2017

The Seagull – Stage Russia – Satirikon Theatre, Moscow

Pushkin House, London ****
(filmed and recorded before a live audience at Satirikon Theatre, Moscow)

© Ekaterina Tsvetkova, Satirikon company, ensemble of the highest order, Act 2

© Ekaterina Tsvetkova, Satirikon company, ensemble of the highest order, Act 2

What extraordinary actors the Russians produce and what a revelation is this newly filmed version by Moscow’s Satirikon Theatre uncomfortable, disturbing, unsettling though it also is. Continue reading

Anything That Flies

Jermyn Street Theatre, London ****

© Robert Workman, Clive Merrison (Otto) and Issy van Randwyck (Lottie), serving his every need with quiet patience...

© Robert Workman, Clive Merrison (Otto) and Issy van Randwyck (Lottie), serving his every need with quiet patience…

When I read that Anything that Flies was her debut play by writer, Judith Burnley, I naturally assumed it was a young playwright being given a big chance by Jermyn Street’s new artistic director, Tom Littler. Continue reading

Bitched

Tristan Bates Theatre, London  ***

© Helen Murray, Shireen Farkhoy (Ali), Darren Douglas (Rob) - contemporary marriage under strain

© Helen Murray, Shireen Farkhoy (Ali), Darren Douglas (Rob) – contemporary marriage under strain

Considering the number of theatres and companies supporting new writing, it’s still a bit of a mystery as to why so few plays by women playwrights still find their way into the mainstream or fringe theatres. Continue reading

A Woman of No Importance

Vaudeville Theatre, London ****

© Marc Brenner, Eve Best as Mrs Arbuthnot and Gerald, her beloved if judgemental son - Harry Lister Smith

© Marc Brenner, Eve Best as Mrs Arbuthnot and Gerald, her beloved if judgemental son – Harry Lister Smith

From running one of London’s smallest but boldest new writing fringe theatres, the Bush, to Shakespeare’s three-tiered Globe, Dominic Dromgoole is now set on a new departure – nothing less than bringing proscenium style theatre back to proscenium theatres! Or rather, celebrating a style of performance that in any other theatre would starchy, arch and horribly out of date. Continue reading

The Lady from the Sea

Donmar Warehouse, London ****

© Manuel Harlan, Finbar Lynch (Doctor Wangel) and Nikki Amuka-Bird as Ellida - a marriage trying to find a new way of being...

© Manuel Harlan, Finbar Lynch (Doctor Wangel) and Nikki Amuka-Bird as Ellida – a marriage trying to find a new way of being in 1950s Caribbean…

Past productions of The Lady from the Sea have often portrayed Ellida, Ibsen’s eponymous protagonist, as half-mad with barely comprehensible yearnings. Continue reading

Albion

Almeida Theatre, London *****

© Marc Brenner, Victoria Hamilton as Audrey battling to save a piece of old England - superb

© Marc Brenner, Victoria Hamilton as Audrey battling to save a piece of old England – superb

They do produce some crackers at Rupert Goold’s Almeida. Say what you like about the plays – and they’re mostly four/five stars in any case – they, the productions, nearly always pack a hefty punch. Continue reading