If neither newspapers nor intelligence services will lose sleep over the way Blyth represents them, The Haystack is insightful enough to be a contemporary state-of-the-nation parable.
Are morals dropped at the first sign of trouble and civilised people will ‘devour’ each other? Written by Cordelia Lynn and directed by James Macdonald, One For Sorrow examines this hypothesis up close.
For all my scepticism about the views expressed by some characters, I decidedly think this is impressive work from a playwright to be taken seriously and it’s only very slightly too long and under-resolved.
It could be the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, except this time it’s happening in London. And it is also the powerful start of Cordelia Lynn’s new play, One for Sorrow, which has just opened at the Royal Court’s upstairs studio space.
Quiz is a thought-provoking piece of theatre that will really make you question what you perceive to be the truth.
Blurring the lines, nothing is ever black and white anymore, it is forever a shade of grey; Quiz is a show that reflects that sentiment fully. We are at the Noel Coward Theatre, a venue steeped in prestige and history. It plays host to many an iconic show.
Sarah Woodward spoke to Love London Love Culture about her own quizzing ability and being part of Quiz at the Noel Coward Theatre (31 March to 16 June 2018).
Casting has been revealed for the West End transfer of James Graham’s new play Quiz, opening at the Noël Coward Theatre from 10 April to 16 June 2018, with previews from 31 March.
Given how she’s doing such amazing work in Follies at the minute, it’s kinda gobsmacking to discover that Janie Dee has not one but two cabaret shows lined up for the beginning of October. Returning to Live at Zédel, fans have the pick of Janie Dee at the BBC – album launch or Janie Dee – Off the Record… or you can do both on the same night for a couple of dates if you’re that way inclined!
Gavin Spokes stars as Charles Ingram, ‘the coughing major’, in James Graham’s new play Quiz, based on Ingram’s famous cheat on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Full cast is announced for the Chichester premiere.
This House has taken on a life of its own since its first appearance at the National Theatre in 2012 in the Cottesloe Theatre. Transferred to the Olivier, then revived this year at Chichester, it now sits grandly in the West End, complete with on-stage seating, rock band, glowered over by the face of Big Ben.
Political turmoil. It’s nothing new. And we are certainly reminded of that here! Set during the troubled Labour Government of the mid to late seventies, This House plays out, for the most part, in the Whips offices, the difference between the two like that of a Gentleman’s club to a working mans pub.
Casting has been announced for the West End transfer of James Graham’s critically acclaimed political drama This House, which opens at the West End’s Garrick Theatre on 30 November 2016, following previews from 19 November.
Full casting has been announced for the West End transfer of Jessica Swale’s new play Nell Gwynn, directed by Christopher Luscombe. The production stars Gemma Arterton in the title role, with the full cast including Paige Carter, Michele Dotrice, Matthew Durkan, Michael Garner, Greg Haiste, George Jennings, Ellie Leah, Peter McGovern, David Rintoul, Anneika Rose, Nicholas Shaw, David Sturzaker, Jay Taylor, Sasha Waddell and Sarah Woodward.
Shakespeare’s Globe, London
Written by William ShakespeareDirected by Simon Godwin
Simon Godwin hones his focus in on the fallible nature of authority, in a smartly paced production with plenty of humour. His Richard II is an examination of the facets of hierarchy and begs the audience to consider the true origins of power. Is the right of Kings truly a gift from God? Or is it an innate and simplistic ability to rule justly and fairly, possessed of any man willing to seize the opportunity? Therein lies the central conflict between Charles Spencer’s enigmatic Richard and David Sturzaker’s earnest Bolingbroke.
Designer Paul Wills has crafted a technically intelligent set, casing every wall and pillar in a slightly decayed gold leaf. The extravagant opulence of Richard’s court is immediately captured in the garishly blanket plating of every surface, yet the hidden rot of his rule is also reflected in the decay. Just as the surface of the very walls is aged and scratched, so Richard’s personal façade can only last so long. Richard himself, clad as he is in light creams and further gold, often disappears into his own throne, lost in the architecture of his surroundings and blind to the threats of the more darkly clad Bolingbroke, Northumberland and Willoughby.
As Richard, Charles Spencer’s central performance captures the glib swagger of a man raised in a form of regal captivity. We see the young boy crowned in a coronation prologue and in so doing understand Richard’s inability to see beyond the needs of his immediate entourage and desires. He is not inherently selfish, simply a man told since his pre-pubescent years that his actions are the will of God. Spencer is especially strong when physically handing over the crown to Bolingbroke. The former king is reduced to a linen clad waif, not mad, simply unable to fathom the recent turn of events. Spencer delicately portrays the sickened confusion of a man who has lost his spiritual foundation.
Godwin keeps the play motoring along and whilst a couple of actors seem to slightly rush their lines, it gives the production a sense of welcome pace and comedy. Exchanges between Richard and his courtiers are fired off with precise timing and a catty wit. These scheming felines spit snide remarks behind closed doors and in one scene cackle over some odd catwalk-like entertainment. It all feels very ‘high fashion mogul’. There are also some fantastically funny set pieces that lift what could’ve been a rather drab second act. Sarah Woodward and William Chubb, as the Duchess and Duke of York, do fine work on their knees in a farcical squabble over their sons’ misdeeds, whilst the biggest laugh of the night came from a sequence involving as many thrown gauges as you are likely to see in a single scene.
If the production lacks anything, it is perhaps a degree of narrative investment. Sturzaker’s Bolingbroke is likeable and well acted, but lacks that enigmatic zeal that would convince an audience of his ability to rally the disgruntled Lords to his cause. Also, both the Dukes of Richard’s court and Bolingbroke’s eventual sympathisers lack a sense of individual identity. They blur into a mass of camp malevolence and haughty aggression respectively, which robs the play of a sense of character depth.
This aside, Richard II delivers in terms of a charismatic central performance from Charles Spencer and a slick sense of pace throughout. Godwin’s direction has clarity and his deft touch for the light-hearted encourages the audience to find humour in the pomp and reverence of sovereignty, as well as pity for a young boy King doomed by ideals thrust upon him.
Runs until 18th OctoberGuest reviewer: Will Clarkson
Photo credit: Johan Persson
In 1985, Susan Wooldridge made her name as Daphne Manners in ‘The Jewel In the Crown’ by having a nasty shock in an overgrown garden. You turn your back for 25 years and she’s at it again this time in a tense and twisting three-hander by Alan Ayckbourn which combines his well-documented empathy with the […]
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In 1985, Susan Wooldridge (centre) made her name as Daphne Manners in ‘The Jewel In the Crown’ by having a nasty shock in an overgrown garden. You turn your back for 25 years and she’s at it again this time in a tense and twisting three-hander by Alan Ayckbourn which — in his 61st script […]
The post Review: Snake in the Grass (The Print Room) appeared first on JohnnyFox.