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THE FIX – Union Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

There are times when theatre can seem almost too prescient, where a show can offer a glimpse into a possible future that seems a little too real. There are moments in Michael Strassen’s production of The Fix that make you wonder just how much we are manipulated by the public view of politicians, and just how much they are all hiding.

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THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA – Touring

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Shakespeare’s early plays are often problematic, with the bawdier comedies such as The Comedy of Errors the faults are hidden within some gloriously silly slapstick, but in The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (quite possibly the first play in Will’s canon) the flaws are writ large. Nonetheless, Shakespeare’s Globe’s gloriously silly touring production makes for a largely enjoyable evening.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA – Touring

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Shakespeare’s early plays are often problematic, with the bawdier comedies such as The Comedy of Errors the faults are hidden within some gloriously silly slapstick, but in The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (quite possibly the first play in Will’s canon) the flaws are writ large. Nonetheless, Shakespeare’s Globe’s gloriously silly touring production makes for a largely enjoyable evening.

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THE TRUTH – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Florian Zeller’s name is fast becoming a byword for gripping, fascinating and often brilliantly funny theatre. Productions of The Mother and The Father have racked up critical raves and when The Truth opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory, it was greeted with equal fervour.

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MACBETH – Shakespeare’s Globe

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Like most of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Macbeth works best when viewed on the strength of the relationships between its characters. Sure the blood and guts murders are ways to get bum on seats but even with a literal thunderstorm overhead foreshadowing the tumultuous effects of Macbeth’s actions it all boils down to a marriage made strong by the pursuit of power.

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A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – Shakespeare’s Globe

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Anarchy! It’s not what you expect from a Shakespeare play… even one that has been performed in as many ways as A
Midsummer Night’s Dream has been tackled. Emma Rice’s debut piece in her first season as Artistic Director for the Globe throws the rulebook right out of the window though with performers wearing head mics, set dressing seemingly hanging from the sky and a distinctly non-reverential approach to William’s words.

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TITANIC – Charing Cross Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Can I start with a confession? I never really “got” Titanic… Sure, Maury Yeston’s music and Peter Stone’s book had the requisite bombast, but I’d never seen much evidence of the heart. Leave it to Thom Southerland and Danielle Tarento to prove me wrong again, as they did with Grand Hotel last year… Maybe next time I’ll have learned my lesson!

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THE TAMING OF THE SHREW – Shakespeare’s Globe

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Press week was delayed when Kathy Rose O’Brien was injured and unable to perform but, as we should expect in a year where Ria Jones and Natasha Barnes have stepped up and stolen the show in the West End, the person they’ve brought in seems perfect for the role. Aoife Duffin may seem tiny on the stage, but her personality fills the Globe to bursting point.

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NEWS: Titanic casting announced for new Charing Cross Theatre run

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Final casting is announced for the return of the multi award-winning production of the Broadway musical Titanic, first seen at Southwark Playhouse, which is coming back to London with director Thom Southerland once again at the helm. Titanic will set sail for a 10-week season at Charing Cross Theatre from Saturday 28 May – Saturday 6 August 2016, produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan William

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AN INSPECTOR CALLS – Touring

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Touring by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

It’s been almost a quarter of a century (well, 23 and a half years) since Stephen Daldry’s revival of An Inspector Calls first opened in London and it was 18 years ago that I first saw it. I remember reading it in GCSE English and then (reluctantly) signing up for the school trip. I couldn’t relate to the play, it meant nothing to me.

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DVD REVIEW: The Merchant of Venice, RSC

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Video by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

This year may be the battle of the Cymbelines, with the Royal Shakespeare Company presenting their take while the Globe present two versions, one currently running in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Imogen (a “retitled and reclaimed” production) part of Emma Rice’s inaugural season. Last year the two establishments presented alternate takes on The Merchant of Venice with Polly Findlay’s RSC production the first to arrive on DVD.establishments presented alternate takes on The Merchant of Venice with Polly Findlay’s RSC production the first to arrive on DVD.