The Old Vic’s production of Present Laughter finally feels as though we’re shaking off some of the restraints that have shackled Noel Coward to the past.
It’s no wonder Matilda The Musical has managed to stand its ground in the West End; it’s a sheer delight for adults and children alike, brimming with optimism and a clear sense of right and wrong.
Stories rule in the RSC’s brilliant production of Matilda The Musical in an adaptation which feels properly true to the spirit of its Roald Dahl original – complete with dangerous spikes and revolting children.
The Bristol Old Vic’s production of Long Day’s Journey into Night at Wyndham’s wrings excellent performances from its leads and brings clarity to O’Neill’s huge canvas.
Scrooge is a dishevelled Rhys Ifans, an actor who can produce mad-eyed mania but keeps it under control in a fine and often movingly anguished process through his ghostly torments, until the great relief unleashes crazed capering.
Already sold out before it had even opened and announced to be transferring to the West End in June, the combination of Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem, Mojo amongst others) and director Sam Mendes seems to have set the public imagination alight.
Set in rural County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in August 1981, the play takes place in the Carney home. This is a farming family, who grow cereals for export, and the head of the household is Quinn Carney (Considine), a former IRA man.
Could the dream team behind multi award-winning, all-over-the-globe hit Matilda – director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell – possibly strike gold again with their very next musical?
Atmospheric revival of Harold Pinter’s psychological drama is too long and too elaborate to be genuinely moving.
I do not routinely worship at the shrine of Harold Pinter. I can study, appreciate and accept the menace, the unspoken, the rhythmic near-poetry of dialogue : I have served my time with Existentialism, Absurdism, Beckettiana, every generation of push-theatre-forward shockjockery. Pinter has his place and his heirs (Florian Zeller lately a fine one). Get a great director like Matthew Warchus and a top cast and you have an event, for many an unmissable one. But he doesn’t stir deeper currents in me. For all the skill and faithfulness, what is expressed is too mired in misanthropy, bitterness, bullying rage and shreds of misogyny.
The Old Vic today announces casting for David Greig’s adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, directed by Max Webster. Simon Lipkin will play the role of the Lorax, alongside puppeteers Laura Cubitt and Ben Thompson, whilst Simon Paisley Day takes the role of the Once-ler. Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax is the third production in Matthew Warchus’ opening season as Artistic Director and opens on 16 December, with previews from 3 December.