The Rake’s Progress

Wilton’s Music Hall, London ***

© Catherine Ashmore, Jonathan Lemalu as Nick Shadow and Robert Murray as Tom Rakewell - on the way down but saved by a queen of hearts...

© Catherine Ashmore, Jonathan Lemalu as Nick Shadow and Robert Murray as Tom Rakewell – on the way down but saved by a queen of hearts…

This is a labour of love, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson’s inaugural production for their newly formed OperaGlass Works for which they raised all the funds, a cool £145,000. Continue reading

The Secret Theatre

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London
****

© Marc Brenner, Aidan McArdle as Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's Secretary of State and creator of national security with a web of spies and double agents.

© Marc Brenner, Aidan McArdle as Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth’s Secretary of State and creator of national security with a web of spies and double agents.

What with the BBC’s Gunpowder Plot and now Anders Lustgarten’s spymaster drama, we really seem unable to quite slough off our fascination with those grisly times when terrorism came in Catholic terms and we were once again at daggers drawn with our European neighbours. Continue reading

Trestle

Southwark Playhouse, London ****

© Robert Workman, Connie Walker as Denise, zumba teacher and Gary Lilburn as committee man and widower, Harry.

© Robert Workman, Connie Walker as Denise, zumba teacher and Gary Lilburn as committee man and widower, Harry.

Up and down the land there are ordinary people living unexceptional lives. And now and then, a writer suddenly pops up who appears to capture perfectly the quiet, unsung, invisible lives of millions of people. Continue reading

Network

Lyttelton, National Theatre, London ****

© Jan Versweyveld, Bryan Cranston as celebrity newscaster, Howard Beale

© Jan Versweyveld, Bryan Cranston as celebrity newscaster, Howard Beale

You’ve only to cast your eyes down the cast pages of the NT’s heavyweight theatre programme to see the scale of those involved in Ivo van Hove’s production of Network.  Continue reading

Coriolanus

Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican Theatte, London ****

© Helen Maybanks, Sope Dirisu, a bloody iconic anti-hero for our time.

© Helen Maybanks, Sope Dirisu, a bloody iconic anti-hero for our time.

Coriolanus may not be the most frequently staged of Shakespeare’s political Roman dramas although it nearly always gets included when a series of them are run together as here with the latest RSC season, under the banner title of Rome MMXVII. Continue reading