After One Who Wants to Cross at the Finborough in February, I’m thrilled to chair the post-show talk for another new play care of Clarisse Makundul Productions, Makundul’s own Under the Kundè Tree at Southwark Playhouse Borough.
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon looks at what is being said about Berlusconi – A New Musical, based around the politician Silvio Berlusconi. The musical continues to play at the Southwark Playhouse’s Elephant venue until 29 April 2023.
“It’s not a f***ing musical. it’s an opera you c**t!” This statement, from the lips of Silvio Berlusconi as imagined in this uneven but technically inventive show packed with pulsating rock rhythms, gives you a feel for this world premiere Berlusconi – A New Musical, by Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan.
Recently crowned winners of the Best Musical Production at the Off West End Awards, SpitLip is set to move their hit show Operation Mincemeat to the West End for a limited run this spring; they take over at the Fortune Theatre, following The Woman In Black‘s haunting 33-year run.
It is an unusual Macbeth that comes to life with the Porter’s scene, the play’s disconcerting post-murder comic interlude – even more so when it is performed without words. Dale Wylde’s mimed scene is a weird and captivating interlude. It encapsulates the strengths and weaknesses of Flabbergast Theatre’s version at Southwark Playhouse.
Joseph Charlton’s witty and incisive play Brilliant Jerks at the Southwark Playhouse portrays the evolution of a brilliant idea into a multi-billion-dollar ride-hailing app, laying bare the cut-throat and toxic workplaces and casualties as the money keeps rolling in.
For the first full production at Southwark Elephant, artistic director Chris Smyrnios has cleverly programmed this slick revival of leading Irish playwright Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce, which is set nearby, in a council flat on the Walworth Road.
It is more than 15 years since Enda Walsh’s play The Walworth Farce arrived in London and, like many big hits, the scale of its popularity then has been matched by the speed with which it has been forgotten. It is well due a revival, and the Southwark Playhouse’s revival, directed by Nicky Allpress is exciting.
Writer John Mortimer once said “Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute”, a notion which Enda Walsh seems to have taken to heart in his 2006 play The Walworth Farce at the Southwark Playhouse Elephant, featuring, as it does, distinct elements of both to provide a fascinating hybrid.
Although Windfall at the Southwark Playhouse purports to be a farcical comedy, I only found myself intermittently chuckling; the rest of the time I sat with my metaphorical head in my metaphorical hands.
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon takes a look at what critics have had to say about Kim Davies’ play Smoke, starring Meaghan Martin and Oli Higginson, at Southwark Playhouse.
How central are Gertrude, Claudius and Polonius to the story of Hamlet? If you remove those adult characters – the prince’s mother, uncle/stepfather and the father of his one-time girlfriend, respectively – and the scenes that revolve around them, what are you left with?
Lazarus’ production of Hamlet at the Southwark Playhouse (Borough Road branch) strips the older generation from the play, leaving us with only the younger characters. Battered, used and confused, the play reveals how focusing on their experience can show us a familiar text in a new and disturbing light. Hamlet is, among many other things, a tale of an older generation destroying their successors to serve themselves.
Following the 7.45pm performance of Enda Walsh’s acclaimed 2006 play The Walworth Farce on Tuesday 28 February 2022 at Southwark Elephant, I’ll talk to creatives and cast. Any questions? Join us!
As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar, although the impending cost of living crisis is inevitably, and understandably, causing anxiety in theatrical circles. Please do get out there, if you can, and support your local venue in 2023.
Hot on the heels of my post-show Q&A for Doctor Faustus, I’m pleased to announce I’ll return to Southwark Playhouse in January to continue my long-time association with Lazarus Theatre Company, discussing their brand-new production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Jenna Fincken’s unsettling and unforgettable play about coercive control chronicles a relationship from meeting to the first act of violence. Funny, disturbing and uncomfortable – Louise asks us “Did you see?” – Ruckus at Southwark Playhouse is a brilliant production.
Fear and laughter often go hand-in-hand (you only have to look at work from the likes of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith to see that), so Tall Stories’ approach to the Oscar Wilde novella The Canterville Ghost is not as bizarre as it may first seem. Their vaudeville stage adaptation is currently playing at Southwark Playhouse, before heading to Bristol and Newcastle.
Abigail Thorn’s new play The Prince takes inspiration from Shakespeare and time travel to deliver a funny and deeply original take on gender norms and expectations.
What might entice you to sell your soul to the devil? Fame? Riches? Immortality? World peace? A rent-free London flat? Four pints of Guinness? At my post-show Q&A for a production of Doctor Faustus, that was an irresistible question to pose to the company. But before that, we covered much else to do concerning adaptation and the creative process, with a lot of fun and laughter.