Posts

Showing posts from April, 2015

La vie en rose: Dead Royal @Ovalhouse

Image
Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne truffle boxes are piled up in an apartment. A video is hooked up playing Gone With The Wind. I’ve Seen That Face Before is playing in the background. And then Chris Ioan Roberts as Wallis Simpson vomits pink muck all over blue and white floor.

Is it an aversion to seafood that she does not want to admit for fear of being considered too common? Or was it too many Charbonnel et Walker truffles? Whatever the cause you are left without any doubt that for the next sixty minutes you are in for a show that is going to be camp and dirty.

Flipping hell: A Simple Space @Udderbellyfest @GOM_Circus

Image
A Simple Space, by Australian-based circus troupe Gravity and Other Myths, is the latest round of circus offering at the Udderbelly Festival at the Southbank Centre.

Between the amazing feats of acrobatics you can hear a constant sound. The sound of heavy breathing. It is coming from the stage. This is pretty intense stuff here and the energy and sweat from the performers is audible and palpable. And in the space of the giant purple cow, where you are up close to the performers, it seems much more intense and intimate.

Filthy press: Clarion @arcolatheatre

Image
It’s hard to get out of your head the scenes and dialogue in Clarion, the smart, new, foul-mouthed comedy currently playing at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston. What lingers is not the expected satire of a rabidly right wing tabloid that fills its pages with anti-immigration stories and showbiz fluff. Perhaps in the post phone-hacking days, not much can surprise us about the lengths a tabloid paper goes to get a story. Instead, it is the sensational performances and characters full of anger (and filthy mouths) that will shock and awe you into hysterics.

A gran day out: Animals @Theatre503

Image
There is something dark and unsettling about Animals, a brilliant new play by Emma Adams at Theatre 503. Its frank humour and intense performances from a terrific cast will have you loving every minute of it. It might also have you wondering what your grandmother really gets up to when she tells you she spent most of the day finishing a crossword.

This surreal story set in a dystopian English seaside town where the old people are being displaced by incomers who dress smartly and keep their children in bubble wrap. For them life is a dream. But for anyone past their prime, life is pretty grim and involuntary euthanasia is the norm.

High on the hills: The Sound of Music (uk tour)

Image
Watching The Sound of Music on tour is really an opportunity to indulge in comfort entertainment. As Maria and the Mother Superior in the stage production sing about crisp apple strudel in the early part of the first act you realise that it is a Pavlovian response to get all warm and fuzzy about the show. Apart from getting a taste for strudel it will have you recalling when you first saw the movie... Or first dressed up as Ray (a drop of golden sun) to the first singalong. Everyone did that right?

This is probably a good thing, as take away fifty years of cultural repositioning the show is a bit of a non-event. Take away the film’s lovely Salzburg locations and the long lingering shots between the Captain and Maria, on stage you have the entire romantic plot condensed into a short speech by infant Gretel to Maria towards the end of the first act.

Don't forget to vote: Also Recognised Awards close Friday

Image
Now that the Oliviers are out of the way, Friday is the last day people have to vote in the Also Recognised Awards, set up by the exciting new London theatre resource, My Theatre Mates run by Mark Shenton and Terri Paddock.

The Also Recognised Awards celebrate lesser-known but equally worthy talent in fields overlooked by other awards.

They comprise ten categories including an award for musical direction, which is the the first award of its kind, and recognises how the contribution of musical direction can really set the tone of a show.

I'm OK you're OK: Death Row Cowboy @CourtyardHoxton

Image
Death Row Cowboy, which has just finished a short run at the Courtyard Theatre is a gritty and realistic piece of writing that leaves you wondering if it was based on a real life incident. But of course if that were the case there would need to be a different ethnic makeup of the cast, given that the majority of inmates on death row are not white...

But real life is less important than the character study of the three key people in the piece. Carl, who is on death row, prison officer Bobby and a police officer’s widow Hillary. It is written by Andrew Lynch and Mark McCabe who play Carl and Bobby and serves as a vehicle to explore some intriguing themes on relationships, loneliness, love and regret.