A digital production of Waiting for Lefty, updated to the modern day, breathes some sharp, fresh air into the Zoom theatre form.
Like characters in a book who never die, Laura Wade’s The Watsons at the Menier Chocolate Factory deserves to last forever.
Losing Venice at the Orange Tree Theatre is a remarkable rediscovery by this ever-enterprising venue and is a well-crafted and elegantly written curiosity.
Jane Eyre is one of those mythical stories that make their home in your imagination. Where they can chat, sing and dance through your unconscious for years and years and years.
I’m sure I’m not alone in having gruelling flashbacks to A-level English literature when I hear Brontë’s novel mentioned, and what’s lovely about this adaptation, thanks to the minimal sets, is that it allows the audience to create the world of Jane Eyre with their imagination as they would do when reading the book.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte’s well-known classic has been reincarnated on stage and screen with regularity. So, with my in-depth knowledge gathered from my A-Level English Literature studies still ricocheting in my older than teenage brain, I prepared myself to watch another take on the story.
Resolutely theatrical and visually arresting, the version of Jane Eyre at the Festival Theatre retains the flavour of that well-loved book while succeeding admirably on its own terms. This adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel was originally devised for the Bristol Old Vic and is now touring in partnership with the National Theatre of Great Britain.
2017 marks the 170th anniversary of the publication of Charlotte Brontë’s most famous piece, a tale of passion, justice and madness set against the backdrop of Yorkshire’s haunting moors. Director Sally Cookson’s adaptation is set amongst a bare wooden frame, with platforms on varying levels used throughout the performance.
Following its recent performance at the Palace of Westminster, Jack Gamble and Quentin Beroud bring their Richard II to the Arcola Theatre for a short run. It has been often said that Richard II is the most “political” of Shakespeare’s plays: the story of a King too held back by the past, the last medieval Sovereign killed more by historical change than by the man who reigned after him.
The best theatre is controversial theatre, but some controversies just make you want to weep. Out of Joint theatre company has been touring Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern (co-produced with Watford Palace Theatre and Arcola Theatre) since September last year. All was going well until the 13 October performance at Ipswich High School for Girls was cancelled by the venue “citing concerns over the play’s language”. Max Stafford-Clark, Out of Joint’s artistic director, said: “It is deeply troubling that a play which so eloquently examines witch persecutions from a feminist perspective, and looks at the way society treated and continues to treat women, is considered inappropriate for an audience of young women. The school has also said that the inclusion of swearing is inappropriate, a policy which presumably rules out much contemporary drama or fiction for study.” Indeed. But enough about the follies of our educators, what about the play?
A fierce bleak play, this. Set in 1712 but, taking the wider world as it is, not un-topical: hangings, tortures, religion turned into a sour power-trip. Here are superstitious dreads and demonization of anyone different, whether homosexual, eccentric or just female.