It initially hit the headlines for controversial reasons about artistic credit. Now that it’s opened, what have critics said about Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Tree? Premiered as part of the Manchester International Festival, it’s now transferred to London’s Young Vic Theatre, where it continues until 24 August 2019.
If a student disco is your personal nightmare, look away now. Tree starts and ends with a throbbing onstage party to wish the audience is persuasively invited. The last time this many Waitrose customers grooved awkwardly to African beats was on Paul Simon’s Graceland tour.
There is much to applaud in Tree but it feels like a play that is more about the spectacle and experience than a substantial exploration of meaty issues which is fine to a point.
Manchester International Festival (MIF), the Young Vic and Green Door Pictures have announced the full cast for Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s collaboration, Tree, which will receive its world premiere at Manchester International Festival, before transferring to London’s Young Vic.
Ian McKellen reprises his role as King Lear in the West End transfer of Jonathan Munby’s production which has arrived in London following its run in Chichester. Here’s what the critics have been making of it…
For this third time in the role we are told that Ian McKellen deliberately chose to play it in the intimacy of Chichester’s Minerva last year; here in the West End a reconfiguring of the Duke of York’s maintains much of that atmosphere.
Twenty years ago Lady Anne Tree founded Fine Cell Work. It teaches prisoners fine needlepoint and quilting and sells it in the top shops. So the men (and some women, but most prisoners are men) can build up a modest fund for when they are freed.
King Lear is the jewel in the crown of Daniel Evans’ opening year as Chichester’s Artistic Director. Ian McKellen is every inch a king in Jonathan Munby’s production that is currently playing a short, sold-out season
As I wrote when the full cast was first announced, “the world is hardly crying for more productions of King Lear, but if you’re going to put it on, you might as well go balls out on some amazing casting”.
Ian McKellen immediately makes the intimate space his own, the dialogue almost conversational and his Lear a warm-hearted soul with a twinkle in his eye. This is surely as good as it gets, an actor using every bit of knowledge he has acquired in a storied career to make his role feel so natural.
Apart from my Edinburgh blitz, I like to take August a little slow on the theatregoing front. These few weeks offer a brief respite while many people are away on holiday or still up at the Fringe (which I’m not the slightest bit jealous about – no, really) before the ‘autumn season’ kicks off and […]
A company of more than 60 artists will bring The Iliad to life in a durational reading on Friday 14 August 2015. The reading will begin at the British Museum and culminate on the Almeida Theatre stage. The marathon reading is the latest event in the theatre’s Almeida Greeks Festival, which has so far seen Robert Icke’s critically acclaimed production …
Peter McKintosh designs cold, skilful dictator chic: above a shining marble floor, the majestic Mittel-Europa chandelier dims to a blood-red aurora or to surveillance-camera pinpoints. A wide dark window looms beyond two silver-gilt audience chairs. We are in a Presidential Palace anywhere on the grim modern globe. The Leader himself is never seen; we watch, in fragmented, fugal snap-scenes, four women waiting for him through a long afternoon and evening. Outside, a denied revolution is brewing beyond the river as the despised “Northerners” take revenge.