Ned Bennett’s minimalist and thoughtful production of Equus is by turns thrilling and dull, sensationally staging the sexual and violent aspects of the story while confining the psychiatrist’s self-doubting soliloquy within drapes of blank white sheeting.
At last, someone has laid the sugary ghost of Elaine Paige. Jamie Lloyd’s stripped-back Evita at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park has all the metallic modernity of their Jesus Christ Superstar.
If a student disco is your personal nightmare, look away now. Tree starts and ends with a throbbing onstage party to wish the audience is persuasively invited. The last time this many Waitrose customers grooved awkwardly to African beats was on Paul Simon’s Graceland tour.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Peter Pan, The Worst Witch, Shackleton’s Carpenter & more
Sally Cookson’s reinterpreted Peter Pan at the new, splendid, exciting Troubadour Theatre very near White City tube captures contemporary imaginations because they can see how it works, and are gripped by the techniques.
The Illusionists is not overpriced, it does hold your attention – even the row of 11 just-out-of-school-for-the-holidays girls on booster cushions behind me didn’t talk or fidget during the show – so if you have some, take them.
It’s all in a name this week as our editor Lisa Martland picks out her Top Picks from the last week’s theatre in the West End, London Fringe or beyond.
Thirty-seven years later, I’m back to see Noises Off re-staged with Meera Syal, Lloyd Owen and Daniel Rigby in a rather over-engineered production by Jeremy Herrin.
Tam Williams’ production of Private Lives at the Mill at Sonning is clean and crisp, nicely framed with a lady accordoniste setting the location, and after a slowish start the piece moves up a gear in the scenes involving all four characters, and especially in two well-choreographed fights.
The most lyrical and romantic thing about Light In The Piazza is its title. That, and the luscious vintage-style 50s costumes which evoke the American idyll of Italy as captured by Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
Afterglow at Southwark Playhouse is a classy production but still slow, and because every scene change is like cleaning up after a particularly acrobatic shag, there are more pauses and longeurs than you might wish.
As part of a new series, our editor Lisa Martland picks out seven of her Top Picks from the last week of theatre (29 April-6 May 2019), ranging from Johnny Fox’s nostalgic return to see All My Sons and Maryam Philpott’s thoughts on the much-anticipated Rosmersholm starring Tom Burke and Hayley Atwell.
One wonders which came first for the Grade/Linnit company – the misguided desire to mount an epic scale production of Man of La Mancha, a musical which hasn’t been.produced in London since 1968 for very good reasons, or the need to find a project for Kelsey Grammer?
Sweet Charity, Josie Rourke’s farewell production at the Donmar Warehouse which stars Anne-Marie Duff as Charity and Arthur Darvill as Oscar, appears to have charmed the majority of our Mates, with a few reservations here and there. The musical continues until 8 June 2019.
This is as unconventional production of Sweet Charity as you’re likely to see. Set firmly in the art milieu of Andy Warhol’s Factory, it’s so perfectly, silver-foil-wrapped acid-tabbed 1967 it’s like you were actually there.
Remember the eighties? From Michael Douglas’ braces in Wall Street to Joan Cusack’s shoulder pads and big hair in Working Girl, they’re all here if a little distorted from the rear-view mirror, in Katherine Farmer’s resurrection of Other People’s Money at Southwark.
Katherine Parkinson was not a surprising choice for the joint venture by Avalon and BBC Arts whereby seasoned creatives were sponsored to write for the stage. Although her script for Sitting was the only actually successful project, seen last year on the Edinburgh Fringe and now refreshed and revived at the Arcola.
At 53, Simon Evans isn’t so different from circuit comedians half his age – a rhetorical stream of invective squirted squarely at current events, with the exception that he speaks entirely in well-honed sentences, not an er, ah or um in sight
“You put the grill on high, and the bread under it. Turn it over half-way through. And then you take it out and scrape it.” That extract from my eight-year-old school essay could just as easily have come from the book and script of Toast, a delightful and fond depiction of food writer Nigel Slater’s formative years.
The London Fringe has been diligent in ploughing back catalogue after back catalogue for ‘forgotten’ musicals, and Maggie May has not been seen in London for 55 years.