For a play about storytelling, most of A Monster Calls is oddly unengaging and bland. Worst of all, it does the audience’s moral work for them, being increasingly didactic and offering its sincere insights into loss, love, and feeling on a plate.
This story contains no real heroes or villains. It is a brutal tale that focuses on the harsh realities of mortality, and our helplessness in grief and the emotional complexities of its process. This production tells it very well, especially in the quietest of scenes. A Monster Calls is not to be missed.
Patrick Ness’ novel slips perfectly into Sally Cookson’s fertile theatrical imagination. Its split-focused tale of cancer wards and midnight hour fairy tales suits Cookson’s gifts, for genuine human emotion and beautifully intricate theatrical imagery.
In the hands of Sally Cookson, A Monster Calls is an instant classic: a show that transforms both hearts and minds through the magic of authentic storytelling. Go with someone and join the masses who rose to their feet and hugged those near them.
Jane Eyre is one of those mythical stories that make their home in your imagination. Where they can chat, sing and dance through your unconscious for years and years and years.
Devised by the original company, this Bristol Old Vic and National co-pro has little technically wrong with it – it captures Jane’s spirit reasonably well, using physical theatre to cut through the dense length of the novel.
Resolutely theatrical and visually arresting, the version of Jane Eyre at the Festival Theatre retains the flavour of that well-loved book while succeeding admirably on its own terms. This adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel was originally devised for the Bristol Old Vic and is now touring in partnership with the National Theatre of Great Britain.