There is a peculiar absence of majesty at the heart of the National Theatre’s touring production of Macbeth.
While not Political Plays per se, over the past fortnight, I’ve seen several productions that have reminded me that theatre can play an important part in telling stories of resistance.
st as playwright James Graham has made a name with plays based on recent real events with a political dimension, similarly, a recurring theme within Terry Johnson’s oeuvre is the untold story of famous people
nsignificance is not a play about physics and the two characters aren’t just any random people. It’s 1954 and though they’re officially named The Actress and The Professor, we can – with reasonable confidence – infer that they’re Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein.
Terry Johnson’s Insignificance didn’t happen, but it could have done, such is his attention to detail and understanding of the characters’ intrinsic behavioural patterns.
Insignificance radiates current themes. The age of nuclear dread is back, after all, and Einstein’s regret about what his discoveries led to, sharp at the play’s end, is for us too. America is again producing rightist thugs with a morbid dread of the unAmerican world; only instead of McCarthyist accusations today we have fake news.
Kelly Hunter’s Hamlet is one that hammers on the eyelids. Ferocious and deeply moving, it harbours an incendiary central performance from Mark Arends that at times makes you fear for his life, so emotionally tethered is it to its character’s nerve endings.
Flute Theatre and English Touring Theatre today announces that their production of Hamlet, adapted by Kelly Hunter, transfers to the Trafalgar Studios for a limited run this December. The production opens on 8 December, with previews from 6 December, and runs until 31 December 2016.
Lillian Hellman – tough, personally unconventional, a liberal ahead of her time – counted this as one of her favourite works. Most of us admire her more for The Children’s Hour, The Little Foxes and her fierce 1940’s anti-fascist writings.
Jermyn Street Theatre presents the UK premiere of The Autumn Garden by acclaimed US playwright, screenwriter and political activist Lillian Hellman. Nominated for the New York Critic’s Circle Award and considered by many as her best work (above the better known Little Foxes and Children’s Hour), the play opened on Broadway in 1951 to critical acclaim. It will run at Jermyn Street from 5 to 29 October 2016.