Allelujah!, Bridge Theatre

Image result for allelujah bridge theatreby guest critic Gregory Forrest

A new Alan Bennett play is an event. And hospitals – the epicentres of birth and death – are eventful places. Allelujah! is a match made in heaven then.

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Nightfall, Bridge Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Grief is debilitating. The pain and emptiness can be so paralysing that the prospect of doing anything at all feels impossible. For the family in Barney Norris’s new play, they have lived in stasis for the better part of two years following the death of their patriarch. Isolated in rural Hampshire on a farm burdened with extensive debt, mum Jenny soaks herself with wine and ignores the red-topped bills. Her son Ryan, the farm’s inheritor, tries to keep things running whilst daughter Lou is a construction company receptionist longing to escape. Days pass, identical to those before. Unfortunately, much of the script matches the lack of movement of this family’s existence.

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Julius Caesar, The Bridge Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Last summer, New York’s Shakespeare in the Park made international news with its production of Julius Caesar, updated to contemporary America with Caesar looking rather suspiciously like Trump. When the right wing press got wind of it, protests outside the theatre ensued.

Fortunately, this is much less likely at Nick Hytner’s similarly Trumpified Caesar. Unfortunately, his look at the devision between the ignorant, poor right and educated, middle class left is a simplistic and occasionally wildly inaccurate comparison to real life partisan policies.

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