One of Alan Ayckbourn’s biggest ever successes, 1975’s Bedroom Farce, has only just made the transition in an entertaining production from Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres which premiered in two parts across New Year’s Eve/Day. It is now available via BBC Sounds.
Ruth Wilson is strong casting in the central role with a, for once, restrained Ivo van Hove directing.
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.
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.
The Greek myths have endured across the centuries partly because they are timeless stories that can be endlessly updated and reinvented.
Do these two pieces push the idea of audio theatre to its limits? Probably and the results are highly pleasing
Siobhan Bremer’s A Theatrical Life is very much a piece which will more readily appeal to members of the profession and those interested in the mechanics of the business called show.
It was just about a month ago that I observed that considering the dominant story of all our lives for the last 18 months has been the pandemic, there haven’t really been all that many direct responses to it in the form of theatre pieces. A new addition to the Scenesaver platform looks to rectify that particular shortfall with three monologues about individual experiences and response. Called starkly The Covid-19 Trilogy it comes from Elysium Theatre Company which is based in Durham. During the pandemic they released two sets of five monologues and the three pieces in this set are taken from these. Presumably they are a “best of” collection to whet the appetite; the rest are available on the company’s You Tube channel
Although I’d still give a best company name prize to recent Edinburgh appearees (??!) Expial Atrocious, running them a close second is Smoking Apples – though I’d be hard pressed to identify why. The group have been around for about ten years and have carved out a definite niche for themselves by making use of puppetry and developing a particular visual style in order to explore issue led topics. Their 2018 show to celebrate the anniversary of women’s suffrage has continued to develop and was taken on tour backed by the Institute of Physics as a way of encouraging teenage girls to go into STEM based careers (science/technology/maths). In its latest iteration it has become a filmed record called Flux – Digital.
Though the big guns which are at the Edinburgh Fringe have now been rolled out, it’s taking some time to pin down what to aim for there. Meanwhile its somewhat smaller sibling is continuing in Camden and so I thought I would take a break from Edinburgh brochure browsing and pick up on a couple of shows from a Festival which is much nearer geographically and boasts some interesting online content. My choices narrowed down to a pair of performances which took ecology as one of their central themes.
Footprints Festival at Jermyn Street celebrates female empowerment
Theater In Quarantine has now established itself at the forefront of innovative technique and have found some surprising ways to utilise the limited performance space at their disposal.
Late Night Staring At High Res Pixels is a dense and intense piece of work which examines the interplay of relationships but leaves the audience to come to its own conclusions about the motivations and intentions of the characters.
Ancient Myth clashes with modern Myth in a powerful rock musical about fame and mental health.
A pandemic sweeps the land and the government introduces new quarantine rules – yes, that is the plot of The White Plague, not the news headlines.
A rom com with a dark edge makes for good Valentine’s Day entertainment
The past and the present are brought together in Flight Paths, a piece which can, at first, seem disjointed but ultimately reveals its intricate design and some clever paralleling.
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