“What will happen in England after we have won this war? Bunting! Bunting everywhere!” Richard Bean and Oliver Chris’ new play Jack Absolute Flies Again at the National Theatre takes R.B. Sheridan’s 1775 farce The Rivals and updates the setting to a Sussex country house in The Battle of Britain. The romantic pursuits, mistaken identities and malapropisms from The Rivals are combined with Bean’s typically bawdy sense of humour, some impressive aerial dogfights and a dose of WWII patriotism. The result is an entertaining, albeit safe and slightly too long, comedy with pathos.
‘Utterly joyous’: JACK ABSOLUTE FLIES AGAIN – National Theatre
Delayed by Covid for over two years, Jack Absolute Flies Again finally lands on the Olivier stage when we have never needed Richard Bean and Oliver Chris’ goofy and hilarious romp more. An adaptation of Sheridan’s The Rivals relocated to a 1940s air base on a Sussex estate, there is a care in the construction of the play and a determination that everyone watching should have a good time that speaks to a wider need for lighter fare.
‘A delightful two hours of comedy, love & misunderstandings’: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Bridge Theatre ★★★★★ (Online review)
Enhancing the magic and dreamy qualities of the play, Nicholas Hytner’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a delightful two hours of comedy, love and misunderstandings.
‘Riotous fun from start to finish’: TWELFTH NIGHT – National Theatre ★★★★
This joyous and lively production, starring Tamsin Greig, is one of the best versions of Shakespeare’s comedy I’ve ever seen.
‘A superb choice to lift a nation’s spirits’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre (Online review)
The first show in the National Theatre at Home programme was the 2011 smash-hit One Man, Two Guvnors, one of the great success stories of the Nicholas Hytner era, a cheeky farce written by Richard Bean and starring National Theatre favourites James Corden and Oliver Chris.
‘This proves that staying in really does have its compensation’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre (Online review)
These shows, originally filmed as part of the flagship’s NT Live project, are now available on its YouTube channel. The first is Richard Bean’s gloriously silly farce, One Man, Two, Guvnors, starring the irrepressible and Tony-award winning James Corden.
‘Trying to capture just a spark of that charge that comes with live theatre’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre (Online review)
National Theatre at Home is a huge success. The type of scheme that only large institutions can hope to really pull off but even so, managing the kind of appointment-to-view occasion that was its debut with One Man, Two Guvnors was still a remarkable achievement.
‘As vibrantly funny as ever’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre ★★★★★ (Online review)
It would be fair to say that right now what the British public need right now is a laugh – particularly if they are missing going to the theatre – which is why it was a stroke of genius for the National Theatre to stream One Man, Two Guvnors.
‘Re-living the past so intensely is eerie’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre (Online review)
After the theatres closed, the National Theatre was quick to announce a free mini-season of online shows from their NT Live broadcasts, which immediately became the only evening bookings in thousands of newly empty diaries. The first Youtube show – Nicholas Hytner’s mid-2000s mega-hit, One Man, Two Guvnors – had a real sense of anticipation.
REVIEW ROUND-UP: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Bridge Theatre’s latest immersive Shakespeare production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
‘This sets the (trapeze) bar very high indeed’: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – Bridge Theatre
Nicholas Hytner gives us an utterly inspired take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre, with Gwendoline Christie in stupendous form.
NEWS: National Theatre announces 15 productions of new plays & fresh adaptations by leading writers
The National Theatre has announces 15 productions of new plays and fresh adaptations by leading writers. Olivier Theatre My Brilliant Friend 12 November 2019 to 18 January 2020 (Press day is 26 November). Plays in rep, with further performances to be announced Following a sell-out run at Rose Theatre Kingston, the two-part adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend by April De Angelis is reworked …
‘A delicious modern twist to the play’: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – Bridge Theatre ★★★★
Don’t leave it to the last minute to get into the auditorium for the Bridge Theatre immersive, promenade production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream because there is stuff going on before the play officially starts.
‘Brings a fresh, more contemporary feel’: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – Bridge Theatre
It is the slight rearrangement of the text and its implication for the female characters that is Nicholas Hytner’s most notable achievement here in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre.
‘Elevated to realms of unexpected glee’: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – Bridge Theatre ★★★★★
A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre is a dream of a Dream. One expected fun from the combination of Nicholas Hytner, a roiling mass of promenaders in the pit and a Bunny Christie design which makes the most of this fresh big theatre’s technical tricks.
NEW: Gwendoline Christie leads the cast of Nicholas Hynter’s immersive production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre
Gwendoline Christie, Oliver Chris, David Moorst and Hammed Animashaun lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom in Nicholas Hytner’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which has its first performance in the Bridge Theatre’s immersive format this summer on 3 June 2019.
Mind the Advent: 24 days celebrating a year’s theatregoing > #theatre2017 #YearInReview
You know what time of year it is – so I’ve just been through my annual Mind the Advent countdown! As I’ve seen a personal best number of different shows this year, the sheer volume of actors (and performances) have really been stacking up and making my life difficult – in terms of summing up my favourites of the year, that is. So here is a bit of a sneak preview of what’s to come in my highlight posts…
YOUNG MARX – Bridge Theatre
The Bridge Theatre’s programming policy is not yet clear, but we can surely look forward to evenings here with more to offer than harmless entertainment.
Acts of theatre resistance: Insignificance, Young Marx, Imagine This, Bernarda Alba
While not Political Plays per se, over the past fortnight, I’ve seen several productions that have reminded me that theatre can play an important part in telling stories of resistance.
‘A lovely new toy for theatreland’: Thoughts on the Bridge Theatre & Young Marx
The Bridge Theatre is a lovely new toy for theatreland. Firstly, its location is spectacular – the views of London are glorious and next summer it will make for many a delightful pre-theatre drink there.
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