Women and modern warfare. Women have fought to be treated as equals on the front line. A question of equality. The corollary to that is, they are open to being just as badly injured.
Theatre increasingly uses digital delights to enhance audience enjoyment. And you can easily see why.
In Kate Fleetwood, Ugly Lies the Bone has the kind of hypnotically magnificent performance that almost makes you forgive any or all shortcomings.
Full casting has been announced for the upcoming European premiere of Ugly Lies the Bone at the National Theatre. The play, which stars Kate Fleetwood, marks the UK debut of award-winning American Lindsey Ferrentino.
Twenty years ago, there was a lot of it about: light comedies afloat in the West End, chronicling the disintegration of a suburban marriage while simultaneously lampooning the middle-class enthusiasm for some hobby or other.
Terry Johnson deftly directs the West End revival of his 1994 play, a sharply observed often painfully funny dark comedy with several dramatic twists, as well as a good dose of slapstick and added custard pies.
Much like 2016 has been unkind to us in taking legends, 1992 took, amongst others, comedy heroes Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill. The Dead Funny Society meets to celebrate the lives of such heroes but in doing this their focus is not where it should be, and some might say life is actually passing them by.
Terry Johnson’s 1994 play functions both as a cleverly interwoven tribute to old school British comedy and a domestic drama, with a good balance of comedic and serious moments. But even though the play is only a couple of decades old, it occasionally feels its age.
Turns out what I should have been on the lookout for was an Alan Ayckbourn play in sheep’s clothing. And if that’s the way your preferences go, as it seems with the majority of the print critics, then this is the play for you.
Terry Johnson’s play Dead Funny, revived here by the author with a stellar cast, definitely has its funny moments but can tend to feel as though it isn’t sure whether it is a comedy or a tragedy.
Why is comedy, in the words of the cliché, such a serious business? One reason is that what we laugh at says a lot about who we are as a nation; another is that the simple “joy of laughter” drowns out the anxieties of life’s little, and not so little, agonies.
Writer and director Terry Johnson will revive his award-winning 1994 comedy DEAD FUNNY with an all-star cast for a limited season at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre, running from 17 October 2016 to 4 February 2017, with a press night on 3 November. Tickets are now on sale.
In 2013, I interviewed John Gordon Sinclair and Ralf Little — both of whom started out acting as teenagers in youth theatre, became stars young (at 19 and 18 respectively), but had no formal acting training. They were both appearing at the time in the West End return of the hit comedy The Ladykillers to the Vaudeville Theatre. Here’s the interview that resulted. (It was due to run in the SUNDAY EXPRESS but never did for lack of space or editorial will; I never found out which!).