I don’t have children so the 2013 release of Disney’s animated film of Frozen largely passed me by. It wasn’t until a Christmas a couple of years later that I finally saw the film.
Timothy Sheader’s revival of Carousel at the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park has made me reconsider the musical, and the ways difficult subjects can be repositioned, but it hasn’t made me love it any better.
A mocking tweet over the veracity of the ‘self-made’ adjective launches Jasmine Lee-Jones’ play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, now transferred to the Royal Court’s Downstairs main house after its premiere in the Upstairs studio two years ago.
I have become obsessed with where the money goes in The Money Live. When my neighbour Charlotte and I attended the “part game, part moral debate, part theatrical experience” earlier this week, the cash pot (initially £296, reaching nearly £400 as more ‘silent witness’ audience members paid a £20 upgrade to join the action) rolled over as no unanimous decision was agreed.
For me, the feeling of missing theatre (when there isn’t really much happening) makes me incredibly sad, but missing out on theatre (because I am not making the effort to be a part of it) makes me unbearably anxious. I have to get back to Theatre Terri.
Are you worried about the state of politics and society in the UK today? That’s the question I asked at the start of my post-show Q&A for At Last at London’s Lion & Unicorn Theatre.
Many in the audience at Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre knew and were influenced by Tony Benn and were happy to share memories and thoughts on what he would think about the play as well as today’s political situation.
Did seeing fascist Tommy Robinson denouncing Muslims and immigrants on a big screen in Whitehall terrify you? What are the long-term consequences of today’s political rhetoric in Trump’s America and Brexit Britain?
Another post-show Q&A first for me. Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Spanish playwright Guillem Clua had to cancel his flight to London to attend his acclaimed two-hander THE SWALLOW at the Cervantes Theatre this week, but he desperately wanted to take part in the post-show discussion on Tuesday night – so the game team at the Cervantes slung up a big screen onstage and Guillem Skyped in from Madrid.
For all its considerable entertainment value, there are some vitally important messages here, about politics, society and the fragility of our institutions – messages that, 246 years after the birth of the world’s greatest modern democracy, are perhaps never more urgent than now. History has its eyes on us all, as one of Miranda’s lyrics reminds us.
Many on the panel, and in the audience, also shared personal stories as immigrants and/or children of immigrants – and how they felt affected by Powell’s speech and its aftermath.
The plays may have been written 420-odd years apart, but I was really struck by how many parallels there were between the discussion I hosted last week, to the European premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company at Trafalgar Studios, and the one I hosted last night, to Christopher Marlowe‘s 16th-century classic Edward II.
As a Twitter geek, one of the things I enjoyed most about David Baddiel‘s latest one-man show My Family: Not the Sitcom, now running at the Playhouse Theatre, is how he so successfully employs social media in his storytelling.
If you’re seeking life affirmation, celebrations of female solidarity (of a quintessentially British variety) and general uplift, my two current West End recommendations that tick all three boxes are The Girls and Stepping Out.
What would Bertolt Brecht have made of Donald Trump? Brecht’s “epic theatre” was sparked by the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Many pundits have likened the political period we’ve now entered with that dark decade of the twentieth century.
“Labour is fucked!” roars Goodman-Hill’s Owen to open Limehouse. And the next hour and forty minutes watching the Gang of Four debate ideologies, divided loyalties and political contexts, including the hard-left’s anti-EU stance, leave you in no doubt just how relevant the play is to the party’s woefully position today.
What were you doing on 9/11? And, if you were in London, on 7/7? I thought about this recently when watching Stuart Slade’s excellent new play BU21.
As someone who makes a living championing theatre, one of the things that really delights me about the grass-roots activism sprouting up all around me in our increasingly illiberal age of Trump and Brexit is how much of it is being driven by theatre colleagues.
My personal highlight from this year’s Awards: Glenda Jackson. The real prize for me was meeting this woman, who first found her voice in the arts and then used it to such powerful effect in politics.
The best antidote to hopelessness is action. On Friday night, hours after the US presidential inauguration, I was hugely privileged to chair a panel, at Theatre503’s Top Trumps mini-festival, asking: what can activists do now to oppose Trumpism?