The Light in the Piazza, Southbank Centre

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by Amy Toledano

Based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Spencer and published more than 60 years ago, The Light in the Piazza is a surprisingly progressive tale for its time. Finding acclaim with the 1962 film adaptation starring George Hamilton and Olivia Havilland, this story made a lasting impression on the likes of Richard Rogers, who was one of many composers looking to adapt it for the stage. Unfortunately, it was not until 1998, when Rogers’ grandson approached Spencer about giving the adaptation another go. From this, the version we see on stage was born, to great success.

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Strange Fruit, Bush Theatre

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by Maeve Ryan

In this powerful revival of Caryl Phillip’s Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning play, themes of inter-generational conflict, racism, machismo and cultural disconnection collide in a way that feels disturbingly current.

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The Crucible, Yard Theatre

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Chairs set out with the name of each character written on the back suggest at first glance that the Yard’s staging of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible will be stripped-back and basic. As the cast enters, reciting the full text including stage directions in their own clothes and accents, it feels like a reading. Only the stackable, institutional chairs themselves hint at what is to come; this could be a committee meeting at a small town village hall where members of a tight-knit community meet to air their concerns and dole out justice. 

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Fiddler on the Roof, Playhouse Theatre

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by Louis Train

When I told my mother I was moving to Russia, she sighed and reminded me that to her, Eastern Europe was a cemetery. Her grandparents had fled during the Russian Civil War, and her parents had grown up watching details of the Holocaust emerge, night by night, like a dark beacon announcing the violent and final end of Jewish life in Eastern Europe.

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A Doll’s House, Progress Theatre

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by Louis Train

A Doll’s House is a popular choice among high school English and drama teachers, who are as likely as not to be masochists: it is a long, dense play filled with subtext, the kind of poignant morsels that students are expected to pick out and examine, as if on their hands and knees groping through the muck of the text for an essay topic.

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The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, Camden People’s Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

I contemplate a ratty t-shirt displayed on a podium alongside several other seemingly random items. I’m asked to write down how much I would pay for it. Determining it’s not something I’d wear or have any other use for, I wrote £0 on a slip of paper that I slid into a box behind it.

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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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