Tag Archives: National Theatre

Lost Without Words

Dorfman, National Theatre (**)

© Atri Banerjee, Lee Simpson, Caroline Blakiston, Tim Preece, Anna Calder-Marshall, Phelim McDermott, Lynn Farleigh

© Atri Banerjee, Lee Simpson, Caroline Blakiston, Tim Preece, Anna Calder-Marshall, Phelim McDermott, Lynn Farleigh

`Good my lord…see the players well bestowed…let them be well used; for they are the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time; after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live…’ (Hamlet to Polonius). Continue reading

The Deep Blue Sea

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

© Richard Hubert Smith, Tom Burke as Freddie Page, Helen McCrory as Hester Collyer

© Richard Hubert Smith, Tom Burke as Freddie Page, Helen McCrory as Hester Collyer

Were Terence Rattigan alive now he would be amazed at the renewed interest and popularity of his work. How fashions do change. And how he might have been amused to have not just The Deep Blue Sea running at the National but also Mike Poulton’s doppelganger, Kenny Morgan, recently at the Arcola. Continue reading

The Flick

Dorfman, National Theatre, London (****)

© Mark Douet, JAYGANN AYEH (Avery), LOUISA KRAUSE (Rose)

© Mark Douet, JAYGANN AYEH (Avery), LOUISA KRAUSE (Rose)

Annie Baker’s The Flick is extraordinary, not least for its indulgence. A study in Time and Motion, imagine a `New Wave’ flick, one of the Antonioni, Alain Resnais films of the 1960s, the lingering long shots, the silence, the non-action, the residual imperative to take time just looking like the proverbial cows in the field. Few would dare to take such risks these days – particularly in this age of hyper-ventilating action. Continue reading

Les Blancs

Olivier, National Theatre, London (*****)

© Johan Persson, Danny Sapani (Tshembe Matoseh) and Matriarch singers

© Johan Persson,
Danny Sapani (Tshembe Matoseh) and Matriarch singers

A landmark production in a National Theatre repertoire increasingly spreading its wings, Lorraine Hansberry’s rarely seen Les Blancs is more incendiary even than her A Raisin in the Sun, now regarded as an American classic, but radically breaking the mould despite its Broadway success. Continue reading

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

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

© Johan Persson. Sharon D Clarke as Ma Rainey

© Johan Persson. Sharon D Clarke as Ma Rainey

There’s a kind of irony in the National’s directorial choice for August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The story of a recording by the `mother’ of the Blues and the struggle for black musicians to control their own music-making, it was the Broadway hit that catapulted Wilson into the limelight in 1984 and the first in its author’s decalogy tracing the history of African-Americans in the 20th century. Continue reading