Blog Archives

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Seeing a live cinema screening of the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Christopher Hampton’s play prompted a few reflections on sex and the English.

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Rough Justice

Two 2015 BBC1 adaptations of mid-twentieth-century classics – ‘An Inspector Calls’, and ‘And Then There Were None’ – struck me with the similarity of these works’ themes, and the opposition of their conclusions.

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Posted in Books, Films, Plays

The Master Builder

The Old Vic’s ‘The Master Builder’ takes a great play and a great lead actor and manages to create something disappointingly prosaic. Let’s hope that the first London audience of 1893 got something better.

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Revisiting the Beaumont Road Estate one Decade on: ‘Re:Home’ at The Yard Theatre

‘Re:Home’ is a striking piece of verbatim theatre reflecting on the changes in the Beaumont Road Estate in Leyton, London, in the decade since the demolition of its 1960s towers. The narrative? Life there still isn’t perfect – but it’s a lot better.

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Husbands and Sons: or, how D.H. Lawrence gets mashed-up in the National Theatre’s Mine But Emerges Alive and Kicking

Ben Power’s conflation of three early mining plays by DH Lawrence works well, in a moving production at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre.

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Twelfth Week Sextet

In December 2014 the drama society of the New College of the Humanities made full use of the College’s location at 19 Bedford Square, London, to perform six short plays written by themselves. Ranging from taut naturalism to lingua-clastic avant-garde, with subject matter from France’s Charles X to Syrian refugees, the evening was a triumph of ensemble work which reflected the College’s, as well as reflecting on the students’, process of growing up.

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A View from the Bridge

The current Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s 1956 play ‘A View from the Bridge’ brings excellent acting and excellent visual and audio sets to a play of genius. And it reminded me of my own experience of Sicilian culture in New York nearly half a century later…

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‘Twelfth Night’ at New College of the Humanities

This is a short review of the New College of the Humanities student production of ‘Twelfth Night’ staged at the end of Trinity term 2014.

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Three Plays at New College of the Humanities 2013-14

A review of the three plays performed by students of New College of the Humanities during Michaelmas and Hilary terms 2013-14: Ionescu’s ‘The Bald Prima-Donna’, Pinter’s ‘Betrayal’, and Eno’s ‘Oh! the Humanity’. I was impressed by all three productions, but appreciated Ionescu’s play the most, and saw my way through to how ‘Betrayal’ isn’t entirely trivial as well as depressing.

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‘Handbagged’ by Moira Buffini

This play is dazzlingly acted, clever, and winsome – but where is the political bite?

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The American Plan

This tight, sparkling American tragedy set in the Catskills of the 1950s focuses on a neurotic girl, her frighteningly perceptive mother, and her (im)plausible American hunk of a potential husband.

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‘Chimerica’ by Lucy Kirkwood

An extremely impressive play about the relationship between America and China; China it lets off the hook for nothing; America it lets off the hook for a fair bit; it’s a play yearning to be a film; but it’s still a moving exploration of heroism.

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