and the direction of Cal McCrystal, peerless physical comedy guru, it has the feeling of a local panto, even a community one. No big technical showpieces, but plenty of old-fashioned gags: puppets popping out of pans, a ‘self-raising flower’ swannee-whistling up from a table, a custard pie scene and rapid costume changes.

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‘This proves that staying in really does have its compensation’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre (Online review)

In Comedy, London theatre, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

These shows, originally filmed as part of the flagship’s NT Live project, are now available on its YouTube channel. The first is Richard Bean’s gloriously silly farce, One Man, Two, Guvnors, starring the irrepressible and Tony-award winning James Corden.

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‘McCrystal’s touch and comic vision is what makes it special’: IOLANTHE – ENO at London Coliseum ★★★★★

In London theatre, Opera, Opinion, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

If you can tear your eye away from the mayhem on stage, the surtitles for Iolanthe remind us of the utter brilliance, the absurdism, mad rhymes, unexpected neatness and damn sharp satire which WS Gilbert flung out like a literary Catherine-wheel. Gorgeous. I recant. I regret the years of avoiding G&S.

LETTER TO LARRY – Jermyn Street Theatre

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Theatre loves to eat its own history, and fair enough: if you want intensity, volatile emotion, hope and heartbreak and impossible yet irresistible characters, there are few richer diets. Especially looking back at the age of star-cursed star marriages and a pre-permissive intensity of scandal. Only lately Southwark gave us ORSON’S SHADOW, with Adrian Lukis as Laurence Olivier, taking up with his third-wife-to-be Joan Plowright during an ill-fated collaboration with Orson Welles. In that play Vivien Leigh (Gina Bellman) was mentally disintegrating gradually, but in the background to the clash of Titans.