Mind the Blog rounds up her favourite male performances in the theatre during 2018.
Brief Encounter is a love letter to both film and theatre in which Rice combines elements of David Lean’s 1946 film with the 1936 Noël Coward play Still Life that it was based on, and then sprinkles in her own brand of magic.
As the leads, Isabel Pollen and Jim Sturgeon are captivating. Suitably reserved and excited at times they create a moving and heartbreaking relationship which blurs the lines between film and reality.
The interactive movie footage in Brief Encounter is well done, there are trains enough to satisfy the most diligent railway enthusiast, and the breaking waves motif is clever. Maybe it’s a pity they couldn’t have intercut some of the David Lean film, it’s still a classic. But, in its own way, so is this production.
On the far side of Emma Rice’s brief unhappy tenure at the Globe, here Brief Encounter comes again, with a few fine tweaks, to remind us what Rice does best, and how playful, inventive, sincere and inspiring Kneehigh can be when it beats its own path through the woods.
My verdict? Brief Encounter is a love letter to stage and screen, beautifully conceived and immaculately performed – the show of the year so far.
Directed by Emma Rice, Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter is a fast-paced, superbly powerful, moving and yet hilarious piece of theatre.
Though my life has long been filled with musicals, Fiddler on the Roof has never been the one. I’ve only ever seen it the once (2013’s touring version) and though I quite enjoyed it then, I can’t say I was hankering after seeing another production.
Omid Djalili steps up to the pivotal role of Tevye the milkman. Married to Golde and with 5 daughters (3 of marriageable age) Djalili captures a hen-pecked, hardworking weariness of the poor pious family man who dreams of maybe, just a small fortune.
A new British musical inspired by Goethe poem The Sorcerer’s Apprentice receives an exclusive West End concert presentation at the Ambassadors Theatre on 8 February 2017, with a stellar cast including Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett and impressionist Jan Ravens.
Muted is tender and thoughtful, beautifully reflective in the way it probes into the different ways in which we grieve. And it uses its structure well, songs are less about narrative propulsion but saying what the characters don’t yet have the emotional articulacy to say out loud.
It’s not a big, showy American musical, but one that is distinctly and quietly British. With more development and dramaturgical support, Muted will really shine.