A Christmas Carol

December 6, 2012

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Returning to the Arts Theatre for a second year, Simon Callow’s one-man performance of A Christmas Carol – inspired by Charles Dickens’ popular public readings of the story – already feels like a festive ritual. It’s a well-crafted piece of seasonal cheer that warms the heart even if it doesn’t plumb the darkest depths of […]

Posted in: Reviews, Theatre

Interview: Jack Thorne

December 4, 2012

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Jack Thorne is a little frustrated. At only 34, as the award-winning writer of edgy teen drama Skins, co-writer with Shane Meadows of This Is England ’86 and creator of the criminally short-lived dark fantasy series The Fades, he has accomplished an impressive amount. But when it comes to writing for the stage, he’s chafing at what he sees as his limitations. […]

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Murderous Music

November 30, 2012

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“What have you been reading?” Award-winning American playwright Julia Jordan laughs. We’re discussing her latest project, new rock musical Murder Ballad – for which she wrote the book and lyrics, with music from indie singer-songwriter Juliana Nash – and I’ve observed that violence seem to be a preoccupation of her work. From the grief-tinged tales of Walk Two […]

Posted in: Interviews

Interview: Siobhan Daly

November 29, 2012

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One on side of the Lion and Unicorn’s black-box theatre space, a group of actors rehearsing Titania’s first meeting with Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are enthusiastically trying out different braying laughs for the unfortunate Mechanical-cum-ass. Performing around them, the love-struck Lysander, Demetrius, Helena and Hermia cling to each other in ever-more comic ways. The atmosphere […]

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Boy Meets Boy

November 29, 2012

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It’s the oldest story in the book: boy meets boy in 1930s England, the guy he’s jilted at the altar meddles in their relationship, confusion ensues, he ends up stripping in a Parisian nightclub before being reunited with his love for a show-stopping wedding. Gene David Kirk’s production of Bill Solly and Donald Ward’s hugely […]

Posted in: Reviews, Theatre

In Extremis

November 26, 2012

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Theatre, particularly historical drama, loves traces – things mentioned in passing, buried in letters or contemporary accounts. From these meagre roots stories branch out and real lives bleed into fiction as the past becomes a stage-bound phantasmagoria of ‘what-ifs’. Neil Bartlett confronts this head-on in his recreation of Oscar Wilde’s encounter with Victorian palm-reader Mrs […]

Posted in: Reviews, Theatre

Golgotha

November 16, 2012

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The supposed site of Christ’s crucifixion, ‘Golgotha’ translates from the Bible as ‘place of the skull’. In Nirjay Mahindru’s searingly intense new play, the river Thames is also a place of skulls, haunted by the ghosts of a buried past. Young Loretta is an unwilling immigrant in nineteenth-century London, brought over from India by the […]