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Showing posts from November, 2016

Previewing the graduates: Boys @LostTheatre

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Ella Hickson’s acclaimed dark comedy about suicide and the worth of a university education, Boys, comes to the Lost Theatre, Stockwell this week.

It’s a hot summer night. Benny and his mates are due to leave their five bedroom flat in the morning. University is over. Exams are over. They drink to the end of an era. But is life over as well? Nostalgia soon turns to soul-searching and division. Soon everyone’s dirty laundry and an awful lot of bin bags are aired for one last time.

This is a new revival of the play last seen at Soho Theatre. It is directed by James Thacker who is associate director with the company and runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

Work life balance: The Sewing Group @RoyalCourt

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The Sewing Group is a fabulously subversive piece of theatre at the Royal Court. The piece by EV Crowe explores secrets, the impact of technology, the overcomplicated and the over analysed. All within a wooden box-like set lit by candle light.

It starts out innocent enough, but then has you perplexed. There are a series of very short (and disorienting) scenes where very little is given away. There are long silences and long blackouts. In one scene all that takes place is a distant fart. It was so distant that it made me wonder whether it came from the audience.

Let 'em have it: An Inspector Calls @aninspector

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Stephen Daldry’s enduring production of JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls is back in London. Catching it this time around - the last time I saw it in 2010 did not leave much of an impression as I had forgotten I had seen it -  had me pondering its enduring popularity.

It’s a simple detective story set in 1912. A Detective arrives unannounced to interview a Yorkshire factory owner Arthur Birling (Clive Francis) and his family about the suicide of woman. Each scene serves to rub off a little more of the veneer of respectability of their lives. In what could be a tedious premise, the piece starts making you think about broader enduring issues in this country. Soon I found it evoking the polarised politics of the current day, the rise of fashionable far right politics and Scottish independence.

Previewing: The Mirror Never Lies @cockpittheatre

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Coming up next week for one week at the Cockpit Theatre is The Mirror Never Lies.

The musical is returning to London after a one-off concert performance at RADA. It’s based on Barbara Pym’s novel, The Sweet Dove Died and will take you back to swinging 1960s London.

Secret loves, tangled relationships with a dramatic score combine to tell the story of a woman of a certain age who is fiercely resisting the changes all around her.

Director and playwright Joe Giuffre has written Glamorous Nights, based on the life and music of Ivor Novello, followed by The Grifters and The Mirror Never Lies.

Composer of film and theatre, Juan Iglesias has created film scores original music for a diverse range of movies, theatre and media. In the UK, he is a regular collaborator with film director James Bushe and playwright Eddie Coleman.

The Mirror Never Lies is at the Cockpit Theatre from 14 November to 18 November only. You can sample the music in advance.


Incestual manoeuvres: Fool For Love @Found111ldn

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There are various things you can take from Fool For Love playing at Found111. There isn’t much of a plot. It is more a series of sparring rounds that serve as a star vehicle for great performances. But you walk away thinking how love fades, horse floats burn well and incest is rife.

It’s random in a way but enough to thrill and amuse. The couple in focus are Eddie (Adam Rothenberg) and May (Lydia Wilson). They take pot shots at each other and then kiss and make up. Along the way there is a mysterious old man (Joe McGann) and a new suitor Martin (Luke Neal).

Sam Shepard wrote this piece between love affairs. He covers how two people can simultaneously love and loathe each other. But past injustices give way to more secrets and lies that suggest that old wounds don’t heal. They just get ripped open again and again.

Peace is our profession: The Acedian Pirates @Theatre503

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Keeping the peace and stopping depravity is all and good, but in The Acedian Pirates it comes with a few unintended consequences. It is an evocative and testosterone-fuelled piece currently running at Theatre 503.

Watching this piece had me pondering what Donald Rumsfeld said once about unknown unknowns. After all this piece is set in some unknown remote lighthouse in some unknown battleground. The mission is unknown and the outcome also unknown. You’re as confused as the characters about the point of it all, but you get drawn into it anyway. There is never a dull moment with the fights, the explosions and a strange lady upstairs.