Vassa, once a timely satire of the iniquities of capitalism in its day, doesn’t really have much to say when the director has so squarely decided to move it so out of time and place.
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Tinuke Craig’s production of Vassa at the Almeida Theatre.
Vassa, adapted from Maxim Gorky’s original by Mike Bartlett, is a pitch-black comedy rather than a farce, so pitch black that you struggle to see where the laughs are.
I’m coming to Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls (1982) afresh. Well, sort of. I read the play a few years ago, but I’ve not seen it and wasn’t born until 10 years after its original production at the Royal Court.
Top Girls is a curious play, a mixture of moments that had me mentally punching the air, feeling angry and a little frustrated.
Caryl Churchill’s superb Top Girls receives a luxurious but clear-sighted production from Lyndsey Turner at the National Theatre.
Enjoyably high-definition revival of Caryl Churchill’s 1982 feminist classic Top Girls gets the National’s big-stage treatment.
Initial casting for the National Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls includes Liv Hill (Angie), Katherine Kingsley (Marlene), Wendy Kweh (Lady Nijo), Amanda Lawrence (Pope Joan), Ashley McGuire (Dull Gret), Ashna Rabbheru (Kit) and Siobhan Redmond (Isabella Bird).
This is certainly a major theatrical event — Cicero’s speeches, with their mixture of sarcasm and idealism, are great, but not everyone will enjoy the comic interpretation of some of these characters, and the storytelling does get a bit bogged down in the second part.
First seen at the RSC last winter, Mike Poulton’s adaptation of Robert Harris’ Cicero novels have a suitably epic feel to them and, anchored by an excellent lead performance from Richard McCabe, also have a real thrill factor.
Imperium II: Dictator continues a compelling look at (Roman) politics at the Gielgud Theatre but I do feel obliged to point out just how male-heavy the piece skews.
Polly Findlay’s fluent production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie avoids the fluting exaggerations of some previous versions and tells the story with a fine appreciation of its grounding in the needy emotions of all concerned.
Richard McCabe as Cicero is a marvellous creation: a man risen from lowly beginnings through sheer intelligence and lawyerly eloquence, his genuine belief in the Republic and horror of autocracy fading sometimes endearingly into pomposity; his political gift for expediency always at war with his real principles.
Casting has been announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s highly anticipated stage premiere of Robert Harris’ Roman trilogy, Imperium, which will be led by Olivier and Tony Award winner Richard McCabe (The Audience) as Cicero, Siobhan Redmon as his wife Terenia and Joseph Kloska as his servant Tiro.
The Moliere presented here is a man who can skewer others’ foibles while lacking any kind of awareness of his own faults. He also lacks much of an instinct for self-preservation and treats those around him abominably. That he is so sympathetic is largely due to Jimmy Chisholm’s performance, which combines charm, rhythm, timing and just enough variety-style playing to the gallery.
The world premiere of Thon Man Moliere, Liz Lochhead’s play about the life and times of the playwright Moliere, opens at Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre this week, running 24 May to 11 June 2016.