Tag Archives: National Theatre

The Great Wave

Dorfman, National Theatre ****

© Mark Douet, Rosalind Chao, as the mother of abductee, Hanako and Tom Piper's set of screens and video projections of the coastal environment...

© Mark Douet, Rosalind Chao, as the mother of abductee, Hanako and Tom Piper’s set of screens and video projections of the coastal environment…

The great Yukio Ninagawa apart, South East and North East Asia have not figured greatly on our main stages. So Francis Turnly’s Korean/Japanese political/family drama comes as something of a shock. Indeed, it is a shocking tale, carrying with it intimations of past histories and global spheres of influence about which we, in the West, are quite literally shockingly ignorant. 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

Beginning

Dorfman, National Theatre, London ****

© Johan Persson, Justine Mitchell (Laura), Sam Troughton (Danny), mutual attraction but can they get it together...too many obstacles to overcome...

© Johan Persson, Justine Mitchell (Laura), Sam Troughton (Danny), mutual attraction but can they get it together…too many obstacles to overcome…

It’s funny the way plays go in batches.

A couple of years ago, the Young Vic revived a couple of two-hander stormers – Conor McPherson’s version of Franz Xaver Kroetz’s The Nest and Marguerite Duras’s La Musica, translated by Barbara Bray. Continue reading

Oslo

Lyttelton, National Theatre, London (****)

© Brinkhoff Mögenburg, Toby Stephens (Terje Rød-Larsen), Lydia Leonard (Mona Juul), projections by 59 Productions

© Brinkhoff Mögenburg, Toby Stephens (Terje Rød-Larsen), Lydia Leonard (Mona Juul), the personal dwarfed by the public and political. Projections by 59 Productions

J T Rogers is not new to British audiences. Anyone who saw his Rwanda-based The Overwhelming (2006, with Out of Joint and the NT) or Blood and Gifts (part of Nicholas Kent’s extraordinary and impressive survey of western involvement in Afghanistan – The Great Game in 2009) or the later Madagascar (at Theatre503 in 2010) will know that he’s a writer who lacks to tackle big political subjects. 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