They Drink It In The Congo

Almeida Theatre, London (***)

© Marc Brenner, (centre), Sule Rimi (Oudry) and cast

© Marc Brenner, (centre), Sule Rimi (Oudry) and cast

Adam Brace’s Stovepipe, about the `reconstruction’ of Iraq after the war, was one of the highlights of 2009. Brace, a former journalist, wove a compelling picture of characters drawn to `theatres’ of war, the dirt, the dust and the human mess of it all. I loved Michael Longhurst’s promenade production, too, and his subsequent work with Nick Payne’s Constellations, Linda and Remembrance Day all at the Royal Court. Continue reading

Allegro

Southwark Playhouse, London (****)

© Scott Rylander, Gary Tushaw (Joseph Taylor Jr) and company

© Scott Rylander, Gary Tushaw (Joseph Taylor Jr) and company

Somewhere down the line, this is the one that got away, the 1947 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, following Oklahoma! and Carousel that didn’t find favour and came off after a short run. Continue reading

Strife

Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre (****)

© Johan Persson, the workers' debate

© Johan Persson, the workers’ debate

Jonathan Church is certainly going out with a bang. In this his swan song season, one success keeps following another. Over the ten years Church and his Executive Director Alan Finch have been in charge, it’s not just the choices they have made but the consistent quality of the productions that has been so remarkable. Continue reading

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

© Steve Tanner, Ncuti Gatwa as GI Adi

Shakespeare’s Globe, London (****)`

Bertolt Brecht said, in the dark times there will be singing’, says a character at the beginning of this adaptation by Michel Morpurgo, Kneehigh director and now Shakespeare Globe’s artistic director, Emma Rice of Morpurgo’s WWII delightful children’s story. Continue reading

Screens

Theatre503, London (****)

© Pank Sethi, Fisun Burgess (Emine - mum), Nadia Hynes as Ayse, her daughter, Declan Perring, Al

© Pank Sethi, Fisun Burgess (Emine – mum), Nadia Hynes as Ayse, her daughter, Declan Perring, Al

Stephen Laughton (ex-Royal Court Writers Group, Headlong emerging writers programme) and author of acclaimed Run at the Vaults Festival has pedigree and doesn’t disappoint with his latest, Screens aptly turning up at Theatre503 just as who we are, and what we are bears down heavily on the national psyche. Continue reading