But more and more, there’s a sense in Hedda Tesman at the Minerva that what you are seeing is some damn fine acting in a rather ho-hum play.
Cordelia Lynn’s Hedda Tesman renews Ibsen’s play in the light of today without in any way losing sight of the original. In this age of radical reinterpretations, that’s quite some achievement.
The latest Restoration comedy on offer in London is the Donmar Warehouse’s sumptuous production of William Congreve’s The Way of the World that stretches into the night for more than three hours.
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.
The evening’s star performance comes from Haydn Gwynne who brings a strength and elegance to Volumnia. Playing the ever loving yet overbearing mother of Coriolanus, she dreams of success and glory for her son.
Angus Jackson bookends the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rome season, his traditional dress Julius Caesar having opened it he now caps it off with a modern set Coriolanus.
Coriolanus doesn’t often hit the modern stage: its plot, a hymn to the necessary evil of educated patrician privilege in order to provide for the politically fickle, unthinking plebeian multitude, doesn’t sit at all well with modern political correctness.
The one that absolutely blew me away in performance was Wigmaker, which is billed as a “modern hairy fairy tale” about a beautiful wigmaker whose wigs come to life at night. The music and lyrics to this piece by Douglas Hodge are stunning.
Final casting has now been announced for NEW SONGS 4 NEW SHOWS, which runs for one night only at the West End’s Lyric Theatre on Monday 28 November. Olivier Award winner Sally Dexter and Clive Carter, both Wicked West End alumni, and rising star Katie Bernstein join the line-up.
NEW SONGS 4 NEW SHOWS will give the West End a unique experience of seeing star performances of songs from four new musicals in a one-off Gala Concert at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on Monday 28 November 2016. Stars participating include The Great British Bake-Off’s Mel Giedroyc, Douglas Hodge (performing from a musical he has also written), Haydn Gwynne and Caroline Quentin (playing Joan Littlewood).
Rufus Norris’ production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world as part of the NT Live season. The National Theatre’s new adaptation by Simon Stephens will screened live from the National’s Olivier Theatre on the 22 September 2016 at 7pm.
This year’s S and S Award went to the all-female (yeah!) writing team of Alex Young and Kate Marlais for Here, which is set in Cumbria in 1943 and inspired by the life of German artist Kurt Schwitters who fled there to escape Nazi oppression.
A concert of this sort – large numbers of quite well known people along with full backstage back-up giving their services for charity (Esther Rantzen’s Silver Line) on a Sunday evening usually succeeds on adrenaline and goodwill and this one was no exception. With people such as Nicholas Parsons, Sally Ann Triplett and Michael Xavier on stage, you can’t really go too far wrong.
When Margaret Thatcher died on 8 April 2013, she remained alive and well in two West End characterisations, neither particularly flattering. In Billy Elliot The Musical, during the “Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher” set-piece, her giant Spitting Image-style head loomed large above a group of festive miners, one kitted out in a trademark Iron Lady blue […]
Oh dear, I really wanted to like this, and hoped that the genius of Pedro Almodovar would resist the well-known truism that farce and musical comedy don’t combine – look at Lend Me a Tenor if you don’t believe me. Tamsin Greig has such a fabulous film and TV profile that getting her committed to […]
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I caught you up on my new year playgoing earlier this week, now let me turn to some tuners on offer. Though vastly different in scale and subject matter, these three musicals do have two key things in common: they are all Broadway-born and must-sees for musical buffs. As usual, I’ve listed productions in closing/booking […]
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the first major opening of 2015, and one of the year’s biggest musicals, had its West End premiere last night (Monday 12 January 2015, previews from 16 December 2014) at London’s Playhouse Theatre. Based on renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodovar‘s breakthrough 1988 film of the same name, […]
A FABULOUS FANDANGO OF FEMALE FURY… Sing to the lunatic moon: Hispanic hysteria, hilarity, tangled lives, 48 hours of Madrid madness. I had my doubts about this one, as did many others: Bartlett Sher’s musicalization of Pedro Almodovar’s wicked, … Continue reading →
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