Written in collaboration with John Fletcher, Henry VIII is quite possibly Shakespeare’s final play – but, despite this country’s continued obsession with all things Tudor, it remains a rarely performed piece. Imagine the delight of Shakespeare completists everywhere when it was announced as part of the Globe’s 2022 summer season, this time in a slightly updated version that sees Hannah Khalil (resident writer) become the third collaborator; the original has a heavy male focus, thanks in part to the two (male) playwrights having to work around the expectations of the establishment to avoid censorship and arrest – but now 400 years have passed, it’s about time the female voices in this story were heard as well.
‘A historical epic that demands to be heard’: THE WELKIN – National Theatre
Lucy Kirkwood returns to the National Theatre with The Welkin, starring a brilliant ensemble led by Maxine Peake.
‘Bizarre & beautifully poetic’: ANNA BELLA EEMA – Arcola Theatre ★★★★
As the cast take on different characters in each other’s dreams and memories, their versatility shines and all three excel in their hauntingly comic performances. Anna Bella Eema is bizarre and beautifully poetic – a must-see show.
‘Eerily compelling soundscape’: ANNA BELLA EEMA – Arcola Theatre
The strange but spellbinding Anna Bella Eema makes for an intriguing trip to the Arcola Theatre.
‘A gloriously entertaining joke that the audience is in on’: WHODUNNIT (UNREHEARSED) – Park Theatre
Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing Whodunnit (Unrehearsed) at the Park Theatre. Today my mouth feels a whole lot wider from excessive laughing and smiling. That is a thing right? Aching mouth aside, this is a much needed dose of pure silliness.
Photos and podcast: Talking politics and musicals at The Buskers Opera
While the basic structure and characters are owed to Gay, the zany genius of The Buskers Opera calls more modern political and satirical influences most strongly to my mind. I’d liken it to a cross between Mike Bartlett‘s future history play King Charles III and Urinetown or, to bring it bang up to date with London’s current musical landscape, The Toxic Avenger.
Diary of a Theatre Addict: Doing the timewarp again, revisiting Gypsy on TV, and catching up with Linda
I’ve been out and about over the pre- and post-Christmas week, including trips to Brighton, Manchester and Leeds, with lots of catching up to do in London, too.
INTO THE WOODS – Manchester
With a notoriously challenging musical score that makes even highly accomplished musicians run for the hills, the Exchange makes Into the Woods look like a walk in the park. Laden with wit, plenty of trees and stellar performances throughout – the execution and delivery of this contemporary fairytale adventure is superb.