Showing posts from August, 2017

4 Star Review: Joe Orton’s Loot at Park Theatre


LOOT – Sam Frenchum (Hal) Sinead Matthews (Fay) Photo by Darren Bell
How does a play stand the test of time? Shakespeare, as we know, still works on most levels when performed today. But, what about a more recent piece of writing from, say the 1960s? Would a modern sophisticated theatre audience still appreciate the show without it being ‘updated’? Well, now you can find out by heading to the Park Theatre and seeing Joe Orton’s Loot. It is the day of Mrs McLeavy’s (Anah Ruddin) funeral and her household are all getting ready in their own way to see her off in a good old fashioned Catholic manner. Her Husband (Ian Redford) is upset and sombre while her nurse, Fay (Sinéad Matthews) is both cheerful and full of the Holy Roman spirit as the time of the funeral draws nearer. Only Hal (Sam Frenchum) the son of the household seems unperturbed by the death of his mother as he hovers suspiciously round a…

Review of Blue Stockings at The Yard Theatre


The cast of the National Youth Theatre production of Blue Stockings at the Yard Theatre – CREDIT Helen Murray It’s just coming up to that time of year when the new university students enrol and start their three year journey that will culminate in them putting on a cap and gown, walking across some form of stage, shaking hands with someone wearing an even more ornate cap and gown then receiving a rolled up piece of parchment while their proud friends and families look on and “social mediarise” the event like there is no tomorrow. Graduation Day ceremonies are beautiful to watch as students of every creed, colour, gender, pick up their awards. Of course, it hasn’t always been like this, and this is the central theme of Jessica Swale’s play Blue Stockings which the National Youth Theatre is currently presenting at The Yard Theatre. It is 1897 and leading academic Dr Maudsley (Dajay Brown) explains to the a…

5 Star Review of Trouble with Men at the King’s Head Theatre


Sometimes a show can start a conversation just by its title. And this is particularly true of the latest addition to the King’s Head Theatre Queer Festival 2017 – Trouble with Men. This 45-minute production consists of three gay plays, all written and directed by playwright Nick Myles and performed by a company of three outstanding actors. The evening opened with ‘The Farce’ Three Men and Some Baggage. In a regular flat, Fin (Freddie Wintrip) is getting ready for the arrival of his new boyfriend (William McGeough) but before he arrives, Fin is joined by his best friend Ray (Reece Matthews) and not to put too fine a point on it, stereotypical ‘twink about town’. Fin really wants Ray to leave before the boyfriend turns up but Ray wants to stay and check out the new guy in Fin’s life. When he does arrive, complete with a large bulging suitcase, Ray is instantly, and possibly unfairly, anti-the new g…

Review of PLUTO at the Cockpit Theatre


As humans, we often talk about Mother Earth, as if the planet was a real person. Well, what if she was? What if all the celestial bodies observed in the night sky were real with personalities, thoughts and ideas of their own? How would the universe look then? Welcome my friends to Callum O’Brien’s Pluto which, after a very successful run at the King’s Head has just touched down at the Cockpit Theatre. It’s party time and Pluto (Liam Joseph) is really hoping everyone will turn up. However, so far only his local moon Charon (Charlotte Price) has arrived and, while she is a good companion to the lonely Pluto, she is also the only body that ever turns up to Pluto’s parties. However, this evening is going to be different. Firstly an unexpected metal probe marked with the logo of Earth’s NASA has arrived for Pluto and secondly, Charon has secretly arranged for some extra entertainment tonight in the shape of a Strip…

Cirkus Cirkor’s Limits at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall


Cirkus Cirkor – Credit Einar Kling-Odencrants Most shows put on at the theatre tell a story. Straight plays, musicals, ballet, opera, they all have a story to tell that needs to translate from the stage to the waiting audience sitting in the auditorium. Some shows however, are not expected to have much of a narrative to communicate and are there for pure entertainment. So, what happens when a non-story telling piece of theatre decides to do something different and give their audience something to follow as they perform? Well you can find out with a visit to Cirkus Cirkor: Limitswhich I caught at the Royal Festival Hall. Limits is conceived and directed by Tilde Björfors and sets out to imagine a world without borders and mixes music, movement and acrobatics to tell the story of movement both voluntary and especially forced. In with the physical, there are projections telling the audie…

Review of The Wasp at Jermyn Street Theatre


Lisa Gorgin and Selina Giles in The Wasp – Photographer Andreas Grieger I suppose I was very lucky at school. Although being short, wearing glasses and having ‘FA Cup’ ears, I don’t remember ever being bullied about theses things. Though I did get my ears fixed and once ‘lost’ a pair of NHS glasses as I hated them, so maybe things did get said after all. The point is, that whatever may have happened it was obviously pretty mild and so I’ve forgotten about it. I’m one of the lucky ones. For some people school is a place they go to to be tortured either mentally, verbally or physically. For them, school doesn’t end when they hit 16 and leave. For them, these events may live in their mind for years to come, and this is the premise behind Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play The Wasp at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Outside a nondescript coffee shop, two women sit and drink tea. Heather (Selina Giles) is well dressed and…