This special annual edition reviews the highs and lows of the 2015 London theatregoing year, including assessments of the programming at flagship institutions and trends in the West End, Off-West End, fringe and beyond.
Dominic Cavendish thinks this year’s theatre lacks relevance to current affairs. He’s probably been working under a commercial and subsidized theatre-shaped rock (as mainstream critics are prone to), citing Anders Lustgarten’s Lampedusa as, “number one in a field of one” where, “nothing stood out as ‘the’ play for today.” Matt Trueman defends theatre’s ability to […]
It’s my first World Premiere. After years spent extrapolating meaning and nuance from the wonderful plays of Arthur Miller with English Literature students, I was privileged to witness the first ever performance of his first ever play. Written while he was still at college, and which gained him his first award, No Villain sees a family, stricken by the Wall Street crash which forces them to move from an expensive lifestyle to struggling through on bank loans and cramming the entire family (including Grandpa) into a small room in Brooklyn.
There’s usually good reason why renowned writers have known but unpublished early works. They hone their craft by writing, usually badly at first, and then have a major breakthrough after they have been writing for some time. Expecting this to be the case with Arthur Miller’s world premiere of the unpublished No Villain, the play proved to be surprisingly good. Miller’s autobiographical one act was written for a playwriting competition when the 20-year-old undergraduate at the University of Michigan was on the verge of leaving due to his family’s losses during the Great Depression. It was in the university’s archives that director Sean Turner found the manuscript mentioned in Miller’s memoirs, dashed off with the desperate hope of saving his Journalism degree. A theatrical and historical relic, the script isn’t a particularly polished affair but brims with youthful enthusiasm, political activism, and familial conflict that hints at the greatness to come in later works like Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.
A darkly comic tale of tragedy set amid the parks of London, populated with misfits from all corners of British society. Peter Hamilton’s seventh Fringe play is worth a visit for its clever dialogue and occasional sparks of brilliant performance from its cast.
Every week, a group of regular, dedicated, independent theatre bloggers gather together for intelligent discussion “from the audience’s perspective” about plays and musicals they’ve recently seen in London. Lively, informed and entertaining. My Theatre Mates is delighted to syndicate the (still) As Yet Unnamed London Theatre Podcast (AYULTP). Shows discussed (with timings) in this week’s podcast: A Naughty Night with …
Have you seen the raft of four-star reviews for our Featured Show? The world premiere of Dogs of War, which is now running at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre, has also been nominated for three OffWestEnd.com Awards, including Most Promising New Playwright for author Tim Foley. Scroll down for links and excerpts from some of our favourite reviews. “First we had one, …