Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk…
Chekhov classic from the team behind the West End hit Summer and Smoke is too middle of the road
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This lively revival of Steven Berkoff’s 1975 modern classic is energetically sweaty, if a bit messy as well.
With its episode of a game of blind man’s bluff being both very funny and rather horrible, this is a Birthday Party for a generation brought up on The League of Gentlemen.
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.
Powerful revival of Jim Cartwright’s 1986 modern classic comes alive in all its noisy, vulgar and transcendent glory.
Anniversary revival of Joe Orton’s black farce about money and death is a delight from start to finish.
Star director Yael Farber’s revival of a 1990s classic is surely atmospheric, but it lacks symbolic weight.
It’s a radical rewrite. Gone is a lot of the mystery and the poetry of the original. In their place is a contemporary, accessible version which emphasises realistic psychology (a lot of backstory detail) and social realism (a lot of childcare detail).
Text can sometimes be a prison. At its best, postwar British theatre is a writer’s theatre, with the great pensmiths — from Samuel Beckett, John Osborne and Harold Pinter to Caryl Churchill, Martin Crimp and Sarah Kane — carving out visions of everyday humanity in all our agonies and glee.
Jamie Lloyd tackles Philip Ridley’s 1991 modern classic — with terrifically immersive results.
The enterprising Arcola Theatre in East London has chosen to start its Revolution Season with a revival of Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths (1902), which has opened a couple of months short of the 100th anniversary of the February Revolution that toppled the Tsar and began the process that led to the triumph of the Bolsheviks in October.
The Lower Depths is a rarely performed large-cast play that offers a panorama of poverty in the last years of Tsarist Russia. Its portrait of human degradation in a doss-house somewhere on the Volga, far from the great urban centers, was originally staged by Konstantin Stanislavsky at the Moscow Arts Theatre.
Modern-dress revival of wordy George Bernard Shaw classic is a tour de force for Gemma Arterton.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
Top director Ivo van Hove makes an uneven Southbank debut, preferring visual beauty to emotional connection.
Overdue revival of Howard Brenton’s mixed-up 1973 play is too messy and incoherent<.
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