The National Theatre has announced a UK tour of Bijan Sheibani’s production of A Taste of Honey, Shelagh Delaney’s taboo-breaking 1950s play which was first produced in the Lyttelton Theatre in 2014. Designed by Hildegard Bechtler, the piece has been reconceived in an exciting new production, featuring a live onstage band, and will star Jodie Prenger as Helen. Further casting is to be announced.
Andrew Scott’s take on Hamlet, in Robert Icke’s Almeida production that has just transferred to the West End, is a testament to the versatility of Shakespeare’s prose. With Benedict Cumberbatch, TV’s Sherlock, having been London’s last celebrity Hamlet, Scott’s (who played Sherlock’s nemesis Moriarty) take on the role offers us a striking glimpse into the breadth of interpretation and intrigue that is offered by the Prince of Denmark.
Rape is such a serious social issue that it’s hardly surprising that several recent plays have tackled it. I’m thinking of Gary Owen’s Violence and Son, James Fritz’s Four Minutes Twelve Seconds and Evan Placey’s Consensual. All of these discuss, whether implicitly or explicitly, the notion of consent, which is the name of playwright and director Nina Raine’s latest drama about the subject.
Do scandals have a sell-by date? When it comes to sex and politicians, the answer is no. The tabloids, and the news-hungry public, still seem to relish a good story about a powerful man who is caught with his trousers around his ankles. So Harley Granville Barker’s Waste — first put on in 1907 and then rewritten some 20 years later — is ostensibly a highly relevant drama of a personal tragedy in which our characteristic national mix of prurience and puritanism gets a longwinded airing. Certainly, the plot is instantly recognisable.
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