Welcome to today’s edition of ShentonSTAGE Daily, after an extraordinary day that saw us bid farewell to Her Majesty the Queen, after a reign of 70 years that saw her appoint 15 prime ministers — the latest of whom Liz Truss she met only on Tuesday. Truss will now be reporting in a weekly audience to King Charles III (coincidentally the title of Mike Bartlett’s 2014 play which imagined the future that awaited him — and us — that transferred to the West End and Broadway).
‘A disappointingly toothless & rather dreary non-satire’: SCANDALTOWN – Lyric Hammersmith
Mike Bartlett is very prolific, but this Restoration-style satire on society at London’s Lyric Hammersmith is sadly timid and predictable.
‘Both a parody & a warning about that future’: THE 47th – Old Vic Theatre
Mike Bartlett has made a bit of an art out of notions of the counter-factual future. In The 47th, he grounds his flights of fancy in the knowledge of institutions, people and political tides.
‘Flawed but mainly fabulous & deeply endearing’: SCANDALTOWN – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★★
We knew Mike Bartlett was brilliant, but with this third piece to come to a major London venue in 2022, he displays yet another facet to his virtuosity while staking a claim to be as prolific as Alan Ayckbourn.
‘This is Bertie Carvel’s show, his Donald Trump is magnificent’: THE 47th – Old Vic Theatre ★★★★
Bertie Carvel as Donald Trump is magnificent. Eerily so, capturing not only the ex-President’s showmanship, the gestures and unwholesomely needy yet threatening charm, but moving beyond caricature.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: The 47th at the Old Vic Theatre
Emma Clarendon rounds up the reviews for the world premiere of Mike Bartlett’s new blank-verse future history play, The 47th, which stars Bertie Carvel as Donald Trump. It’s now running at London’s Old Vic Theatre until 28 May 2022.
‘This is a powerful revival of this punchy play’: COCK – West End
If some of the detail of Mike Bartlett’s Cock now feels a little dated, the skill of his writing is as fresh as ever, performed brilliantly at the Ambassadors Theatre.
‘The intimate moments are so credible it feels borderline voyeuristic sat in the audience’: COCK – West End
Watching Mike Bartlett’s play Cock today, it seems strange to think that it was actually written 13 years ago, as it covers themes that are so resonant with life in 2022.
‘This is an entertainment that is lit up by the excellence of its acting’: COCK – West End
Mike Bartlett’s Cock invites suggestive comments, but the main thing about the play is that it has proved to be a magnet for star casting.
‘Mike Bartlett’s play continues to fascinate & challenge’: COCK – West End
Theatre has always been a place to explore identity by using different character perspectives to consider points of view, social structures or inherited notions of what an individual can and should be.
‘Taron Egerton is utterly at home in the theatre’: COCK – West End ★★★★
Mike Bartlett’s mischievous, half-earnest play is about a gay man wrestling with his identity (and his furious partner) after falling for a woman. Who he loves both as a person and – to his confusion – as an anatomy. It’s clever to revive it in this even more gender-anxious time.
NEWS: West End production of the Mike Bartlett play C O C K will star Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey, Jade Anouka & Phil Daniels
Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey, Jade Anouka and Phil Daniels will star in C O C K, the first West End production of Mike Bartlett’s Olivier Award-winning play about love and identity.
NEWS: Lyric Hammersmith announces 2022 season including Mike Bartlett premiere
The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre has announced its 2022 Season, including work by Mike Bartlett, Roy Williams, Patrick Marber and Timberlake Wertenbaker.
‘Powerful & engaging piece of work’: PHOENIX – English Touring Theatre ★★★★
Mike Bartlett’s new monologue Phoenix effectively explores how people in power abuse the rules set in place for everyone – except seemingly for those in positions of trust.
The Show People Podcast: A 4th anniversary special with Peter Polycarpou
This episode of was recorded in January 2020 – before Covid-19 changed everything. Host Andrew Keates shares an explanation about where The Show People Podcast has been for most of 2020 and celebrates the podcast’s fourth anniversary.
‘You will find much to make you think about’: ALBION – Almeida Theatre (Online review)
If anything, the resonances in Mike Bartlett’s Albion have grown and strengthened as countrywide divisions have hardened.
NEWS: Hampstead Theatre will stream series of hit productions for free
Hampstead Theatre, in partnership with The Guardian, is going to stream a series of hit productions from its digital archive for free.
‘Subtle nuance in places, sledgehammer wit in others’: ALBION – Almeida Theatre ★★★★
On the surface Albion may be a play about a woman restoring a garden, but once you dig beneath the topsoil this play is about a complicated, nostalgic and divided society, struggling to reason with its national identity.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: Albion at Almeida Theatre
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the revival of Mike Bartlett’s play Albion at the Almeida Theatre.
Text of the Day: Snowflake
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.