This Beautiful Future, Yard Theatre

https://theyardtheatre.co.uk/website/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/This-Beautiful-Future-at-the-Yard-Theatre.-_50A5976.jpg-Photo-by-Mark-Douet.jpg

by guest critic Nastazja Somers

France 1944. A young French girl Elodike runs to meet her lover, a German soldier Otto. Their love is innocent and pure, the exact opposite of the world around them. This is a place that has been torn by war, despair and hunger. Yet the young pair of lovers find time and space to make love, talk about their family and friends, and most importantly connect – despite their differences.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Nanette, Soho Theatre

https://res.cloudinary.com/jpress/image/fetch/w_700,f_auto,ar_3:2,c_fill/http://www.scotsman.com/webimage/1.4533497.1502885380!/image/image.jpg

by guest critics Maeve Ryan & Mark Nilsson

The show opens with award-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby revealing that, actually, she plans to give up standup comedy. She confesses that she has spent her ten-year career doing the set up and punchline of jokes. Jokes, she says, are about tension: in the first part she creates the tension and in the second part she releases it, and then we laugh.

Continue reading

Part of the Picture, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHY4q5zXkAA1gfE.jpg

Peppered across the North Sea, giant metal birds stretch towards the sky and drill into the seabed below, hunting for life-giving oils and gasses. Along their wide bellies, men work day and night to keep them moving in dangerous, dirty conditions. The money’s good, and the work is plentiful.

Continue reading

Hamlet, Harold Pinter Theatre

https://hamletwestend.com/content/uploads/2017/05/4.-Angus-Wright-Claudius-Andrew-Scott-Hamlet-Juliet-Stevenson-Gertrude_credit-Manuel-Harlan-min.jpg

Hamlet may or may not be Shakespeare’s magnum opus, but the Dane is unquestionably one of the greatest roles in the English language. Theatre’s pop star Robert Icke, what with his reputation for hot takes on the classics, no doubt found the play’s allure irresistible. This Hamlet, freshly transferred to the West End from the Almeida, is a slick, beast of a production surpassing three hours. Undeniably contemporary, it does its best to smash the restrictions of the proscenium arch with a celebrity cast and achingly cool, Scandi/corporate design. His casting of Andrew Scott in the title role and subsequent character choices makes this a Hamlet for cool young people on the hunt for profundity, depth of meaning and instagrammable aesthetics.

Continue reading

Hamlet Fool, Lion & Unicorn Theatre

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DBj4u3AXoAAZrna.jpg

A lesson: always read press releases in full. Why? Because you might turn up to a show and discover it’s performed in Russian (when you don’t speak Russian). At least in this instance knowing the source material for Hamlet Fool, a one-woman street performance style retelling Shakespeare’s classic, provides a base knowledge.

Continue reading

The Cardinal, Southwark Playhouse

https://newimages.bwwstatic.com/upload11/1593369/tn-500_rosiewyattandnataliesimpsonandsophiacarr-gomm.jpg

Within 50 years of Shakespeare’s death, playwriting was changing quickly. Less flowery language and more powerful female characters are prominent in James Shirley’s rarely-staged The Cardinal, written in 1641. The plot is more streamlined, but some of the outdoor playhouse performance conventions linger along with the grandness of the king’s court. The story proudly flaunts influence from earlier revenge tragedies and is no less bloody, but easier to follow than some of those on stage a few decades or so earlier. In Southwark Playhouse’s smaller space with historical costumes, Justin Audibert’s production evokes the intimate atmosphere of indoor playhouses that were beginning to take over towards the end of Shakespeare’s career.

Continue reading

The Ferryman, Royal Court

https://cdn.thestage.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/03182335/TFMprod2017JP_05101.jpg

Nearly a decade after Jerusalem opened to universal acclaim at The Royal Court, Jez Butterworth finally gives us another masterpiece. A sprawling family/political drama taking place over one day in 1981 rural Armagh, The Ferryman barrels towards a predicable end. But the genius lies in the final scene, where the plot shoots off in a different direction like a rogue firework before exploding. Laden with familial craic, rebel spirit, the complexities of colonialism and rounded off with phenomenal performances, The Ferryman encapsulates the best of contemporary British playwriting.

Continue reading