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‘Never a false note’: JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN – Bridge Theatre ★★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

In great plays a scene, character or domestic confrontation can be both appalling and comic: pity, terror and barks of shocked laughter are not incompatible even within a sentence. Ibsen knew that, but in the Norwegian rebel’s grim late works it takes a relaxed director and some weapons-grade actors to keep that balance. Cue Nicholas Hytner, Simon Russell Beale and Lia Williams: rescuing, for me and for good, a play (John Gabriel Borkman at the Bridge Theatre) I hated last time I saw it.

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‘Felt that I was trapped in a theatrical microwave oven’: THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD THE SECOND – Almeida Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Touring by Anne CoxLeave a Comment

Borrowing a technique from American long-form TV drama, The Tragedy of King Richard The Second begins in medias res. The wonderful Simon Russell Beale steps forward, ashen-faced, to deliver the “I have been studying how I may compare/This prison where I live unto the world” speech from Act 5.