From news headlines and Twitter gems to must-read columns and the biggest openings in London, New York and Edinburgh, Mark Shenton – currently resident in Provincetown, Massachusetts for the summer – rounds up the most interesting theatre goings-on that made his finely tuned radar. Ian McKellen, Rosemary Harris, Laura Wade, Mark Rylance, Dominic Dromgoole and desperate EdFringe review pleas all feature this week…
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I’m reminded more than ever of a time, not so very long ago, where instead of using Twitter to attack each other, we used to use it to engage with each other and find common ground, even friendship.
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July was a big month for Q&As for me so I’ve been a little pre-occupied by follow-up blogs on those. But in addition to musicals I’ve hosted events at – I’m Getting My Act Together and Through the Mill, both of which have now completed their strictly limited runs at, respectively, Jermyn Street Theatre and Southwark Playhouse – here are three more musicals I’ve seen recently and can recommend.
What a treat it was to not only see Jon Brittain‘s Rotterdam again last night, but to be able to question this hugely talented young writer about his bittersweet comedy, which ranked amongst my Top Ten new plays of last year.
Ahead of the double-show gala day at the West End’s Palace Theatre this Saturday, a galaxy of stars have already turned out for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And I’m not just talking about Emma Watson and other celebrities who have sneaked in during seven weeks of previews. Critics have had their first chance to pass judgment today and have unanimously – and internationally – awarded the two-part stage saga rave reviews: four and five stars across the spectrum.
I first – and last – saw Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) in its world premiere in the West End in 2005, in a production that starred Friends‘ David Schwimmer along with “girls” including Catherine Tate and Lesley Manville. Gary Condes’ slick but intimate new production for Buckland Theatre impressed me more than the premiere did 11 years ago.
What does The Trial of Jane Fonda, concerning the actor-activist’s controversial protests during the Vietnam War (in which the UK did not support our US allies), have to tell us about more recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq (in which we did)? Particularly in the wake of the Chilcot Report? (And was the timing of the play’s London premiere season in the wake of Chilcot’s publication purely accidental?)
I first saw – and adored – Through the Mill when it premiered at the London Theatre Workshop (then above a pub in Fulham) last year. I was delighted when the show, which revolves around three pivotal periods in the life of Judy Garland, announced its transfer to the – much larger, more centrally located […]
After yesterday’s matinee performance of I’m Getting My Act Together…, I chaired a Q&A with director Matthew Gould and cast members Landi Oshinowo, Nicolas Colicos and Rosanna Hyland,
Most theatregoers will have only learned about Carl Peter Værnet from watching Claudio Macor’s new play Savage, now running upstairs at the Arts Theatre. But the Nazi doctor from Denmark has played a large role in the life of LGBTI activist Peter Tatchell for decades.
Has anyone else had difficulty getting back into their theatregoing after the results of the EU Referendum? The two – excellent – plays I have managed to see since the UK voted to leave on 23 June, have both, in a strange way, deepened my Brexit despair too. Neither Florian Zeller‘s The Truth nor Faith Healer by […]
In Mark Shenton’s regularly updated list of top ten ticket recommendations, new entries this week include The Spoils, Blue/Orange, The Deep Blue Sea and The Go-Between.
Judging by the overnight reviews, and despite the inevitable pantomime associations for British audiences, the Disney-scale spectacle has worked its magic on most critics. In addition to a round-up of overnight reviews, there’s also a dash of purple carpet glamour, with one very special guest in particular: title star Dean John-Wilson‘s girlfriend, also known as Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo.
Character portraits aren’t just for Harry Potter. Photographer Darren Bell gained access to the new cast of Buckland Theatre’s revival of Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) to snap these beauties. In the play, directed by Gary Condes, Guy (played by Buckland founder Charlie Dorfman) is desperate to clear his conscience before he gets married. So he sets […]
In my years of covering theatre, I’ve seen a lot of Hollywood stars make their West End debuts, but I’ve rarely, if ever, seen it done with quite so much aplomb. Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar – best known internationally for, respectively, multiple films including The Social Network, and US sitcom The Big Bang Theory – are both totally at home onstage and totally at ease with one another.
Manchester’s theatre scene has long been something to celebrate, as there is such a range of diverse venues and productions. Fringe theatre is thriving alongside the usual ATG fare and something amazing has emerged 15 minutes away from Manchester Piccadilly. The Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats is currently home to director James Baker’s stunning production of Jason Robert Brown’s Parade.
American author Rex Pickett, who has also adapted his original novel for the stage and has been closely involved in this revised version for its European premiere, talked us through the long journey of his semi-autobiographical story’s from page to screen and stage and the trials and tribulations of being a writer in Los Angeles (which he’s long since left, though he still lives in California) at last night’s post-show Q&A, which was nearly as riotous as the no-holds-barred comedy performance that preceded it.
Celebrity photographer Charlie Gray has shot three sets of exclusive character portraits of the grown-up characters from JK Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, along with the next generation, which feature in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The wildly anticipated two-part stage play receives its world premiere this summer at the West End’s Palace Theatre, where it begins previews on 9 June 2016 and officially opens to the press on 30 July 2016.