September 2020 and the pandemic was quietly raging. So too was Maureen Lipman in Hope Mill Theatre’s online production of Martin Sherman’s intense monologue Rose; her performance was routinely recognised as a tour de force. The piece won many plaudits including an Off West End Offie and featured as one of my 20 For 2020. Since then it has been restreamed more than once and also appeared on Sky Arts – indeed it is still available on their catch up channel Now TV. But for the real undisputed deal, and if you’re near enough, head to the Park Theatre in Islington where the production is playing until mid-October.
‘An unforgettable evening’: ROSE – Park Theatre ★★★★★
Martin Sherman’s 1999 masterpiece Rose is an immense monologue – two halves, each over an hour – and Maureen Lipman tackles it with pin-sharp timing, humour, and controlled feeling, sitting on her bench remembering. Her extraordinary performance was streamed during the Covid years but to see it live in front of you in this intimate theatre is different, startling and personal, heroic. With the best will in the world any screen showing fades into being just more TV, more Holocaust history. This does not.
20 of the things that inspired, moved, amused & delighted John Chapman in 2020
I’ve selected 20 of the things that inspired, moved, amused and delighted, which have pushed the boundaries of what it possible and continued to fly the flag for theatre in the UK.
NEWS: Birthday Honours for Maureen Lipman, David Suchet, Adrian Lester, Arinzé Kene, Tommy Steele & Judy Craymer
Recipients of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours from the performing arts world include actors Maureen Lipman, David Suchet, Adrian Lester and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, writer and actor Arinzé Kene, entertainer Tommy Steele, choreographer Siobhan Davies and Mamma Mia! creator Judy Craymer.
‘Online theatre preserves & does so beautifully’: Martin Sherman discusses the recent online production of his play Rose
John Chapman asks Martin Sherman, the author of online hit Rose, a number of impertinent questions.
‘Some things haven’t changed at all’: ROSE – Hope Mill Theatre (Online review) ★★★★★
With a thought-provoking script at its heart and a flawless performance from Maureen Lipman, Rose is an important and powerful production which proves essential viewing.
‘A complex play which will make you laugh & cry’: ROSE – Hope Mill Theatre (Online review)
Martin Sherman’s intense play is revived by Hope Mill Theatre with an absorbing performance from Maureen Lipman as the 80-year-old recounting the events of her life.
‘Everything about this production is wonderful’: OKLAHOMA! – National Theatre (Online Review) ★★★★★
Broadway HD streamed Trevor Nunn’s production of Oklahoma! for free this weekend.
‘I do hope people will come & enjoy’: Gillian Anderson & a stellar line-up raise funds for Park Theatre with unrehearsed Whodunnit
The Park Theatre has revealed initial star casting for world premiere murder mystery Whodunnit [Unrehearsed], presented in association with Avalon, which runs in London in July before transferring to the Edinburgh Fringe.
NEWS: Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme for 2018 encourages audiences to leap ‘into the unknown’
The official 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme was launched today, inviting performers and audiences from across the globe to ‘leap into the unknown’ and embark on their very own Fringe adventure.
‘Gore Vidal’s novel is fascinating but its power is diminished on stage’: THE BEST MAN – West End ★★
Gore Vidal’s novel is fascinating and compelling but its power is diminished on stage.
‘A good old-fashioned play about good old-fashioned politics’: THE BEST MAN – West End ★★★★
A good old-fashioned play about good old-fashioned politics. Gore Vidal’s 1960 satire The Best Man is based around the Democratic convention where in reality JFK won his nomination.
‘A watchable account of political in-fighting’: THE BEST MAN – West End
Although The Best Man’s message — that being defeated can be a victory of sorts — is appealingly paradoxical, it is unlikely to make your heart race very fast.
‘Insight aplenty’: THE BEST MAN – West End
The Best Man says nothing directly about today’s White House or the most recent struggle to occupy it – obliquely though, there’s insight aplenty.
5 shows to look out for in March – The Best Man, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Caroline or Change & more
Love London Love Culture picks five of the best shows to book for in March including The Best Man, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Caroline, Or Change.
NEWS: Martin Shaw leads all-star West End premiere of Gore Vidal’s political drama The Best Man
Martin Shaw stars in the West End premiere of Gore Vidal’s sharp political drama The Best Man, coming tothe Playhouse Theatre in February, with a cast that also features Maureen Lipman, Jeff Fahey, Jack Shepherd, Honeysuckle Weeks and Glynis Barber.
THE KNOWLEDGE – Charing Cross Theatre
Jack Rosenthal and Simon Block’s script is a keen observation on how this ordeal takes over the lives of those trying to master it, in a time when knowledge of The Knowledge was at its peak.
THE KNOWLEDGE – Charing Cross Theatre ★★★★
The titular knowledge is famously what is required to become a licensed London black-cab driver, a process so demanding that 70% of hopeful candidates fail to make the grade.
THE KNOWLEDGE – Charing Cross Theatre
Stage version of Jack Rosenthal’s classic 1979 film is well acted, although the staging is a little bit static.
THE KNOWLEDGE – Charing Cross Theatre ❤❤❤
Before Uber came along, black cabs were the key means of transport for Londoners to zoom around the capital – but when stepping into one of the taxis how many of us actually gave a thought to how extensive the knowledge that those driving them have?