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NEWS: Pippa Nixon replaces Sinead Matthews in Classic Spring’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Vaudeville

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Ticket recommendations by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Classic Spring has announced that Fiona Button (Cecily Cardew) and Stella Gonet (Miss Prism) have been cast in Michael Fentiman’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Vaudeville Theatre (20 July to 20 October 2018, press night is 2 August), with Pippa Nixon replacing Sinead Matthews as Gwendolyn Fairfax.

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NEWS: Natalie Dew returns to plays with Human Animals premiere at Royal Court

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Natalie Dew – following her #AlsoRecognised Award and Olivier nomination for Bend It Like Beckham, in which she made her musical debut – Ian Gelder, Stella Gonet, Lisa McGrillis, Sargon Yelda and Ashley Zhangazha have been cast in Stef Smith’s new play Human Animals, which runs from 18 May 2016 to 18 June 2016 in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

FOR SERVICES RENDERED – Chichester Festival Theatre

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

It’s fitting that in a Chichester Festival Theatre season that
ends with three of Chekhov’s early works they also feature a play so indebted
to his introspective, often melancholic style. Like Chekhov, W. Somerset Maugham has crafted a play
that has a tendency to be fascinating and at times incredibly frustrating but
that certainly deserves attention.

The plot centres on the home of a
country solicitor and the slow disintegration of his family playing out as we
watch. There are some incredibly well thought out performances, not the least
from Stella Gonet as the matriarch whose
perfect manners and visible love for her family hide the fact she is
desperately ill. Her children are all, in some way, broken and she initially
throws herself into looking after them before finally admitting defeat, and
confessing her relief that her days are numbered.

Her son Sidney, blinded in the Great
War thuds about the set, his walking stick bouncing off the furniture as he
hides his distress below a thick layer of sarcasm. It’s a fine depiction by Joseph Kloska whose vacant stares are
often somewhat unsettling and whose disability allows him to say what other
characters won’t.

Elsewhere youngest sister Lois is
pursued by an aging lothario while eldest sister Eve shows signs of cracking
under the pressure of caring for her family. Justine Mitchell gives Eva a distinct vulnerability and we get the
impression she was never allowed to grieve for the love she lost to World War
I. Sadly her burgeoning romance with the seemingly disinterested Collie is
incredibly clunky and the long pauses (presumably director Howard Davies intention is to make the situation uncomfortable to
watch) come across almost as if neither actor is quite sure where the scene is
going.

There are moments too when the script
descends into clichéd “stiff upper lip” territory that borders on pastiche.

Thankfully though, such moments
are followed by more dark humour and gloomy contemplation – a tone Maugham
seems much more comfortable with. But the lasting impression is of a play that
isn’t quite worthy of the fine cast performing it!

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Podcast: How to find Hope when the streetlights are turned off

In Audio, Features, Interviews, London theatre, Plays, Quotes by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

  It’s frightening how prescient Jack Thorne’s Hope is. Just this week, new research released by the Labour Party showed that streetlights are being switched off in three-quarters of England’s councils in order to save money. And there’s a likelihood that even more will be “plunged into darkness” after the Government’s most recent announcement of […]