Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett meet in a cricket pavilion and end up as trapped as some of the characters in their plays
Three Women & Shakespeare’s Will comes from the pen of Joan Greening who has made something of a speciality of writing about historical figures connected to the arts, albeit in imaginary settings/situations. Thus in recent years she has given us the relationship dynamics of three literary sisters in At Home With The Brontës and a trio of Rosetti’s Women and their influence on the titular painter.
So, it was with a sense of keen anticipation that I approached Dante Or Die’s latest piece entitled Odds On which is currently on a “digital tour”. It’s a piece about the world of online gambling and its effects on an individual who gets sucked into a vortex and only narrowly avoids disaster. Having revelled in their earlier piece, and noting that Tim Crouch was on board as the project’s dramaturgist, I expected it to be out of the ordinary – and it was.
The second pair of plays from #FinboroughFrontier’s quartet of pieces #VoicesFromUkraine reflecting on the situation in the war torn nation is now available. They join the first couple to form a suite of programmes focusing on life in the country as the inhabitants are invaded by a hostile force and their response to the situation.
In The Machine Stops E. M. Forster unusually abandons his general milieu of the genteel classes and takes a look at a supposed future – the theme of connection, however, is still very much in evidence as he examines a world that is literally falling apart.
East Is East is a recent addition to National Theatre’s At Home catalogue and only appeared as a live production back in October.
Ruth Wilson is strong casting in the central role with a, for once, restrained Ivo van Hove directing.
The Shrek franchise opts for a modern-day spin on the traditional form, undermining expectations and undercutting some of the more winsome aspects with one-liners and witty put-downs.
The holidays have always been a time of rich pickings for dramatists, bringing together people (pre-Covid at least) who probably avoid each other for the rest of the year.
The Death Of England sequence by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams has had an interesting history. Starting life as a ten-minute microplay film courtesy of the Royal Court.
Anna Christie, which predates The Hairy Ape, won the 1922 Pulitzer prize for drama and therefore had to have something going for it.
There’s a world (indeed, a universe) of possibilities in this intriguing play about decisions and repercussions.
Remembrance Day seemed a perfect moment to review a production set just before and during the First World War, Hugh Salmon’s finely rendered Into Battle.
Halloween season is once more upon us and the London Horror Festival has plenty of macabre productions to satisfy the most dedicated aficionado. One show that stands out from the rest online is Blind by Ryots Productions.
Following a brief run at London’s The Space and ahead of a tour, Brian Coyle’s 2018 one-man play Timeless was made available as an on-demand stream.
I remember a student I was once trying to get to read more saying “What’s the point, there are just too many books”. Perhaps I’m beginning to have the same reaction to digital theatre – there’s so much more of it out there than I had ever anticipated and although I think I can claim I’ve covered a fair amount of ground there is still plenty to get to grips with.
New online theatre material keeps popping up all the time – or at least it eventually comes to my attention which amounts to much the same thing; this latest one did so by a somewhat circuitous route. My Boy Danny played at this year’s recent Camden Fringe as an online stream, but I managed to muddle the dates and therefore missed it.
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed one of the many shows which youth theatre Chickenshed put out during the pandemic. In fact, their last released piece came out in May so apologies to them for getting to this so late on. As with some of their previously released pieces it’s one of their boldly reinvented Christmas shows, this time from 2012.
The Greek myths have endured across the centuries partly because they are timeless stories that can be endlessly updated and reinvented.
As it’s a recorded stream, you’re at liberty to choose your own encore moments and replay any numbers which particularly take your fancy – and there are bound to be several of those.*