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SALOME – National Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

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.

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: 13 shows in London, 5 beyond, 11 in New York in April

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Ticket recommendations, Touring by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

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!).

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LES BLANCS – National Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

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.

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En garde for the French revolution in theatre (and I don’t just mean Florian Zeller)

In Features, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

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.

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NEWS: Sharon D Clarke plays Ma Rainey in new NT season

In Broadway, London theatre, News, Plays, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

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.