Home I’m Darling, National Theatre

Image result for home I'm darling, national theatre

by Laura Kressly

Judy loves the 1950s. Nay, she’s obsessed with the era. Frustrated and tired by the demands of modern life, she and her husband Johnny have kitted out their home with authentic fixtures and fittings, and have dedicated themselves to maintaining a ’50s lifestyle. Are they happy living like they did in the good ole’ days, though?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Exit the King, National Theatre

1E2ACC01-FC50-4AE0-961E-B7EFBAA4FFFA

By Laura Kressly

There’s little that’s exciting about watching a petulant, man-child of a king taking 90-odd minutes to die whilst his two wives, a housekeeper, a guard and a ‘doctor’ debate his legacy and the reported collapse of his kingdom. But the design, that climactically progresses along with the king’s death, in this new version by Patrick Marber is a fine reward for enduring the tedium of snarky melodrama that makes up most of the performance.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Nine Night, National Theatre

Image result for nine night, national theatre

by Laura Kressly

A riotous party is heard offstage and the cheerfully vintage, open-plan kitchen we see is full of food and drink. But this London home isn’t hosting any old house party. It’s a customary Jamaican wake following Gloria’s death, and three generations of her family have gathered to mourn. As they wrestle with grief, tradition clashes with modern Britain in Natasha Gordon’s kitchen sink drama that bounces from hilarity to gravity and back again.

Continue reading

Feature | Addiction and the Audience in People, Places & Things

https://i0.wp.com/thestagereview.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Denise-Hough-and-company-in-People-Places-Things.-Photo-by-Johan-Persson..png?fit=1234%2C819&ssl=1

by guest critic Steven Strauss

Heaps of deserved praise has been showered on Jeremy Herrin’s production of Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places & Things, with much directed at Denise Gough’s thrillingly committed performance of a struggling actor in rehab. Yet after seeing it at Wyndham’s Theatre in mid-2016 then its New York City run this year, it’s easy to see there’s more to it than Gough. A second, transatlantic viewing proves just how thoroughly the production theatricalises addicts’ experiences in order to generate audience empathy with the struggle to overcome addiction.

Continue reading

Jane Eyre, National Theatre

https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/story_large/public/thumbnails/image/2017/09/28/08/nt-jane-eyre-tour-2017-ensemble.-photo-by-brinkhoffmgenburg-12.jpg

One of the unfortunate side effects from my time as a secondary school Drama teacher is that Brechtian staging has been ruined for me forever. Brecht is particularly beloved by Drama teachers what with his trademark styles that work particularly well with low production budgets and the diverse abilities of most Drama classes. He is also part of GCSE and A-level syllabuses, and as such, I’ve imparted his techniques to young people entirely too frequently over my short time at the chalkface. His work will long be associated with devised exam productions and low-budget school plays, so anything similar on a professional stage is burdened by those memories.

Continue reading

My Country; a work in progress, Theatre Royal Stratford East

https://cdn.thestage.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/10165417/My-Country-Dorfman-51.jpg

After 52% of 72% of the British voting population voted to leave the EU, Rufus Norris’s concern that London theatre was out of touch with the majority of British people drove him to launch a nationwide project of listening. He sent a team of ‘gatherers’ to all corners of these sceptered isles, and they collected 70 interviews from people up and down the country. The transcriptions combined with text by Carol Ann Duffy gave birth to My Country; a work in progress.

Continue reading