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’: HEDDA GABLER – National Theatre At Home (Online review)
Ruth Wilson is strong casting in the central role with a, for once, restrained Ivo van Hove directing.
‘Enhanced by crisp editing & two towering performances’: DEATH OF ENGLAND: FACE TO FACE – National Theatre (Online review)
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.
‘After The Hairy Ape, I approached this with a degree of trepidation’: ANNA CHRISTIE (Online review)
Anna Christie, which predates The Hairy Ape, won the 1922 Pulitzer prize for drama and therefore had to have something going for it.
‘Great writing can be interpreted & reinterpreted in any number of ways’: CONSTELLATIONS – Donmar Warehouse (Online review)
There’s a world (indeed, a universe) of possibilities in this intriguing play about decisions and repercussions.
‘A fine octet of actors work well as an ensemble’: INTO BATTLE (Online review)
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.
‘Sombre mood, visual distortions, intense emotions’: THE HAIRY APE — Online
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 legend is more or less intact’: ORPHEUS (Online review)
The Greek myths have endured across the centuries partly because they are timeless stories that can be endlessly updated and reinvented.
‘In the tradition of the choose your own adventure books’: THE RIME OF THE SECOND SISTER / FOUND – Online
Do these two pieces push the idea of audio theatre to its limits? Probably and the results are highly pleasing
‘The highs & lows of auditioning, rehearsing & performing’: A THEATRICAL LIFE (Online review)
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.
‘A vivid snapshot’: THE COVID-19 TRILOGY (Online review)
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
‘A highly visual show’: FLUX – DIGITAL (Online review)
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.
‘Two ecology conscious plays’: Tree Confessions/We’ll Dance On The Ash Of The Apocalypse – Camden Fringe (Online review)
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.
‘Concentrates on the indomitability of the human spirit’: LONE FLYER / ENG-ER-ALND – Jermyn Street Theatre (Online review)
Footprints Festival at Jermyn Street celebrates female empowerment
‘You don’t have to think big to think big’: I Am Sending You The Sacred Face / Blood Meal – Theater In Quarantine (Online review)
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.
‘A dense & intense piece of work’: Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels – Finborough Theatre (Online review)
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.
‘Has a contemporary resonance’: MYTH (Online review)
Ancient Myth clashes with modern Myth in a powerful rock musical about fame and mental health.
‘A novel & quite chilling piece of home theatre’: THE WHITE PLAGUE (Online review)
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.
‘Perfect for the season’: THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA – RSC (Online review)
A rom com with a dark edge makes for good Valentine’s Day entertainment
‘An unusual approach & clever solutions’: FLIGHT PATHS – Extant (Online review)
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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