I’ve always found Antony and Cleopatra a bit of a slog. There, I’ve said it. Too many scenes which flit about all over the place, too many minor inconsequential characters, deaths which seem interminable.
The Antipodes is certainly not the play for you if you want an easy, purely entertaining night at the theatre. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort and have something to chew over then it very much is for you.
While the descent into a kind of collective insanity may seem strange in lieu of a plot in Annie Baker’s Antipodes at the National Theatre, as with all her work you find your thoughts returning to it again and again once the curtain comes down.
Annie Washburn’s new play Shipwreck is intended as a reckoning with Trump. The show pitches itself as a invitation to dinner with the 45th President, but unfortunately would be better described as an evening of meandering chat with a cast of confused New York liberals.
Anne Washburn’s latest offering, Shipwreck, is a marathon play at the Almeida Theatre that takes direct aim at the Trump Administration.
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Rupert Goold’s production of Shipwreck, playing at the Almeida Theatre until 30 March 2019.
Shipwreck has its moments and the cast are uniformly excellent, but without strong character investment it dwindles to little more than a few well-hashed arguments we’ve all heard before.
The Almeida Theatre has announced the full cast for the world premiere of Shipwreck by Anne Washburn (The Twilight Zone, Mr Burns), directed by the venue’s artistic director Rupert Goold, running from 12 February to 30 March 2019 (press night is 19 February).
Or Cleopatra and Antony as it turns out. Ralph Fiennes is plenty good in Simon Godwin’s modern-dress production of Antony & Cleopatra for the National Theatre, but Sophie Okonedo is sit-up, shut-up, stand-up amazing.
After a genuinely exhilarating Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre a few months ago, Shakespeare’s subsequent tale Antony and Cleopatra has arrived at the National starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.
This is a stylish, yet thoroughly accessible, production that is full of energy and a joyous satirical thrust that never obscures the real human emotions at the story’s core. Let’s hope that this production is the first of many Restoration revivals.
This is a full period-dress production, executed immaculately but probably needing another few cuts to be unalloyed joy. The plot is labyrinthine, with a wordy torrent of finely honed wit and derision, fuelled by greed more than love.
The Donmar’s new version of William Congreve’s play has plenty of musings on marriage and the role of women which still feel extremely pertinent; it just needs to even out the tone to make this restoration comedy really fizz.
Haydn Gwynne will be playing the role of Lady Wishfort at the Donmar Warehouse in James Macdonald’s new revival of William Congreve’s Restoration comedy The Way of The World, replacing Linda Bassett who has had to withdraw from the production.
To pick someone out of this prodigiously talented ensemble almost feels unfair, but Ellams’ narrative did repeatedly land on Peckham and the contested ownership of that salon was given blistering power by Akinade’s Samuel, bristling under the control of pseudo-father figure Emmanuel.
That it is sold out shouldn’t stop you from trying to get tickets – there’s Friday Rush and there’s refreshing this page in case of returns, and boy is it worth it.
It feels important to recognise what the NT (and the Old Vic) were trying to achieve, though. Queer Theatre looked “at how theatre has charted the LGBT+ experience through a series of rehearsed readings, exhibitions, talks and screenings” and if only one looked at lesbian women, two of the readings were written by women.
Mae West wrote The Drag in 1927 where its frankness about gay lives (and once again, drag ball culture!) scandalised its out-of-town Connecticut and New Jersey audiences so that it never made it to Broadway.
Black theatre used to be one of most creative aspects of contemporary British drama. But recently a lot of the impetus behind plays by black playwrights seems to have dried up. The great names of the past couple of decades are either silent, or, which is worse, merely repeating themselves.
The hugely convivial pre-show entertainment for Barber Shop Chronicles is such good fun that I thought to myself I could easily just watch this for an hour. As it turned out, press night delays meant that it was extended by about thirty minutes, during which you really got to appreciate how quietly radical it is.
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