Pericles Prince de Tyr, Barbican

Image result for pericles prince de tyr, barbican

by Laura Kressly

Flawless royal blue walls reminiscent of the sea surround an unresponsive, middle aged man lying in a hospital bed. Nurses and a doctor flit in an out, efficiently checking vitals and holding quick, whispered conversations with waiting family. This is Pericles, physically and mentally buffeted by a life of grief and tragedy, but this is not quite the story of Pericles that Shakespeare and Wilkins co-wrote. Translated into French and then adapted, Cheek by Jowl here present a man in poor physical and mental health trapped inside his head, in a world composed either of memories or the figments of his imagination.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Will, Rose Playhouse

E51580BE-F2D5-4998-A055-45CCBEAB7FA8

by Laura Kressly

Fan fiction has probably been around for as long as celebrity culture has existed, with the internet playing a pivotal role in its dissemination. But sharing her love of Shakespeare online isn’t enough for playwright Victoria Baumgartner, who brings her unbridled devotion to Shakespeare to the stage. This speculative, queer narrative presents Shakespeare’s ‘lost years’, between 1585 and 1592, with an earnest devotion that appeals to Shakespeare fans but lacks finesse and depth.

Continue reading

Harold and Maude, Charing Cross Theatre

Image result for harold & maude, charing cross theatre

by guest critic Maeve Campbell

Hal Asby’s 1971 film Harold and Maude is a masterpiece. Harold is nineteen and
obsessed with death. He meets Maude, a week off eighty, who lives her life to its fullest
and is constantly seeking new experiences. Opposites attract, and what plays out is one
of the most charming, unusual and sincere romances in celluloid history. Thom
Southerland’s Charing Cross Theatre revival is lovely but misses out on the sincerity
that helped garner the film’s cult classic status.

Continue reading

Napoleon Disrobed, Arcola Theatre

Image result for napoleon disrobed

by Laura Kressly

What would happen if Napoleon didn’t die on Saint Helena? What if he managed to not be imprisoned at all? This amusing Monty Python-esque, revisionist history suggests that with his doppelganger in exile, Napoleon tries to regain power in Belgium but is thwarted by supporter disbelief, poverty and the love of a melon seller. The comedy is punchy but the story is sparse, making for a joyful but baffling show.

Continue reading

Breakfast, VAULT Festival

Image result for breakfast, vault festival

by guest critic Lara Alier

Visual poetry, movement and live music. Words that float and linger in the air like these two performers in the space.

Marah Stafford and Nicolas Hart perform a physical theatre piece devised from the poems of Jacques Prévert. The whole show is accompanied by Ben Murray on the accordion and piano.

Continue reading