The first thing I said to my friend during the interval of Private Lives at the Donmar Warehouse was, ‘I don’t remember this being a play about domestic violence’. We’d just witnessed Elyot (Stephen Mangan) and Amanda (Rachael Stirling) having a physical fight which included Elyot grabbing Amanda by the throat and throwing her onto a sofa.
The sun is setting on Michael Longhurst’s time at the Donmar Warehouse and his penultimate production is a timeless classic, Noel Coward’s sparky and charismatic relationship comedy about middle aged love, Private Lives, a fairly safe bet which this century alone has resulted in some great comic pairings from Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan to Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor. But Coward’s work is tricky to get right and it always looks far easier than it really is.
Mike Bartlett is very prolific, but this Restoration-style satire on society at London’s Lyric Hammersmith is sadly timid and predictable.
We knew Mike Bartlett was brilliant, but with this third piece to come to a major London venue in 2022, he displays yet another facet to his virtuosity while staking a claim to be as prolific as Alan Ayckbourn.
We round up the reviews for Mike Bartlett’s play Love Love Love, running at the Lyric Hammersmith until 4 April 2020.
Ultimately, all eyes are on Rachael Stirling in Plenty and she stylishly carries this story of disillusionment to its inevitable, if uncertain, conclusion.
We’re told Plenty is viewed as a modern classic. For the life of me I have no idea why and the sterling work of this excellent cast can do nothing to dissuade me.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2019 has been announced by artistic director Daniel Evans. It includes John Simm & Dervla Kirwan in Macbeth, Hugh Bonneville in Shadowlands & Tim Firth’s first solo musical starring James Nesbitt.
James Graham is on an electoral roll: There’s certainly a surfeit of election nights in Labour of Love and Martin Freeman’s bright boy Blairite David Lyons
Comedy about Labour Party history is starry, but politically reactionary and tediously overblown.
Olivier Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig will now play Jean Whittaker opposite Martin Freeman as David Lyons in the world premiere of James Graham’s Labour of Love.
I’m not one to blow my trumpet too much, honestly, but it was nice to discover that my blog has been named one of Feedspot’s Top 50 Drama Blogs and Websites.
Rachael Stirling joins Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire in the world premiere of James Graham’s Labour of Love. Full cast is announced today.
In addition to lists of top productions, Mates contributor Ian Foster reviews his reviews from the past year to award his personal prizes for the best performances for Best Actor and Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in both plays and musicals…