One bespectacled, anxious-looking Virginia Woolf in a sensible brown skirt and dreary cardigan is never enough, so Michael Grandage’s production of Orlando at the Garrick Theatre generously opens with a whole pack of Woolfs – nine of them – in Neil Bartlett’s new version of the author’s classic whimsical-feminist fantasy.
Thought to be inspired by Virginia Woolf’s romance with Vita Sackville-West, Orlando depicts a boisterous protagonist whose journey spans five centuries and two genders. Its awareness of gender politics and expectations as well as the way is defies them is really something special, and it’s astounding that Woolf wrote such a groundbreaking piece of work in 1928 and that it remains so relevant now.
Jessie Buckley is astonishing as the National Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet makes the jump from stage to screen to extraordinary effect.
National Theatre and Sky Arts’ hybrid theatre and film production of Romeo & Juliet has been a fascinating experiment resulting in a smart, interesting and entirely collaborative piece of art.
The National Theatre has announced it is creating a new filmed version of Romeo & Juliet for television, temporarily transforming the vast stage spaces of its Lyttelton theatre into a film studio to capture Shakespeare’s timeless play for a new generation of audiences. The National Theatre has broadcast stage productions to cinemas for over a decade through its National Theatre …
There are some staggering contemporary references to draw from this staging of a lesser-known Shakespeare, starring Tom Hiddleston.
Caryl Churchill’s Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. at the Royal Court is wonderfully bright and incisively perceptive.
Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp creates an essential piece of new writing – edgy, haunting and disconcertingly relevant and Caryl Churchill, at the age of 81, is still the playwright for our times.
By turns cynical, touching and with a rogue twinkle in its eye, Allelujah! doesn’t set the stage alight, and as both a black comedy and state-of-the-nation play it feels underpowered, but Bennett remains a bastion of not just British playwriting, but Britain as a whole.
Screening Alan Bennett’s Allelujah! on the big screen may well alter the viewer’s perspective, placing it within the tradition of television and film drama that lends itself to the cliffhanger-based six-part series that Bennett’s broad and episodic approach calls upon.
I am fully content to hail Alan Bennett as a National Treasure, and while I enjoyed many aspects of Allelujah!, I still hoped for even better and a return to his form in, say, The Madness of George III.
In some ways, Allelujah! is perfectly symptomatic of the problem I have with the Bridge Theatre. Does London really need any new theatres, no matter how much people think they want interval madeleines?
Alan Bennett’s latest play has officially opened at the Bridge Theatre, the premiere production directed by Bennett’s frequent collaborator and Bridge artistic director Nicholas Hytner. Here, Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews….
The politics are an Old Labour and North London hybrid and, the hospital on stage is probably more fantasy than NHS reality. But when national treasures do something new, we should all rejoice. Allelujah, indeed.
Allelujah! is not a masterpiece, mainly because most of the characters are underdeveloped and there is too much going on, but it is extremely funny and it has something very urgent to say, and says it without compromise.
A love letter to the NHS, masterfully written by Alan Bennett with lots of lovely touches – the 25-strong cast is impressive and really brings the play to life.
Alan Bennett has perhaps by chance hit two topical news hot-potatoes – barely a week old – even while deliberately tackling more obvious fave targets like NHS cuts and the Thatcher legacy.
I ranked the play as the fourth best thing that I saw last year and though I don’t always like to go back to things I enjoyed (in case it sullies the memory), I wanted to treat myself to this again. And I’m glad I did, for the layered complexity of Churchill’s writing allows for re-appreciation and indeed re-interpretation.
A great wave has engulfed the coast with consequent damage to the nearby nuclear power plant. Within this framework, Kirkwood builds a wonderfully delicate portrait of love, marriage and tensions boiling
Lucy Kirkwood’s new play further ups the ante in making her protagonists sexual beings, her trio of retired scientists are battling not only the fallout from nuclear disaster but from the collision of their emotional lives.
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