A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe

by Laura Kressly

Viewed through a contemporary lens, this can be considered one of Shakespeare’s more problematic plays. A woman prisoner forced to marry her conqueror’s leader, a man trying to force his daughter into an arranged marriage, and fairies forcing teenagers and each other to fall in love, are key aspects of the story that can’t be cut and all are framed by comedy. But at Michelle Terry’s gaff, director Sean Holmes deals with the first admirably and embraces the chaos of the latter two in this psychedelic, fever-dream of an interpretation that is colourful, pacey and full of contemporary jokes.

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Our Town, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

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by Lara Alier

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a feast for all five senses. From feeling the early summer breeze in your face, to smelling the woodiness of the gigantic trees that surround the stage, it’s all a treat, really. It’s such a delight that it almost became more seductive than the play.

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Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre

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by Louis Train

Thriller Live, the Michael Jackson concert show on the West End, celebrated its tenth anniversary last night with a performance and a reception. The performance was great fun and the reception was tasteful, and the evening, overall, was a success. But I feel there were some lingering questions that neither the personalities on stage nor at the party can answer.

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Chicago, Phoenix Theatre

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by Lara Alier

Enter a club, where the dim lights make it hard to know if it’s you dancing, or you’re just touching someone else’s limbs. Behind the bar there’s a tall man, with broad shoulders and strong arms, his black beard defining a perfect jaw. He doesn’t ask because he knows exactly what you need. That cocktail is Chicago.

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Pinter One and Pinter Two, Harold Pinter Theatre

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by Gregory Forrest

A whole day of Pinter. “Christ,” my landlord said, “I couldn’t think of anything worse.”

Jamie Lloyd is embarking on an epic project: to stage every single one of the influential
playwright Harold Pinter’s short plays over a six month period, at the theatre which bears his name. Pinter at the Pinter. Pretty neat huh?

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42nd Street, Drury Lane Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

It’s the early 1930’s and, “Julian Marsh is puttin’ on a show!”. Pretty Lady is the latest production from the famous director, and all of the local, out-of-work actors are thrilled to have jobs again. But show business is never easy, and this one in particular is no stranger to the trials and tribulations that come with rehearsing a smash hit.

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Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare’s Globe

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by Amy Toledano

Never doing anything by half, Shakespeare’s Globe’s latest rendition of Love’s Labour’s Lost pulls out all the stops with a stellar cast, bringing laughter and joy until the play’s final solemn moments. Directed by Nick Bagnall, this highly energised show is a lovely version of a Shakespeare infrequently staged play, and brings with it a message of true and pure love – and the things we are willing to surrender for them.

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As You Like It & Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Globe

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It would be so much fun to be part of Michelle Terry’s ensemble cast that performs both Hamlet and As You Like It to open this year’s season and her tenure as artistic director. They’re having a great time in what are something of a return to the Rylance era of the actor-manager, but uneven pacing and a smattering of interesting but disconnected choices lead to a lack of cohesion that indicates a lack directorial voice.

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The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre

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by guest critic Susannah Martin

After humble beginnings in a space above a pub, it’s an impressive feat to go on and conquer the West End, and Broadway too, but Mischief Theatre continue to prove why their productions are worthy of playing a variety of theatres across the world. Celebrating their second birthday at the Criterion Theatre, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is the company’s third West End hit, and it’s easy to see why.

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