Bodies

Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (****)

© Bronwen Sharp, Salma Hoque as the Indian surrogate mother, Lakshmi

© Bronwen Sharp, Salma Hoque as the Indian surrogate mother, Lakshmi

It’s a very strange feeling when you come across two new plays with almost identical themes – a zeitgeist moment where an idea floating in the ether gets picked up by two playwrights in close time proximity. Continue reading

Touch

Soho Theatre, London (****)

© Helen Maybanks, James Clyde as `smoothie' Miles, Amy Morgan (Dee)

© Helen Maybanks, James Clyde as `smoothie’ Miles, Amy Morgan (Dee)

If there was such a thing as `chick-lit’ in theatre, this would be the nearest thing to it.

But that would neither be respectful nor entirely accurate. The phenomenon that has become Vicky Jones, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the company they formed, DryWrite, carries far greater weight than that slightly disreputable moniker would suggest. Continue reading

Death of a Salesman

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford (****)

© Manuel Harlan, Nicholas Woodeson as Willy Loman

© Manuel Harlan, Nicholas Woodeson as Willy Loman

You can never tire of Arthur Miller’s great elegy to the ordinary working man, crushed by the system, Death of a Salesman (1949). Continue reading

Ink

Almeida Theatre, London (****)

© Marc Brenner, Richard Coyle as Larry Lamb, newly recruited Sun editor and Bertie Carvel as Rupert Murdoch, plotting and setting his sights on winning...

© Marc Brenner, Richard Coyle as Larry Lamb, newly recruited Sun editor and Bertie Carvel as Rupert Murdoch, plotting and setting his sights on winning…

He likes his politics and history does James Graham who has given us some cracking examples of the unholy alliances that pass for politics in this and probably every country, starting with Eden’s Empire a decade ago and leading up to the blissfully funny The Vote (Donmar) on Election Night 2015 and This House, now setting off on a national tour. Continue reading

Mad Man Sad Woman

The Space, London (****)

© Matthew Ferguson, Eva and Huinca, at last, seeing the light...

© Matthew Ferguson, Eva and Huinca, at last, seeing the light…

Juan Radrigán was to Chilean literature and theatre as Maxim Gorki was to Russia under the Tsars. Writing during the Pinochet era, Radrigán’s subjects were exclusively those on the margins of society, the dispossessed and the unheard. Continue reading

My Country: a work in progress

Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London (****)

© Sarah Lee, Penny Layden (Britannia)

© Sarah Lee, Penny Layden (Britannia)

A `Sacrament of Listening’ could be the subtitle for Carol Ann Duffy and Rufus Norris’s post-Brexit project that opened three months ago at the National and which, caught now at the end of its UK tour with it’s almost white cast and similar audience, sits so oddly in a theatre normally packed with multi races and ownership. Continue reading