Updating the classics is not without its pitfalls. How can a modern audience, which has a completely different set of religious beliefs, relate to a 17th-century morality tale in which the lead character behaves badly, and I mean really badly, but gets his comeuppance by being roasted in hell fire?
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.
Joe DiPietro’s cult hit is enjoyable enough, but rather predictable in both form and content.
The metaphor of mountain climbing resonates with the crisis of masculinity in new sex-war drama.
Terence Rattigan’s best play stars Helen McCrory in an uncertain production that attempts an emotional update.
New play from Jack Thorne about one couple’s tragic loss is both excruciating and oddly uplifting
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Christopher Hampton’s great adaptation of this 18th-century classic triumphs, despite a poor performance from Dominic West.
A true theatre masterpiece can survive any directorial mugging. By this definition, Harold Pinter’s 1965 play, The Homecoming, is a robust work of genius. It has to be because, from the very start of this starry 50th anniversary revival, director Jamie Lloyd seems determined to turn it into a lurid mix of cartoon and nostalgia-fest. As the evening begins, the drama’s grubby setting, given a retro look by designer Soutra Gilmour with the addition of a couple of sticks of period furniture, is bathed in bright red light while pounding drums and throbbing bass evoke something like the Swinging Sixties.