Land Without Dreams

Gate, Notting Hill, London ****
Runs: 60 mins without interval
Box Office: 020 7229 0706

Review of perf seen Nov 19, 2019:

© Cameron Slater, Terri Wilkey as the woman regarding us, the audience, with wry amusement. She knows us better than we know ourselves...

© Cameron Slater, Terri Wilkey as the woman regarding us, the audience, with wry amusement. She knows us better than we know ourselves…

Notting Hill’s tiny Gate Theatre continues under AD Ellen McDougall to amaze and provoke. Where would British theatre be without these lab style venues where experiment and daring combine to shatter smug complacencies. I love ‘em! Continue reading

On Bear Ridge

Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, London ****
Runs: 90 without interval
TICKETS 020 7565 -5000
Review: of perf seen Nov 4, 2019:

© Mark Douet, Rakie Ayola as Noni, and Rhys Ifans as John Daniel, a couple at the extreme but somehow finding resilience...

© Mark Douet, Rakie Ayola as Noni, and Rhys Ifans as John Daniel, a couple at the extreme but somehow finding resilience…and an actor at the height of his powers.

Some plays and productions cast a very special kind of spell. Theatre is all about suspension of disbelief, of the creation for a small amount of time, of a particularly hermetic, special kind of world. And within that particularity, if they get it right, is a universality, a paradox that never ceases to amaze. Continue reading

Shook

Southwark Playhouse, London ****
Runs: 90 mins with no interval.
TICKETS: Box Office: 020 7407 0234
www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

Review: of perf seen Nov 1, 2019:

© The Other Richard, Josh Finan as Cain, Ivan Oyik as Riyad - Cain would get under anybody's skin but it's all show...

© The Other Richard, Josh Finan as Cain, Ivan Oyik as Riyad – Cain would get under anybody’s skin but it’s all show…

About ten years ago, the late, much loved and admired Philip Osment wrote a play called Inside. Developed with young male offenders in Rochester prison with Jim Pope’s Playing On company, Osment took the workshops and turned the accounts of the young men, all of them fathers, into a piercingly humane commentary on parenting and fatherhood. Continue reading

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Donmar Warehouse, London ****
Runs: 1hr 55 mins without interval
Review of perf seen Oct 18, 2019:

100 scenes, a cast of sixteen and a set of skeletal frames, each one a different room, atmosphere, ambience, telling a different story.

© Helen Maybaniks, Rosie Elnile's set for Maria Aberg's haunting, hard-hitting production, every space telling a different story...

© Helen Maybaniks, Rosie Elnile’s set for Maria Aberg’s haunting, hard-hitting production, every space telling a different story…

Continue reading

The Watsons

Menier Chocolate Factory, London *****
Runs: 2hrs 20mins with 15 min interval
Box Office: 020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)
Website:  www.menierchocolatefactory.com

Review of perf seen Sept 30, 2019:

© Manuel Harlan, the company in Samuel West's pitch perfect production...

© Manuel Harlan, the company in Samuel West’s pitch perfect production…

Some evenings turn out to be such a pick-me-up – exactly what Laura Wade’s delicious, clever and delectable confection, based or `adapted’ from Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon, proves to be. Continue reading

Blood Wedding

Young Vic Theatre, London ****
TICKETS: 020 7922 2922.
www.youngvictheatre.org
Runs: 1hrs 50 mins without interval

© Marc Brenner, Olwen Fouere foreground, as the unforgiving mother marrying off her only remaining son...land and bearing children are everything in this contract...

© Marc Brenner, Olwen Fouere foreground, as the unforgiving mother marrying off her only remaining son…land and bearing children are everything in this contract…

Review of perf seen Sept 27, 2019:

In 2005, after seeing Rufus Norris’ Almeida production of Blood Wedding, the Guardian’s esteemed critic, Michael Billington, echoing American critic, Harold Clurman. pondered whether Lorca’s tragedy could ever be successfully staged by English actors. Continue reading