The National Theatre has today announced dates and further details for upcoming productions in its 2016-2017 winter season, including: Simon Godwin directs a cast including Tamsin Greig in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 22 February. Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino makes its European premiere in the Lyttelton Theatre in March 2017, with …
A short evening of satirical swipes at politicians, plotters and prophets is only fitfully funny and occasionally sharp.
Hats off to Out of Joint, for bringing politics into the heart of the West End. Political satire is meant to be provocative – and it certainly provoked me!
Here’s a sharp one, beautifully suited to what is not only a Referendum season but one in which both main political parties are more than likely to do mischief to their leaders. We can’t rely only on nervous broadcasters and weary quiz-teams for performed political satire, so hats off to the Arts: whose historic shabbiness pleasingly channels a nicely threadbare Corbyn vibe.
Alistair Beaton, the author of The Accidental Leader, one of five short plays now running at the Arts Theatre in London under the collective title A View from Islington North, wonders whether previews have had their day. And hopes they haven’t.
We take to our seats, having been handed a blindfold and told where the concept came from. Written by Samuel Beckett for radio in 1956, it was first broadcast on 13th January 1957 by the BBC.
Casting has been announced for A VIEW FROM ISLINGTON NORTH, an evening of imaginative, provocative and hilarious political satire from some of the UK’s most celebrated playwrights, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, playing at the Arts Theatre in London from 18 May until 2 July 2016, with a press night on 24 May.
Following sell-out performances at Wilton’s Music Hall and Bristol Old Vic, Max Stafford-Clark’s acclaimed production of All That Fall by Samuel Beckett will immediately transfer to the West End, playing at the Arts Theatre from 13 April to 14 May 2016, ahead of Out of Joints season of political plays, A View From Islington North.
I’m well overdue for a theatre diary, aren’t I? So here goes with a quick one on more new plays I’ve seen in recent (and not-so recent) weeks that I’d recommend catching and haven’t yet managed to squeeze in to separate blogs.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
The best theatre is controversial theatre, but some controversies just make you want to weep. Out of Joint theatre company has been touring Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern (co-produced with Watford Palace Theatre and Arcola Theatre) since September last year. All was going well until the 13 October performance at Ipswich High School for Girls was cancelled by the venue “citing concerns over the play’s language”. Max Stafford-Clark, Out of Joint’s artistic director, said: “It is deeply troubling that a play which so eloquently examines witch persecutions from a feminist perspective, and looks at the way society treated and continues to treat women, is considered inappropriate for an audience of young women. The school has also said that the inclusion of swearing is inappropriate, a policy which presumably rules out much contemporary drama or fiction for study.” Indeed. But enough about the follies of our educators, what about the play?
A fierce bleak play, this. Set in 1712 but, taking the wider world as it is, not un-topical: hangings, tortures, religion turned into a sour power-trip. Here are superstitious dreads and demonization of anyone different, whether homosexual, eccentric or just female.
Tonight should have been the night that Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new Out of Joint play Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, inspired by the last woman in England to be charged with witchcraft in the 18th century, visited the Ipswich High School for Girls as part of its rural touring in East Anglia and Essex.
Across the eight days and nights between last Sunday and tonight, I’ll have seen 11 shows, and (excepting tonight which I’ve not seen yet and one of which was a critics’ preview and I’m therefore not in a position to comment publicly on yet), I’ve loved eight out of the nine. That’s an incredible strike record for one week, and one of those runs of great shows that you only dream of. It helps, of course, that I was playing catch up on six of them, so I was in (comparatively) safer hands than going blind to yet-to-be reviewed shows. But there’s also a fear that a show won’t live up to the good reviews youv’e already read and absorbed.
My newfound Tony Benn obsession has also got me thinking anew about the “most dangerous” Labour man in Parliament before him: the Welsh politician and founder of the National Health Service, Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960). And thinking of Bevan reminded me that I still hadn’t got round to blogging about actor Michael Sheen’s brilliant speech at […]
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