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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.