New debut play inspired by the Rochdale child sex scandal is powerful, but also a bit slight and too short.
Katie Mitchell’s revival of Sarah Kane’s 1998 play sees it as a ghastly nightmare, but overburdens the text with too many additions.
Irish stage adaptation of Eimear McBride’s award-winning novel is powerfully emotional and stunningly performed.
Without question, my best new writing discovery of 2015 was young writer Isley Lynn’s play Tether at Edinburgh Fringe. This surprising, diverse two-hander also made it into the top five of my Top 10 Shows of 2015 so I was excited to receive an invitation to her autobiographical play Skin A Cat at Vault Festival.
Powerful play about brothers comes storming into Sloane Square from Manchester, trailing tenderness and terror.
New play about internet porn is both an entertaining fable and a disturbing vision of corruption.
Sometimes, simplicity in narrative structure is more effective than twists, heaps of characters and subplots. Storytelling has been a powerful medium for time immemorial. in/out (a feeling) starkly depicts young, Eastern European woman Blue working in a London brothel after promised a cleaning job. Her client Ollie is a coked-up, suburban lad out for his mate’s stag do, but their encounter changes both their lives, at least for a little while.
Christopher Hampton’s great adaptation of this 18th-century classic triumphs, despite a poor performance from Dominic West.
Latest thriller from the Hampstead Theatre sees a reunion of two female childhood friends turn nasty, oh very nasty
Schnitzler’s La Ronde has been remade dozens of times and might be coming back into fashion again, what with the recent Hope Theatre production of Hello Again. Joe DiPietro’s Fucking Men follows Schnitzler’s format but sets the 2008 story in gay New York. The show also has the distinction of being the longest running show on the London fringe beginning with it’s 2008 Finborough run and followed by several transfers and extensions. After a brief break, it’s back at The King’s Head. At an hour long, three actors play all ten characters in ten brief scenes, too brief for much character development (with a few exceptions), but an effective snapshot of the ability sex has to cut across social groups.
New play about an illicit encounter between a teen student and an older teacher is powerful and challenging.
Very well-deserved West end transfer for thrilling new play about ethics in the age of the internet… How well do parents know their kids? Especially their teenage kids. Jack appears to be a nice, well-spoken 17-year-old youngster about to take his exams. You see, he has ambitions to study law at Durham University. His parents, David and Di, think he’s a normal boy and they are really proud of all of his hard work. And of his good grades. But, in James Fritz’s compelling 90-minute play, they are about to be disillusioned. And the trick is that we never get to see Jack: he remains offstage, so all we are left with is the reactions of his parents and friends.
Do scandals have a sell-by date? When it comes to sex and politicians, the answer is no. The tabloids, and the news-hungry public, still seem to relish a good story about a powerful man who is caught with his trousers around his ankles. So Harley Granville Barker’s Waste — first put on in 1907 and then rewritten some 20 years later — is ostensibly a highly relevant drama of a personal tragedy in which our characteristic national mix of prurience and puritanism gets a longwinded airing. Certainly, the plot is instantly recognisable.
There’s a mountain of inflatable sex dolls on the stage. Shiny, blank faces with gaping, toothless mouths, spherical tits and gargantuan cocks everywhere. The pile is so big that the actors have to wade through the dolls, a metaphor for the seedy Viennese streets where Shakespeare sets his Measure for Measure. Director Joe Hill-Gibbins wrenches this world into the present with a symbolism-laden, visually orgasmic production designed by Miriam Buether, and a great performance by Romola Garai as Isabella.
Knickers, bras and other vintage undergarments (oh my!) dangle from the Hope Theatre ceiling in dim light, the discarded ghosts of sexual encounters long past. Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 Reigen, or La Ronde as it is more commonly known from the French translation, is reinvented in musical form in Michael John LaChiusa’s early 1990s Hello Again.
I’m not sure if I can pull all or any of this into a connected thread but three things happened recently to make me think about (my and others’) gay life. Ken Clarke the Justice Secretary who I’m convinced moonlights as the Churchill Insurance nodding dog barked some stuff this week about thinking there ought to be […]
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