Pearl Cleage’s 1995 play Blues for an Alabama Sky creates a world, the world of dreamers in the fading Harlem renaissance, the Depression starting to bite. It’s domestic: Frankie Bradshaw’s fabulous set has two fire escapes, a hallway, steps, rooms high and low, balcony (where we glimpse other neighbours, sometimes with quiet harmonies sung). Outside the street is barred with lamplight.
Looking across cultural representations of women in the past 100 years it is possible to draw connections between characters such as Hester Collier in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, Patrick Hamilton’s Jenny from Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, even up to Kyo Choi’s Kim Han-See in The Apology, all of whom are in pursuit of a fantasy life that will never be fulfilled. Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, opening at the National Theatre, adds another unknowingly tragic heroine to that list, singer Angel who will grasp at an opportunity to get out of Harlem in 1930.
The thing is, you can’t fault the acting in Jitney at the Old Vic – the actors are superb. And Tinuke Craig’s expert direction means the cab office setting doesn’t feel static or forced. But the play takes a long time to get to the interesting stuff and then leaves a lot hanging.
Jitney, revived at the Old Vic in a production by Tinuke Craig, is a piece that took the best part of 40 years to make it to Broadway in late 2016 after decades of smaller productions around America and at the National Theatre in 2001. Part
Force Majeure is a random act of God that cannot be predicted or measured that entirely disrupts planned activity, something we can all appreciate a little better in the past two years.
Moments of dark humour are scattered throughout Edition #6 of the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper but elsewhere it is a bit more hit and miss.
Inua Ellams’ writing is always so multifaceted and beautiful and this interpretation of Three Sisters is no exception, whether you have strong feelings on Chekhov or not.
Inua Ellams’ relocation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters to the Biafran Civil War proves devastatingly effective at the National Theatre.
Caryl Churchill’s Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. at the Royal Court is wonderfully bright and incisively perceptive.
I really can’t recommend Sweat highly enough. It’s not just a great play, and a great production, it’s an actually important one.
Some titanic acting performances from Sally Field, Bill Pullman and Colin Morgan in this superb All My Sons at the Old Vic Theatre.
Clarke Peters and Sule Rimi are to step in to cover the roles of Robertson, Moe 3 and Taylor in Arthur Miller’s The American Clock at the Old Vic, directed by Rachel Chavkin, following news that Giles Terera has had to withdraw from the production for personal reasons.
The Donmar Warehouse today announces the extension, due to exceptional demand, for Lynette Linton’s acclaimed production of Sweat by Lynn Nottage. The production will now be booking for performances until Saturday 2 February 2019.
If you want to understand why working-class Americans voted for Donald Trump or even why people in Sunderland voted for Brexit then look no further than Lynn Nottage’s complex, urgent and moving play new play, Sweat.
The Old Vic and Headlong Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, directed by Jeremy Herrin and starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman with Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan will be broadcast live from The Old Vic to cinemas around the UK and internationally on 14 May 2019 as part of National Theatre Live.
The Donmar Warehouse has announced full casting for Lynette Linton’s production of Sweat by Lynn Nottage (7 December 2018 to 26 January 2019, press night is 19 December). The line-up includes Martha Plimpton, Leanne Best, Patrick Gibson, Osy Ikhile, Wil Johnson, Stuart McQuarrie, Clare Perkins, Sule Rimi and Sebastian Viveros.
In a year of revelations about the abuse of power and sexual misconduct, the timing couldn’t be better for Measure for Measure at the Donmar Warehouse, an intriguing tale of blackmail, morality and duty.
The Donmar Warehouse has announced the full casting for artistic director Josie Rourke’s production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Previews start from Friday 28 September 2018.
That it is sold out shouldn’t stop you from trying to get tickets – there’s Friday Rush and there’s refreshing this page in case of returns, and boy is it worth it.
Mae West wrote The Drag in 1927 where its frankness about gay lives (and once again, drag ball culture!) scandalised its out-of-town Connecticut and New Jersey audiences so that it never made it to Broadway.
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