London’s Royal Court Theatre has announced its reopening programme, running from 16 June to 18 December 2021. Highlights include: seven methods of killing kylie jenner by Jasmine Lee-Jones, The Song Project created by Chloe Lamford, Wende, Isobel Waller-Bridge and Imogen Knight, Is God Is by Aleshea Harris, What If If Only by Caryl Churchill and Rare Earth Mettle by Al Smith.
Marina Carr’s coherent vision for Blood Wedding delivers a production that is unforgiving, creating a portentous world in which notions of love and freedom will always be trampled by the stronger inheritance of history, violence and family legacy
With its episode of a game of blind man’s bluff being both very funny and rather horrible, this is a Birthday Party for a generation brought up on The League of Gentlemen.
Actor-turned-playwright Maxine Peake’s new play The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca gets its world premiere in November as part of the Hull City of Culture programme.
There’s something refreshingly anarchic about Simon Stephens. In his very long preface to the printed text of Nuclear War, Stephens talks at length about the process of writing this play and how the origination of it came from his interest in writing a piece of text for movement/dance.
In his playtext introduction, Nuclear War writer Simon Stephens talks about the tyranny of authorial intent, sharing the responsibility of interpreting the text amongst the cast, and “kicking the shit out” of what’s been written to produce something like a true artistic collaboration; a licence to free associate on paper and on stage.
Text can sometimes be a prison. At its best, postwar British theatre is a writer’s theatre, with the great pensmiths — from Samuel Beckett, John Osborne and Harold Pinter to Caryl Churchill, Martin Crimp and Sarah Kane — carving out visions of everyday humanity in all our agonies and glee.
This play based on the true life story of actor Ira Aldridge by Lolita Chakrabarti has the ability to grab your attention and evoke so many feelings that you feel totally wrung out by the end. Now I appreciate that this may not be everyone’s idea of a thrilling evening of entertainment, but for many such as myself this piece is exactly what we need in the West End right now.