Panic attacks can make you want to tear your skin off so the animal underneath has room to breathe. For the character Tom Kelsey embodies in this solo-performance, that feeling is a daily reality. In an attempt to live a ‘normal’ life and beat ‘the fog’, he agrees to a night out that should be a good laugh with the lads, but his poor mental health means that this is far from easy.
Based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Spencer and published more than 60 years ago, The Light in the Piazza is a surprisingly progressive tale for its time. Finding acclaim with the 1962 film adaptation starring George Hamilton and Olivia Havilland, this story made a lasting impression on the likes of Richard Rogers, who was one of many composers looking to adapt it for the stage. Unfortunately, it was not until 1998, when Rogers’ grandson approached Spencer about giving the adaptation another go. From this, the version we see on stage was born, to great success.
In this powerful revival of Caryl Phillip’s Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning play, themes of inter-generational conflict, racism, machismo and cultural disconnection collide in a way that feels disturbingly current.
While the UK is dealing with political transitions and scrutiny, so too is Australia. With the large size of the country and massive environmental threats (a hole in the ozone layer and the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef to name a couple), there are plenty of people trying to make change. However, there is also a group of people who truly believe climate change is a thing of fiction – the climate change deniers.
America’s gun epidemic is easy to criticise and ridicule from afar. But Americans, even those who oppose gun ownership, know that the firearms debate stems from deeply entrenched cultural mores and politics, and is also intertwined with class, regionalisms, race, money, and so on. In Sarah Kosar’s latest play, gun-obsessed Sam and her husband John are trying to quit their gun addictions when a local girl disappears, threatening their new, anti-weapon convictions. Cinematic lighting and sparse design heightens the nuanced script, and compelling performances support the story of one of many reasons why someone may want to own a gun.
Welcome to the present, where we’re listening to a gig-theatre/TED Talk about the future. Specifically, Little Bulb have drawn on research from the finest minds in science, mathematics and philosophy to look at the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the impact it could have on us. Will it lead to utopia for the human race, or will we be driven to extinction?
‘Stonewall was a riot, not a rainbow’ says the placard on my newsfeed.
Fifty years on from that night, riots which poured gasoline onto the gay rights movement, these six short plays in the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs is a sign of how far we have come, and how far we have left to go.
1. What is ‘Exceptional Promise’?
a. Another name for a UK Tier 1 visa
b. An interactive game show-slash-performance piece
c. A critique of the cesspit that is London’s housing market
d. All of the above
If you answered ‘D’, then you win! You’re one step closer to getting the keys to your dream house. But first – you need to survive the rest of the rounds and beat your other two opponents, otherwise you’re doomed to dodgy landlords and housemates forever.
Citysong contemplates the timeless cycle of life by following three generations of a family on one important day. Writer Dylan Coburn Gray calls this lyrical piece a ‘play for voices’ and indeed the script began its life as spoken word. It won the Verity Bargate Award, which brought it from Ireland’s national theatre, the Abbey, to London. Both inner city theatres are perfect settings for this evocation of life and family narrated by a cab driver in a rain-soaked, streetlamp-lit Dublin.
Jean-Paul Sartre wrote this in 1943, at the height of Nazi occupation of Europe. The adaptation of the Orestes myth centres on the city of Argos, ruled by King Aegisthus, who deposed and killed the previous ruler Agamemnon 15 years previously. Aegisthus then married Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra, enslaved their daughter Electra, and sent the young Orestes out into the woods to die. Since then, the city has been plagued by giant flies and the civilians must lead sombre and mournful lives – but Orestes has now returned to exact his revenge. This update is well-staged with a clear aesthetic, but the pace is often too slow for the high-stakes story.