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Showing posts from October, 2017

Review of Antigone at Greenwich Theatre London

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/186923/review-antigone-greenwich-theatre-london/ You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family the saying goes. Given the number of dysfunctional families that seem to inhabit the plays of the ancient Greek writers, I can really empathise with this. To give an example, take the tale of Antigone which is currently on a UK tour and which I saw recently at the Greenwich Theatre. The battle for Thebes is over and, as the dust settles the cost is counted. As well as the loss of lives in general, the leaders of the two opposing forces – Eteocles and Polyneices – are also among the dead, having fought and killed each other. This would be a tragedy in normal circumstances but, what makes it worse is that these two were brothers – cursed sons of Oedipus and Jocasta – and with their death, it is now up to their uncle Creon (Nicholas Cass-Beggs) to take up the mantle of ruler of Thebes. One of his first moves is to declare Polyneices a traitor an…

5 Star Review of Lord Dismiss Us at Above The Stag Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/186632/review-lord-dismiss-us-above-the-stag-theatre/

Lord Dismiss Us Top L-R David Mullen Lewis Allcock Bottom L-R Jonathan Blaydon Joe Bence Joshua Oakes-Rogers Matthew McCallion – Photo by PBGSTUDIOS How many times did you get told as a child that “School Days Are The Best Days Of Your Life”? I’m sure for some people this is very true. Personally, I’m not so sure that I agree with the phrase. For most children and adolescents, the final few years are probably a horrendous time as their hormones kick into overdrive, they sit their various exams and have to make a life setting decision on what to study at university. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone to take but just imagine if, during this period, you had also found out that not only were you not going to be considered normal by society at large but were about to embark on a life that was totally illegal. That’s the fate awaiting some of the boys at quintessentially English public school Weatherh…

Review of Our House at Churchill Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/186540/review-our-house-at-churchill-theatre/




The cast of Our House UK Tour. Photo by Adam Trigg
The 19th of March 1985, and I was sat in an office with a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. At that point, I had a choice to make that would change my life forever. Did I sign and join the RAF or not sign and go off to a different life? Obviously, I signed but, every so often, I do wonder what my life would have been like if I’d just said ‘no’ and left the recruiting office on that day. We never get to see what the alternatives to our decisions would have been but in Immersion Theatre’s touring production of Our House, which I caught as it arrived at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre, one young man gets a chance to try both versions of reality. Today is Camden lad Joe Casey’s (Jason Kajdi) sixteenth birthday and he wants to do something special with his new girlfriend Sarah (Sophie Matthew). Ignoring the suggestions of his two best mates Emmo …

Review of Skin Tight at the Hope Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/186056/review-skin-tight-the-hope-theatre/

Tom (Philippe Edwards) and Elizabeth (Louise Hoare) in Skin Tight Over the course of a lifetime together, a married couple must go through an awful lot. Initial romance, wooing each other, living together, marriage, children, growing old together and finally death. Could you summarise a life spent as part of a couple in only one hour? I know I couldn’t, but luckily Southern Magpie Theatre have brought Gary Henderson’s play Skin Tight to the Hope Theatre in Islington to do the job for me. Tom (Philippe Edwards) and Elizabeth (Louise Hoare) have been together for a long time. Since meeting as children in their small New Zealand town, the two of them have had a life together of ups and downs. Together they have faced life and all it could throw at them. They’ve loved, each other, fought each other, argued, made up and generally been a normal married couple. Tom went to war, while Elizabeth stayed home wondering…

Review of Richard III at the Cockpit Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/186047/review-richard-iii-cockpit-theatre/

As Napoleon once said, “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” And nowhere is the idea of ambition explored in greater style than in William Shakespeare’s Richard III. This tragic story can be seen in a new production by Front Foot Theatre at the Cockpit Theatre. Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Km Hardy) has a simple wish. He wants to be King of England. The problem is that between Richard and the throne is his brother George, Duke of Clarence (Thomas Walker Barron), the current king, and another brother, Edward IV (Oliver Hewett) and his two sons, the Prince of Wales and Duke of York. However, Richard is not going to let a minor thing like this stop him achieving his ambition and, he quickly puts his Machiavellian brain to work on the problem. Clarence is soon dispatched and Richard, whi…

Review of A Day by the Sea at Southwark Playhouse

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/185485/review-a-day-by-the-sea-southwark-playhouse/

Alix Dunmore as Frances Farrar, John Sackville as Julian Anson and Susan Tracy as Laura Anson in “A Day By The Sea” by NC Hunter If you look back there seems to be a halcyon period between the end of the Second World War and the hedonistic time of the 1960s when the British hadn’t realised that the days of empire were over and they were no longer the force to be reckoned with that they once were. This is especially true amongst the middle classes who tried to turn back the clock and take the country back to how it was pre-1939. A fine example of this mentality is on now at the Southwark Playhouse where N C Hunter’s play A Day By The Sea has returned to London after over 50 years absence. In a delightful seaside house Laura Anson (Susan Tracy) is holding court. She currently has a full house with not only the normal resident’s brother-in-law David (David Whitworth) and Doctor Farley (David Acton) – t…

Review of The Busy World is Hushed at the Finborough Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/185309/review-the-busy-world-is-hushed-finborough-theatre/ Michael James and Mateo Oxley – Credit Scott Rylander Let’s start this review off with a quote “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.” If you aren’t sure where this is from I will let you know at the end of the review. However, this quote get’s nicely to the central crux of Keith Bunin’s play The Busy World is Hushed which is having its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre. Hannah (Kazia Pelka) is a happy Episcopalian minister and widow. She is working on a book about a recently discovered gospel which may predate the ‘famous four’ – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – and, if the dates work out correctly, may have been written just after the death of Jesus. Like many academic types, Hannah is really enthralled by her work but dreads the thought of writing it out, so she is interviewing Brandt (Mateo Oxley) for the position of gh…

Review of Absolute Certainty at The White Bear Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/184224/review-absolute-certainty-at-the-white-bear-theatre/

Absolute Certainty – Credit Brittain Photography
Mental illness is something that we are all terrified of in some respects. How many times have articles about mass murderers, serial killers and the like included an interview with someone who is dumbfounded as the perpetrator ‘looked and acted just like everyone else’? In fact, an awful lot of the thriller genre relies on mental health issues not being identified in order to keep the suspense going. And mental health is at the heart of Laila Bouromane’s debut play Absolute Certainty having its first run at the White Bear Theatre. At a fairly nondescript greetings card manufacturer, someone is slightly out of kilter with the rest of the team. That someone is Michael (Mike) Dunhill (Andy Murton) a member of the accounts team who basically likes to keep himself to himself. He doesn’t get involved and attempts at conversation with him result in t…