History is a prison. Often, you can’t escape. It imprints its mark on people, environments and language. And nowhere is this more true that in Northern Ireland.
Caryl Phillips’ 1980 Windrush classic Strange Fruit is a bit too masculinist and verbose, and poorly staged.
It is one of the strengths of Ukrainian playwright Natal’ya Vorozhbit’s savage war play, Bad Roads, translated by Sasha Dugdale and part of the Royal Court’s autumn international season, that she shows not only what war is like for women, but also its corrosive effects on masculinity.
From its haunting title, to its moments of explosive dialogue, this is a modern classic, which when it was first staged won Mamet the Pulitzer Prize. Set in Chicago, it shows a group of slick hustlers who have to sell tracts of indifferent Florida real estate.
The tempestuous story of two ideologically opposed, minor league football men and the young player caught between them has little to do with the actual game and has a compelling, emotional narrative.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk..
A playwright wants to write a play about patricide, but with an actual criminal onstage instead of an actor. Initial research leads him to a young man called Martin Santos, serving consecutive life sentences in Belmarsh for killing his father.
The plot kicks off with disarming simplicity. Alastair is a rich fortysomething legal eagle, married to Antonia, who is a housewife. They live in a beautiful London house with Jack, one of their three sons, who has a learning disability.
Black theatre used to be one of most creative aspects of contemporary British drama. But recently a lot of the impetus behind plays by black playwrights seems to have dried up. The great names of the past couple of decades are either silent, or, which is worse, merely repeating themselves.
Trying to write about Chris Goode’s latest Ponyboy Curtis show vs. is like trying to fit a hurricane into a canning jar. The energy, love and freedom on the Yard’s stage is irrevocably alive and unrestrained, and trying to pin this one-of-a-kind butterfly onto a page kills it a little, or a lot.
Deciding what is best is a tricky thing to do. It’s particularly difficult if you’re trying to do what is best for someone else. How do you know if you’re doing the right thing? Is your aim and end admirable but your means slightly suspect?
Owen fields three characters: Paul, smarmy son of an industrialist, has invented a game, Killology, in which players torture their victims. Sounds gross enough, but Paul has given it an extra dimension: you score more points depending on how creative you are in your torturing.
Nick Cassenbaum grew up in London’s Jewish community and experienced all the cultural mores that go with it – Spurs games, dubious summer camps, trips to Israel and discovering his willy isn’t like the other boys’ at school.
Part of the reason I wanted to come to Buzzcut is that I find it hard to write about live art. I don’t dislike it, far from it – I have a broad but uninformed appreciation of it. But my theatrical home is built from Shakespeare, text-based narratives and the great American playwrights.
New work about Fifty Shades of Grey, Kathy Acker and the body is allusive and strange.
Music can move mountains, although for Malcolm X it wasn’t moving fast enough. In Kemp Powers pulsating, extraordinarily topical account of four African-American legends meeting one night in a hotel room in Miami, the Black Power activist was calling out Sam Cooke, the singer-songwriter, later dubbed the `King of Soul’, for not putting his God-given gifts sufficiently at the service of `the movement’ for Civil Rights.
RashDash are angry. Like, fucking furious level of angry. They’re fed up of patriarchal language and gender stereotypes that limit both men and women from expressing themselves honestly
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