`Curioser and curiouser’ as Alice might have said is the myth behind the story of Lawrence of Arabia. T E Lawrence – or as William Boyd reminds us in his fascinating programme note, `Chapman’, not `Lawrence’ – took on many forms, Aircraftsman Ross being just one and later, alluded to in Howard Brenton’s recent Lawrence After Arabia (see last month’s Hampstead review), Private Shaw. Continue reading →
If you’ve ever wondered how the Cenotaph came to be part of the nation’s cultural fabric, look no further than this enjoyably understated, sting-in-the-tail new show from John Burrows as part of the Finborough’s TheGreatWar100 series which certainly acts as a bracing post-war antidote. Continue reading →
Joan Littlewood’s Oh What A Lovely War has turned into one of those shows that goes beyond iconic. Littlewood in fact had a string of successes to her name as doyenne of the old Victorian Theatre Royal in Stratford East like discovering Shelagh Delaney (A Taste of Honey), Brendan Behan (The Quare Fellow and The Hostage) and Lionel Bart (Fings Ain’t Wot They Used t’Be) as well as classical revivals such as Volpone, Twelfth Night and Richard II with Harry H Corbett.
Howard Brenton has such a way now with popular plays on big subjects. One of his recent successes in this theatre, Anne Boleyn, combined raciness with a radical re-evaluation of Boleyn’s role in the creation of the King James’ Bible.