Translations, National Theatre

National Theatre

By Laura Kressly

Mud covers the Olivier stage. It’s dark, nearly black, thick and peaty. The ‘emerald’ part of the Emerald Isle is pointedly absent. The muck’s heavy and pervasive, working its way into every crevice of the rural hedge school where students of all ages learn Latin and Greek. They don’t mind the mud. But the British soldiers that come with their imposing colonisation, also working its way into nook and cranny? That’s where the villagers take issue.

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Sancho, Wilton’s Music Hall

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By Laura Kressly

Like many before and after him, Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship in 1729. Unlike other slaves, the orphan received an education, married, owned property, published letters and compositions, and was the first black person to vote in a British election. 

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Long Day’s Journey into Night, Brooklyn Academy of Music

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by guest critic Steven Strauss

On its surface, the title Long Day’s Journey into Night describes the looooong four acts it takes Eugene O’Neill’s play to chronicle the story of one day-into-night in the life of the Tyrone family. Metaphorically, it suggests how the play utilizes this micro-slice of life to depict how this autobiographical family descends from the daylight of sanity to the darkness of madness in a macro sense, and how their projected reality in the sunlight of day masks the true darkness of night lingering underneath. 

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Blueberry Toast, Soho Theatre

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by an anonymous guest critic

We open on a stereotypical, modern American kitchen where wife Barb (Gala Gordon) is busying herself. When her husband Walt (Gareth David-Lloyd) comes down for breakfast, she attempts to make him something extra special: blueberry toast. Walt refuses the dish, insisting that he never asked for it and that what he really wanted was blueberry pancakes.

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The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Men are immature and women are cruel.

With this damning premise, D H Lawrence condemns straight couples to lives of vengeful misery. Minnie and Luther are newlyweds, but the cold viciousness of married life has already sunk its claws in. Both feel trapped. Luther’s lack of ambition to progress in his job down the coal pits winds up Millie, who just wants him to love her as much as he loves his mother.

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Pyar Actually, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by Laura Kressly

Polly lives in Gravesend, has a good job at the council, a husband and two children. Life is…fine. No, really – she insists all is well. Other than a few meddling Aunties and standard marital discontent, it’s fine. Then Bali, her school boyfriend, calls her after 20 years. He’s in town, and would she like to meet for a coffee?

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H.R.Haitch, Union Theatre

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

In a time when our world seems to be headed for destruction thanks to the likes of Brexit and Trump, it is comforting to reflect on a more progressive time. Iris Theatre’s latest production H.R.Haitch does exactly this by focusing in on an typical London family at the end of 2011. Throw in some fantastic music, highly energised performances and a royal wedding, and this show entertains from start to finish.

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