THE DARKNESS OF DEMENTIA Devastating. No other word for it. Without sentimentality, in Christopher Hampton’s powerfully simple translation, the French playwright Florian Zeller leads us into the unknowable, all-too threatening realm of dementia. In a mere 90 minutes James Macdonald’s … Continue reading →
Is there any odder opening line to a big musical number than “Have an egg-roll, Mr Goldstone”? Is there any dryer account of the emotional tangle of mothers and daughters, showbiz and ambition than this Laurents / Styne / Sondheim show? Will Jonathan Church’s Chichester never give over turning out productions so fabulous that they transfer and bring London to its feet? Is three standing ovations even enough? And is there any actress more heroically accomplished, more vividly alive, more formidable in song , speech and silence, more superhuman yet more likeable than Imelda Staunton?
GUEST REVIEWER LUKE JONES TAKES HIS INNER CHILD FOR A HAPPY SPIN… As Mrs.Twit wisely points out – children are horrible. Too many “family shows” forget that. Instead of sweetness, children want darkness. They’ll allow a happy ending but they … Continue reading →
GREATER THAN GREEK: ATTENTION MUST BE PAID The greatest plays keep their truth but strike you differently every time. I saw Arthur Miller’s masterpiece at twenty, then ten years ago was electrified by Brian Dennehy’s Willy Loman in London. Now … Continue reading →
A GRAVE GRANDEUR, AN UNFORGOTTEN HORROR Hard to overstate the impact, the sense of event, commemoration and bleak grandeur in this extraordinary evening. There is, in this 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, obvious solemnity in staging Arthur Miller’s … Continue reading →
GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI IS CHARMED TWICE OVER Miss Dee arrives. She’s from the newly-created DSRCDH: “Department for Social Regeneration through the Creation of Dream Homes.” She makes Ollie and Jill an offer which is surely too good to be … Continue reading →
MONARCHY, MADNESS, MUSIC Philip of Spain, grandson of Louise XIV and captive of 18c monarchic rigidity, is lying on his bed , fishing in a goldfish-bowl and announcing that it is all a dream. When his anxious queen Isabella (Melody … Continue reading →
A SHIPLOAD OF DELIGHT What can I say? Daniel Evans’ production is delicious, it’s de-lovely, a de-lirious succession of treats. There is always a fizzing joyful absurdity about Cole Porter’s 1934 shipboard musical – its book largely by P.G. Wodehouse, … Continue reading →
REMEMBERING REG…A REVIEW WORTH A REMIX Thought I should see how it feels in a bigger theatre, after writing at the Donmar that Kevin Elyot’s 1994 play is “pretty much perfect: a twist on the traditional drawing-room, single-set … Continue reading →
A TERROR AND A TRIBUTE “May the Master of Mercy shelter them in the shadow of his wings”. A Holocaust prayer is on a slip in the programme for this eve of the Auschwitz liberation, and quiet music plays … Continue reading →
THE BIRTH OF THE BOMB This is what the RSC is for. Not mere Bardolatry, but to bring new work illuminated by the craft, humanity and wisdom which comes to those steeped in Shakespeare. We have felt heart-jerking … Continue reading →
Tears are strange. They can fill the eye when witnessing not horror or sadness, but a sudden kindness. It is a kind of happy sorrow: maybe a recognition of our own desolate inner yearning for a kind word. However it is, Mike Kenny’s marvellous adaptation of E.Nesbit’s book brings it on more than once. And since steam-engines themselves nearly always make me gulp – so noble, so shining, so faithful, so lovingly tended – the real one in the show pretty well wiped me out. Twice.