Race, rage and relevance: sensitive revival of American writer Alice Childress’ 1955 anti-racist play shines bright.
The National Theatre’s 2016 production of Les Blancs was directed by Yaël Farber and used the full resources of the Olivier stage to transmit its full force.
Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les Blancs is vividly and powerfully brought to life in Yaël Farber‘s atmospheric production.
The National Theatre today announces a further five productions that will be streamed as a part of the National Theatre at Home series.
Is God female? It says a lot about Yaël Farber’s pompous and overblown new version of this biblical tale at the National Theatre that, near the end of an almighty 110-minute extravaganza, all reason seemed to have vacated my brain, and its empty halls, battered by a frenzy of elevated music, heaven-sent lighting and wildly gesturing actors, were suddenly open to the oddest ideas.
Recalling the year past, which is de rigueur for those of us who have spent too many nights in darkened rooms, I’m struck again by the richness and talent of so many shows I’ve seen, particularly in the smaller and Off-West End and Fringe venues.
I started the year intending to see fewer shows than in 2015, when I made 304 visits to the theatre – but, somehow, I seem have crept up to 332 for 2016. The only consolation is that it is still some way off the high water mark of 2014… 383.
New entries this week are The Invisible Hand at the Tricycle Theatre and The 3 Penny Opera at the Natonal, and its the last chance to see Les Blancs, The Flick and People, Places and Things
New entries this week are the return of Funny Girl, transferred from the Menier to the Savoy, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe.
Across April I’ve duly seen 13 shows in London, one of them twice within the space of four days – namely the current revival of Guys and Dolls. I’d seen it twice before that, first when it originated at Chichester two summers ago and then when it transferred to the Savoy in January, and now again when it moved across town to the Phoenix with a substantially re-cast set of principals and I reviewed it for a third time. Then I returned to it yet again the same weekend to accompany a friend who was in town visiting from New York (yes, it’s that good!).
The night after opening in the West End, Daniel Evans Sheffield Crucible production of Show Boat shoots straight into the top slot of Mark Shenton’s regularly updated list of top ten ticket recommendations. What are the other risers and fallers. Follow links to book tickets.
New entries this week in Mark Shenton’s Top Ten recommendations are Les Blancs at the National and How the Other Half Loves in the West End. Get tickets for all ten shows here.
This play is not about the American backwash from the slave era, but a shattering, important take on Colonial Africa, an unnamed country on the edge of revolution and independence. It is by Lorraine Hansberry (better known for A Raisin In The Sun) who died before it was finished; on the page I suspect would be weaker, though God knows the points it makes are valuable.
After re-visiting The Book of Mormon, it makes it into this week’s Top Ten; so does People, Places and Things, newly transferred from the National to the West End. Plus, this week’s openings and other recommendations.
I recently wrote about super-hot French playwright Florian Zeller’s London hat trick – with The Father, The Mother and, still running at the Menier Chocolate Factory, The Truth. As I sat down to catch up on my Theatre Diary of other plays I’ve seen recently, however, I realised London’s theatre landscape is going Gallic for far more than Zeller. In the West End alone at the moment, you can catch three heavyweight French offerings, even if you don’t realise it. All three have been given modern English-language makeovers and relocations.
The National Theatre has announced new production dates and casting updates for its next booking period, running from January to April 2016. Highlights include: Sharon D Clarke in the title role of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Dominic Cooke; Katie Mitchell’s revival of Sarah Kane’s 1998 play Cleansed; Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, directed by Yael Farber; a modern take on Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide by Suhayla El-Bushra, directed by Nadia Fall; and the New York transfer of Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick.