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RHAPSODY / THE TWO PIGEONS – The Royal Ballet

In Dance, London theatre, Opinion, Reviews by Simon ParrisLeave a Comment

In a nicely balanced, highly entertaining double bill, The Royal Ballet presents Rhapsody and The Two Pigeons, two gems from the treasured catalogue of works from Frederick Ashton. A fitting showcase for leading stars Steven McRae and Natalie Osipova, Rhapsody is a dreamy contemplation on the pleasure of dance. Created by Ashton in 1980 for Mikhail Baryshnikov, the piece is focused more on the male principal dancer, who begins on stage and ends exalted in a grand lift by the men.

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KING & COUNTRY – Barbican

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Shakespeare’s history plays are some of his best. Epic tales with tragedy and comedy, love and war, politics and history are brought to life on stage, with the storyline of some characters spanning years and multiple plays. The RSC and Barbican have, over the last few years, presented the first four as separate productions but to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year, unite them as a single ticket.

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GREY GARDENS – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Simon ParrisLeave a Comment

Showcasing two of the finest stage actresses, Grey Gardens finally comes to London in this impressively staged production. Making quite a name for itself in very recent times as starting place for theatrical hits, the Southwark Playhouse has added its name to the shortlist of special venues that must be carefully watched when planning a West End theatre trip.

GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM – West End

In Children's theatre, London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

The WWII image of dejected, scrappy children with brown tags around their necks, clutching their most precious belongings as they are re-homed with strangers in the countryside is a powerful one. It’s one that inspired author Michelle Magorian to write Goodnight Mister Tom, adapted by David Wood for the stage, now in London after a successful run at Chichester and before heading off for a national tour. The audience meets little William, who is sent from Deptford to Dorset and assigned to live with the reclusive Tom Oakley. With a focus on Tom more so than the relocated children, this is a story about finding love again after a devastating loss. This part of the production is moving, but the story is slow to develop over a long time period and the flimsy, thin dialogue doesn’t support the large cast of characters, their development and the devastation of wartime.

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MUSE OF FIRE – Film review

In Films, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo + Juliet transformed a young generation into Shakespeare fans. Dan Poole and Giles Terera were training at Mountview at the time of the film’s release. They previously weren’t keen on Shakespeare’s plays what with their difficult language and having to read them at school. But, Romeo + Juliet changed all that.

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FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

Very well-deserved West end transfer for thrilling new play about ethics in the age of the internet… How well do parents know their kids? Especially their teenage kids. Jack appears to be a nice, well-spoken 17-year-old youngster about to take his exams. You see, he has ambitions to study law at Durham University. His parents, David and Di, think he’s a normal boy and they are really proud of all of his hard work. And of his good grades. But, in James Fritz’s compelling 90-minute play, they are about to be disillusioned. And the trick is that we never get to see Jack: he remains offstage, so all we are left with is the reactions of his parents and friends.

BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM – West End

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Rejoice! In the midst of Fifa’s dismal doings musical theatre makes football beautiful again. Gurinder Chadha’s and Paul Mayeda Berges’ fable, of a British-Asian teenage girl longing to play football rather than cook dhal and live traditionally, was beloved on screen but emerges all the stronger for being driven by Howard Goodall’s music and Charles Hart’s lyrics. It’s a lovely show, with the rare quality in musicals of feeling all-of-a-piece: one solid creation by a team who understand one another and were allowed to get on with it.

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NEWS: Derren Brown brings latest live show Miracle to West End

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

The multi-award winning acknowledged master of psychological illusion returns to the West End stage with his new one-man show DERREN BROWN: MIRACLE. Following a sell-out 105-date national tour, Brown brings his unique brand of uplifting, unsettling magical showmanship to the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, 11 November 2015 to 16 January 2016. MIRACLE has a more philosophical flavour and invites audiences to look at ways of thinking that might make us all happier.

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HAY FEVER – Duke of York’s Theatre, West End

In London theatre, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

This is a play I know extremely well. My own production (“one of the best the Nuffield Theatre has housed” – Guardian) formed part of my Theatre Studies degree at Lancaster in 1973, the year Noel Coward died. I have seen every major revival, and some dodgy tours, from the splendid Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray version which first inspired me as a teenager at the Grand Theatre Leeds, to glossy London and Chichester productions with Dame Judi, Maria Aitken, Penelope Keith, Geraldine McEwan and Diana Rigg. And the awful one with Lindsay Duncan strutting about in jodhpurs.