I want to start by saying how happy I am to be back reviewing musical theatre. How happy I am the big tours are back and how overjoyed I was to be back in my home turf of the Wales Millennium reviewing a show.
The Boy with Two Hearts is an adaption of the book by Hamed and Hessam Amiri adapted for the stage by Phil Porter. The book which was a Radio 4 book of the week, combines the account of the family’s journey from Afghanistan to the UK, and the experiences of refugees across Europe, with a touching love letter to the NHS.
Don’t Send Flowers at the White Bear Theatre is a really thoughtful and enjoyable piece of new writing from My Theatre Mates’ Emily Garside, sensitively presented by a talented team.
‘You are here, at the start of a moment’. Those words in Come From Away never felt more true. Four hundred and 95 days after last being in a West End theatre, 495 days after last seeing a musical, 495 days without theatre. And ‘You are here…’
I resolutely wasn’t doing a round up for 2020. I mean what on earth were we going to round up? This year has, with no exaggeration, broken our hearts in theatre. There’s no other way to put it. We watched our industry disappear overnight. We…
I accidentally wrote a viral tweet. It came out of a moment of possibly ill-thought frustration. Out of feeling brushed aside, dismissed one too many times. But wow did that tweet resonate.
Rent recently marked its 24th anniversary since its Broadway opening. Every year I try to write something. This year, in particular, it seemed important to.
My play Paper Cuts went live on Bloom Theatre’s YouTube channel last month. This play was a long time coming… hopefully, this isn’t the end, and it’s got a way to run.
I’ve struggled to write about theatre at this time. To be honest, I’ve struggled to write anything about anything. It took me weeks to get my head remotely functioning.
For every introverted socially awkward nerd Romantics Anonymous feels like seeing your fears and secrets on stage without being mocked.
And so here it is… my top 10 musicals of the decade. It turned out to be a slightly emotional journey. But it turns out musicals meant a lot in that time and I’ll fight anyone who says musicals aren’t a serious artform.
This isn’t a ‘best of’ list it’s my best-of list, these are the plays that shaped me this decade and will stay with me well into the next.
Directors Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell have brought their unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the 20th century by Arthur Miller, seen through the eyes of an African American family. So what did the Mates think of this Young Vic production of the American drama classic?
As part of a new series, our editor Lisa Martland picks out seven of her Top Picks from the last week of theatre (29 April-6 May 2019). Amidst her choices are two more West End productions of classic American drama: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic (Emily Garside) and Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending at the Menier Chocolate Factory (Libby Purves).
For anyone who has been under a rock for the last couple of years in London theatre, this stripping back to the essence of a classic is one of Marianne Elliott’s (many) talents. And here with Death of a Salesman, with co-director Miranda Cromwell, the play is written again from the ground up. Without changing a word.
It is not to diminish the historical elements, the research and indeed the politics of the play, to say that its power and its joy is in storytelling.
I thank all the theatre I’ve endured that has perhaps made me a better person, but in future I’ll be asking first just how much joy it’s going to bring me, and if I’m perhaps better off elsewhere.
It’s fair to say that the immediate future is looking pretty sweet for the Broadway transfer of Sara Bareilles’ Tony-nominated musical Waitress with more tickets released and the show extending its booking period to 19 October 2019 at the Adelphi Theatre. But how did the Mates rate the show: did they want more pie?
On the top layer, Waitress is sweet and fun with beautiful ingredients in the form of a stellar cast. But dig a little deeper and we find there are a lot more layers to the pie.
I could have written a rave review of Come from Away. But what I couldn’t get out of my head was how important a piece it feels in terms of recording history. As a former history teacher, and as an academic who looks at theatre’s response to real-world events… I wrote an essay instead.