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‘Experience it if you can’: ROSE – Park Theatre

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September 2020 and the pandemic was quietly raging. So too was Maureen Lipman in Hope Mill Theatre’s online production of Martin Sherman’s intense monologue Rose; her performance was routinely recognised as a tour de force. The piece won many plaudits including an Off West End Offie and featured as one of my 20 For 2020. Since then it has been restreamed more than once and also appeared on Sky Arts – indeed it is still available on their catch up channel Now TV. But for the real undisputed deal, and if you’re near enough, head to the Park Theatre in Islington where the production is playing until mid-October.

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‘Comic invented history which entertains & informs’: Three Women & Shakespeare’s Will / Mrs Pack (Online Show)

In Edinburgh Festival, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Three Women & Shakespeare’s Will comes from the pen of Joan Greening who has made something of a speciality of writing about historical figures connected to the arts, albeit in imaginary settings/situations. Thus in recent years she has given us the relationship dynamics of three literary sisters in At Home With The Brontës and a trio of Rosetti’s Women and their influence on the titular painter.

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‘Out of the ordinary’: ODDS ON – Touring (Online Show)

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So, it was with a sense of keen anticipation that I approached Dante Or Die’s latest piece entitled Odds On which is currently on a “digital tour”. It’s a piece about the world of online gambling and its effects on an individual who gets sucked into a vortex and only narrowly avoids disaster. Having revelled in their earlier piece, and noting that Tim Crouch was on board as the project’s dramaturgist, I expected it to be out of the ordinary – and it was.

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‘Above all it’s the puppetry which really gives the show its heart’: 101 DALMATIANS – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

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It’s third time lucky for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and 101 Dalmatians which is billed as a new musical. Given that it should have premiered two years ago – and then one year ago (thanks, Covid) – that claim is slightly dubious but as it hasn’t actually graced the stage before I guess the assertion still holds.

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‘Thoroughly entertaining with a fine sense of comedy’: CARELESS – Touring

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The Edinburgh Festival is not far away now and, as often happens at this time of year, there are a number of shows playing themselves in before transferring in a northerly direction for their Fringe run. One which caught my eye is Careless which warmed up at The Hen And Chickens in Islington. Conceived and written in lockdown by young actors Emma François and Eva Tritschler, collectively known as Written Off Theatre, it has already enjoyed success at both The Lion and Unicorn and Hope Theatres.

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‘Eminently watchable, but I wasn’t dazzled’: THE DANCE OF DEATH – Arcola Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews, Touring by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

August Strindberg’s The Dance Of Death from 1900 has been credited with prefiguring the works of Beckett, Ionesco, Pinter and most notably provided a template for Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? However, in its latest incarnation at the Arcola in Hackney, which is the culmination of a tour started in May, I was forcibly reminded of the dynamic evoked by Noel Coward’s Private Lives – but with far fewer laughs.

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‘Know us by our courage, not by our fear’: VOICES FROM UKRAINE – Finborough Theatre (Online Show)

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The second pair of plays from #FinboroughFrontier’s quartet of pieces #VoicesFromUkraine reflecting on the situation in the war torn nation is now available. They join the first couple to form a suite of programmes focusing on life in the country as the inhabitants are invaded by a hostile force and their response to the situation.

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‘A glorious romp’: TONY! [THE TONY BLAIR OPERA] – Park Theatre

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Voted back into power three times, Tony Blair left office with the accusations of being a manipulative liar ringing in his ears – not that that has ever slowed down the current incumbent. And it is this almost Shakespearian trajectory of the tragic hero gone to the bad which forms the backbone of Tony! at the Park Theatre.