Calling all ABBA and new writing fans! I’m delighted to return to the Park Theatre for the premiere of The Way Old Friends Do, written by and starring Ian Hallard and directed by Mark Gatiss.
VIDEOS & PHOTOS: Terri Paddock negotiates her way around her post-show Q&A with Winner’s Curse creatives Clive Anderson & Dan Patterson
Winner’s Curse at the Park Theatre, conceived by former diplomat and veteran of countless Middle East negotiations Daniel Taub, is a highly topical piece. It not only lifts the lid on what happens behind closed doors during peace talks but also educates the audience on negotiation theory and allows us to put some of that theory into practice.
‘It is in the scripting that proceedings stumble’: WINNER’S CURSE – Park Theatre
The latest piece to grace the stage of the Park Theatre is a curious beast, and no mistake. Taking the form of a (fictional) lecture with illustrative acted examples, a healthy dose of audience focused exercises and with a generally high level of comic content, Winner’s Curse never quite makes up its mind what it wants to be or is trying to do.
‘It lingers in your mind’: THE ELEPHANT SONG – Park Theatre ★★★★
Nicolas Billon’s The Elephant Song at the Park Theatre takes us through a game of cat and mouse as Dr Greenberg tries to talk resident Michael into revealing the information he has. Michael, with his toy elephant always in his hand, knows the information he has might give him some leverage. He wants to leave the hospital.
‘There is more than one play lurking within this story’: ON THE ROPES – Park Theatre
The sports biography is a great focus for drama and at the Park Theatre the focus is on boxing legend Vernon Vanriel who is telling his own story in the world premiere of On the Ropes, a play he has co-written with Dougie Blaxland. A tale of sporting prowess, celebrity self-destruction and eventually national betrayal, Vanriel and Blaxland’s overlong story doesn’t pull many punches, presenting the good, bad and the alarming misdirections of Vanriel’s event-filled life.
‘Live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar’: Alun Hood celebrates his Top 20 new theatre shows of 2022
As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar, although the impending cost of living crisis is inevitably, and understandably, causing anxiety in theatrical circles. Please do get out there, if you can, and support your local venue in 2023.
Rev Stan chooses her Top Ten Plays of 2022
This feels like a moment; I haven’t been able to do a best of theatre list since 2019 because of ‘you know what’. It’s been huge fun revisiting the plays I’ve seen – nearly 50. And while that total is down on pre-pandemic levels, it was still tricky to narrow down my choices, but here goes.
‘Full of atmosphere, foreboding and storytelling’: WICKIES – Park Theatre
It’s misty and cold in the Park Theatre’s main auditorium. An oppressive half-light frames the stage where the tale of the lost lighthouse keepers (the ‘wickies’) of Eilean Mor will soon unfold. Based on a real mystery from 1900, Paul Morrissey’s play Wickies is full of atmosphere, foreboding and storytelling.
New post-show Q&A: Terri Paddock is back in thriller territory with Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Mor
After a spine-chilling post-show talk for ghost story When Darkness Falls last year, I’m looking forward to reuniting with writer Paul Morrissey at London’s Park Theatre for his latest new thriller, Wickies.
‘The central themes remain as relevant as ever’: A SINGLE MAN – Park Theatre
Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood and adapted by Simon Reade, A Single Man follows a day in the life of George (Theo Fraser Steele), a middle-aged British professor living in Los Angeles, as he wakes, goes to work, visits a friend, has dinner with another, encounters one of his students in a bar, and finally falls into bed back at home.
‘What does Williams think is the root of this reaction?’ KING HAMLIN – Park Theatre
Gloria Williams takes a more decided position on good and evil in the world premiere of her play King Hamlin at the Park Theatre in which an almost inevitable decline into crime is born out of poverty, desperation and class as the protagonist becomes an all-too-aware if unwilling participant in his own destruction.
‘Each generation will find resonance in this play’: A SINGLE MAN – Park Theatre
A day in the life of George, an Englishman living in America, in his fifties – a man alone following the death of his younger partner, Jim. A man of routine habits, but this is no routine day. Actor Theo Fraser Steele (who gives a finely judged performance), adapter Simon Reade and director Philip Wilson give us a glimpse into the world of Christopher Isherwood’s novel in A Single Man.
New post-show Q&A: ‘A wry & compassionate retelling’ of A Single Man at the Park Theatre – Terri Paddock talks to the director & cast
I’m thrilled to reunite with Troupe – after events for acclaimed productions including The Sweet Science of Bruising, Rasheeda Speaking, Dear Brutus and The Cardinal – to chair a post-show Q&A for Simon Reade’s new adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel A Single Man at London’s Park Theatre.
‘Experience it if you can’: ROSE – Park Theatre
September 2020 and the pandemic was quietly raging. So too was Maureen Lipman in Hope Mill Theatre’s online production of Martin Sherman’s intense monologue Rose; her performance was routinely recognised as a tour de force. The piece won many plaudits including an Off West End Offie and featured as one of my 20 For 2020. Since then it has been restreamed more than once and also appeared on Sky Arts – indeed it is still available on their catch up channel Now TV. But for the real undisputed deal, and if you’re near enough, head to the Park Theatre in Islington where the production is playing until mid-October.
‘An unforgettable evening’: ROSE – Park Theatre ★★★★★
Martin Sherman’s 1999 masterpiece Rose is an immense monologue – two halves, each over an hour – and Maureen Lipman tackles it with pin-sharp timing, humour, and controlled feeling, sitting on her bench remembering. Her extraordinary performance was streamed during the Covid years but to see it live in front of you in this intimate theatre is different, startling and personal, heroic. With the best will in the world any screen showing fades into being just more TV, more Holocaust history. This does not.
‘Brilliantly written & performed’: MONSTER – Park Theatre ★★★★★
There was a point while watching Monster at the Park Theatre when I realised I had my hand over my mouth. What was unfolding on stage was shocking, and I haven’t had a reaction like that to a play for quite a while.
‘Clever, sharp & heavily detailed’: THE END OF THE NIGHT (Online Show)
A tight 80-minute three-hander (two other minor characters appear briefly), Original Theatre’s The End of the Night is not an easy watch but it is quite brilliant, and lends itself perfectly to the digital format.
‘I hope some bigger theatre gets the bottle to pick up this production’: TONY! [THE TONY BLAIR OPERA] – Park Theatre ★★★★★
That Harry Hill is the writer explains the rumbustious irreverence of Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] at the Park Theatre, but Steve Brown’s tunes and lyrics are much of its glory.
VIDEO: Celebrities are raving about Sally Rogers’ debut play The Still Room
Word of mouth on Sally Rogers’ debut play The Still Room is spreading fast, with celebrity fans including Alison Steadman, David Morrissey, Maxine Peake, Johnny Flynn and others. Check out these video vox pops and get booking!
‘A glorious romp’: TONY! [THE TONY BLAIR OPERA] – Park Theatre
Voted back into power three times, Tony Blair left office with the accusations of being a manipulative liar ringing in his ears – not that that has ever slowed down the current incumbent. And it is this almost Shakespearian trajectory of the tragic hero gone to the bad which forms the backbone of Tony! at the Park Theatre.