Sunday, August 17, 2014

Previews on the road: Autobahn

Savio(u)r, which is dedicated to presenting work by American playwrights in the UK, will present in August Neil LaBute play Autobahn at the Kings Head Theatre.

Directed by Off-West End Award nominee Tim Sullivan, this short-play cycle follows colourful, complicated people making their way across America’s highways.

Their stops, starts, and stalls along the way are detailed in seven one-act plays, all which make the most of LaBute’s flair for the dark and sinister.

It's at The Kings Head Theatre from Wednesday 27th August – Saturday 20th September, 7.15pm

Monday, August 11, 2014

Catholic tastes: A Picture of John Gray

The Picture of John Gray imagines the life of poet and potential inspiration of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

It is a fascinating and thought provoking piece that recreates the period where the arts and Aestheticism were at the forefront of London society, and then how almost overnight it would all change as Oscar Wilde is imprisoned for acts of gross indecency.

The piece opens where John Gray has been left by Wilde and meets Marc-André Raffalovich, a writer, critic and supporter of the arts. They become lovers but following the trial of Oscar Wilde and the fracturing of their community of artists, Gray finds his calling and spiritual meaning through the sanctuary of the church and becomes a priest.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Intimate history lessons: Dessa Rose @TrafStudios

Dessa Rose is a musical that tells of the unlikely friendship that forms between a white woman and an escaped slave in the American South in 1846. Based on the book of the same name by Sherley Anne Williams, it feels at times to be an epic history lesson and melodrama, but the performances and the intimate space of Trafalgar Studios 2 make it a surprisingly enjoyable and emotional musical evening.

The story is based upon two separate events; a woman who took part in a slavery revolt and the story of a white woman who took in runaway slaves. When the piece is focused on these two stories, it is incredible. Particularly as the roles are played by Cynthia Erivo and Cassidy Janson. Both have big voices and convey a level of emotion and intensity that has you transfixed on them.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Changes: Drag King Richard III @RiversideLondon

Drag King Richard III, playing this week at Riverside Studios, tackles Shakespeare and transgender issues with mixed effects. But you can't fault the performances and the style of the piece.

There are some clever moments that use music and dance to bring out the issues of the story. Even more remarkable is that the two performers - Anne Zander and Bonnie Adair - had only a few days to work with the material following some last minute cast changes.

Pieces from Shakespeare's Richard III are woven into this exploration of transgender identity, giving new meaning to the text, but perhaps greater attention on characterisation and less on the Shakespeare text might have made for a more rewarding evening.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bloody previews: Grand Guignol

The Theatre Royal Plymouth's production of Carl Grose's Grand Guignol is to play in Plymouth and the Southwark Playhouse this October.


A Grand Guignol play (which takes the name from the theatre in Montmartre that produced them), are designed to give you thrills and chills.


Madness, murder and a healthy dose of gruesomeness prevail throughout. And no doubt it all looks delightful when offset against some white tiles or a red curtain.

The piece plays with these conventions and centres on the original Parisian theatre company and its members, combining black comedy and blood spattering and psychological thriller. One to watch out for... Perhaps literally...

Photo credit: 2009 Production by Manuel Harlan

Monday, July 28, 2014

Freaks and previews: London Wonderground

Some lovely photos have been released highlighting some of the strange and unusual people you are likely to encounter on the South Bank this summer as part of the London Wonderground


As part of a boardwalk freak show, presenting some of the world’s strangest acts and unusual entertainers, an international cast is being assembled to recreate the sideshow with a modern twist.

Hosted by The Space Cowboy, and The Lizard Man voted by Ripley’s Believe it or Not as The Strangest Man Alive (which must be a pretty competitive award nowadays), it will be running through the summer until 31 August.


Photo credits: The Space Cowboy, The Lizard Man, Zoe L'Amore, Missy Macabre, Heather Holliday and Danik Abishev at London Wonderground. Photos by David Jensen


Friday, July 18, 2014

Previews and drag: Drag King Richard

Following a run at the Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Stance Theatre presents a powerful Richard III ahead of other summer blockbuster productions.

Drag King Richard III explores switching gender as lead character Laurie embarks on the challenging journey of transitioning from female to male. Life in the wrong body is explored through Shakespeare’s deformed villain and the long term friendship Laurie has with La Femme - a butch lesbian who enjoys the trappings of femininity when opportunities arise.

The play weaves classical dialogue through contemporary text, and seduction lines are quipped over a sexually charged Tango sequence...

It's on for a week at Riverside Studios from 28 July... Tickets are available from Riverside Studios.

Monday, July 14, 2014

This filthy world: Bakersfield Mist

Bakersfield Mist and its tale about forgeries in the art world might not be the most original piece of theatre, but the opportunity to see Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid work together makes it a memorable night at the theatre.

A fan of her performance in Serial Mom, I have a soft spot for any opportunity for Kathleen Turner to  say filthy words. After a few minutes, when she said fuck about ten times I knew this was going to be a show I was going to enjoy.

But others may not be so indiscriminating.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

In rehearsal: Porgy and Bess

Rehearsal images have been released for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess which runs at Regents Park Open Air Theatre from 17 July to 23 August.

In this production dialogue will replace the sung recitatives, but the loss of some of the original material might be offset by the glorious surrounds of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. While it is unlikely to feel as warm as South Carolina in the summer, it will no doubt feel a lot more atmospheric than a traditional theatre space.