London’s Donmar Warehouse has announced its reopening season following extended closure and completion of essential building works, beginning with with Inua Ellams’ audience-led poetry event Search Party.
Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff star as the Macbeths in this new production directed by Rufus Norris at the National Theatre until 23 June. But what have the critics had to say about it?
There is much to like and enjoy about this production of Macbeth, including inventive performances and strong ideas. However, Rufus Norris should probably play to his strengths as a director, which are many, and not feel he needs to transform into Nicholas Hytner as well.
The politics may be clumsy but the acting is beautiful at the National Theatre. Make no mistake, Rory Kinnear is a magnificent Macbeth.
If you’re a Shakespeare fan then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go and judge Rufus Norris’ Macbeth for yourself, but if not then I wouldn’t rush along, as I don’t think this is the production to make you a fan.
So, I’m sorry to say that the starry Olivier-platformed NT production of Macbeth is a dull disappointment. For me, I couldn’t find a single element that worked.
A whole lot of post-apocalyptic hurly-burly and sadly not much more besides – the National Theatre’s Macbeth really is something of a red-trousered disappointment.
Yet somehow, I’m not quite buying it. We are used to gore and nasty things hung on trees and lots beheadings, ever since the technology for reproducing actors’ heads improved. Fine. But unlike the Hytner Othello – set in a modern army camp – or his Hamlet in a recognizable police-state, the misery-world evoked here gives no sense that there ever were nobilities to be breached by the Macbeths. It’s just chaos, and you expect no better.
Here at the National, as with many other attempts, the production’s vision lacks real purpose and fails to engage with the complex motivation of Macbeth himself, leaving him and us nowhere to go.
The Bridge Theatre’s programming policy is not yet clear, but we can surely look forward to evenings here with more to offer than harmless entertainment.
While not Political Plays per se, over the past fortnight, I’ve seen several productions that have reminded me that theatre can play an important part in telling stories of resistance.
It’s a clever idea by Richard Bean, to envision a story set when Karl Marx was an impecunious migrant living in the ‘squalor’ of Dean Street in Soho, caught between the pawnbrokers and the bailiff in a hand to mouth existence, and to pair him with his future political ally Friedrich Engels in a sort of knockabout turn like Morecambe and Wise, with a sidelong glance at the actual Marx Brothers.
Rory Kinnear takes the title role in Young Marx, Nicholas Hytner’s inaugural production at London’s new large-scale venue, the Bridge Theatre, where it runs until 31 December 2017. Here Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews.
Brand-new London theatre from the two Nicks is wonderful, but its first show is disappointing.
Lots of updates coming from the South Bank today after the National Theatre’s press conference earlier this month when artistic director Rufus Norris unveiled programming plans for 2018. Today, further dates and casting for many of those productions are announced.
The play sometimes felt a bit disconnected, between historic politics and the broad larking. But its revolutionary paupers got their applause from the not-at-all broke first night crowd. And I have a hunch that it will find its feet better, the laughs sharper, with a younger, wider audience.
First things first, the foyer is extremely spacious and rather beautifully lit. So whilst there were hefty queues at the box office and the bar, there was still plenty of room to mill about, some seats available and a wide enough staircase that, when we finally started going down to the stalls, it wasn’t too much of a crush.
Previews begin tonight (18 October) for the world premiere of new Richard Bean comedy Young Marx, the first flagship offering at the new Bridge Theatre, founded by former National Theatre supremos Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr. Have a peek inside…
Nancy Carroll will join the previously announced Rory Kinnear and Oliver Chris in the world premiere of Richard Bean and Clive Colman’s new comedy Young Marx, which launches the new Bridge Theatre.
Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr have announced the opening programme for their The Bridge Theatre venture – the 900-seat commercial venue near to Tower Bridge which marks their re-entry into the London theatre landscape.
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