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Showing posts from April, 2014

Spectacle and smut: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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There probably isn't a more glamorous and fun night out on the West End at the moment than with the current production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels playing at the Savoy Theatre on the West End. Everything about it is big, broad and lavish. The set piece numbers, the costumes and the jokes.

But most memorable is the star turn by Katherine Kingsley as the heiress that the two confidence men - Freddy and Lawrence - played by Rufus Hound and Robert Lindsay try to con. At times the show feels that it could be easily played as a three-hander as Hound, Lindsay and Kingsley are on stage for most of the time and so much fun to watch.

This show is no minimalistic production. There are several big and elaborate dance numbers - just in the first act. Perhaps there is a more economical show within the source material that might help give the piece a snappier pace, but even at its current lavish abundance, it still makes for great entertainment.

Strange animals: Banksy: The Room in the Elephant @arcolatheatre

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In 2011, while Banksy was in California he decided to write on a derelict white water tank "this looks a bit like an elephant".

Suddenly a piece of junk in Los Angeles becomes the latest sought after piece of art, cranes arrive and it is carted off to a secret location and offered for sale.

But the work of art had also been a home a man had been living in for the past seven years. He finds the furnishing it with things he found discarded, finds himself homeless.

This is the is the story that makes up Banksy: The Room in the Elephant playing at the Arcola Theatre. Tachowa Covington, the man who lived in the elephant recounts his experiences in LA, living amongst the rich and famous and meeting Banksy.

The inspiration for the work came from a story Did Banksy's latest work bring misery to a homeless man? Presented as a one man show and also as a commentary both on the art world and the theatre world (since both are making something out of someone else's story), it is a…

Boom and bust: Eldorado @arcolatheatre

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Property deals, war, angst and a healthy dose of absurdism mark Eldorado, the stylish new production currently playing at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston.

It is beautiful to look at and so well staged that you might feel inclined to seek out investment opportunities in Iraq afterwards, even if it has your recalling the worst excesses of the Iraq war.

The play opens with a description of a post-apocalyptic description of a war-torn land, that is open for a "unique investment opportunity".

We are then introduced to Anton (pictured). He has it made. He has a wonderful house, a wife who is a talented pianist and they are expecting a baby.

A drawn out title for a drawn out play: We Are Proud To Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia...

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Jackie Sibblies Drury's play, which has the full title of: We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About the Herero Of Namibia, Formerly Known As Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika Between The Years 1884 - 1915, shows that there is a fine line between challenging an audience and boring them to death. About twenty minutes into the piece of shouting and confusion (which is intended as it is scripted) we wanted to leave, but both the work and the layout of the Bush Theatre conspire to keep you captive... Whether you want to be or not.