2016 has undoubtedly had its highs and lows. I wanted to find out what were my regular reviewers’ two favourite theatrical productions that they had covered for me this year?
A new year, a new start – but also a few endings. Several shows are closing in London in January. Here’s a guide to some of the productions we will be waving sadly goodbye to…
This week, the London theatre bloggers discuss the West End transfer of flash-bang-wallop musical Half a Sixpence, the revival of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser starring Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith, and the recent UK premiere of One Night in Miami.
Comic Lee Mack makes his West End debut in 2017, starring alongside Griff Rhys Jones in Sean Foley’s new version of Moliere’s classic comedy The Miser.
we’re looking backwards and forwards for our final list today. These are our current Top 15 Ticket Recommendations – broken down into five musicals, five plays and five ‘star attractions’ (in other words, there are famous faces in the cast) – based on both best-sellers over the past month as well as our predictions on the hottest of upcoming openings…
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
Any opinion I might have had about Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser inevitably comes tainted with his apparent inability to open his mouth without spouting some kind of crap or other.
Great work from Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith saves a nostalgic drama from wallowing in its own Britishness.
Witty and heartfelt, Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith’s evocation of this classic play about theatre life is moving and impressive. The house darkens, the curtain lifts and bombs shake plaster from the ceiling. We are in the middle of a ‘tatty tour of the provinces’, marooned in the dressing room of a theatre battered by German shelling in the 1940s.
There’s a timeless nostalgia to Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser that captures a particular snapshot of England during the Second World War. With the country’s fit young men called up to fight, it’s left to the “cripples, old men and Nancy boys” to tread the boards.
But under Sean Foley’s direction, and with a particularly fine and sensitive cast, this time the play speaks clearly of wider human truths as well as sparking and stabbling with irresistible wit (Foley admits surprise on re-reading it at how much he laughed). Reece Shearsmith is perfection as Norman the dresser.
Director Sean Foley who has recently enjoyed sell-out success adapting and directing The Painkiller, with Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon in the Branagh Theatre Company season of Plays at the Garrick will, starting this autumn, under producer Mark Goucher, direct two new star-studded productions in the West End: Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser with Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith, and The Miser with Griff Rhys Jones.