Showing posts from November, 2022

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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Fille matérielle: The Massive Tragedy Of Madame Bovary! @JSTheatre

After seeing The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary, which is currently playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre, I found myself walking past the shops of Piccadilly wondering what Madame Bovary would make all of this apparent luxury. She was a woman ahead of her time, running up debts to live a life of luxury while having both a sensible husband and a lover. She would fit in in a nation where household debts have risen by a third . Even if she was living in a small provincial town.  So the premise of this piece by John Nicholson is whether it could be a comedy. Particularly given the time of the year when Christmas is approaching, and everyone is just after a feel-good night out at the theatre. The answer is, perhaps. The comedy is mostly sight gags and props, while the story of indebtedness and boredom in the provinces no doubt will enthral London audiences by reaffirming their own life choices.  But while we get a sense of the basic plot behind Madame Bovary,  we don’t understand the moti

The young and the infectious: Make Mine A Double @ParkTheatreLondon

Ah, to be young, carefree and single. When the receptionist at the clinic testing for gonorrhoea knows you by sight, or you haven't yet found the right (Jewish) man to settle down and enjoy smoked salmon and bagels. You know that there is trouble afoot. Park Theatre has programmed a series of short plays from emerging artists called Make Mine A Double this month. Four shows are running for two weeks apiece. And the first two are hilarious.  The first piece is called Anything with A Pulse . It's a two-hander about twenty-somethings falling in and out of love in London. Describing all the action in the third person can sometimes be a bit jarring. The reviewer thought. The reviewer also struggled to keep up with the goings on in the drama. But that was probably more to do with his age than the writing. Still, things move fast in this boy meets girl on the dance floor and then returns to her place for some ambiguously unsatisfying sex before they go their separate ways, wondering

Songs in the sand: From Here to Eternity @charingcrossthr

From Here To Eternity lands at the Charing Cross Theatre with all the energy and enthusiasm of a surprise attack on the layabout and jaded audiences of the West End. Afterall, audiences at the West End seem a bit soft these days. This revival focuses on the leading characters in the story, making the two weeks leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbour a musical theatre event that doesn’t let up… much. Adapted from the novel by James Jones, the musical has lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Stuart Brayson, and a book by Donald Rice and Bill Oakes. It is a pared-back version of the show that was on in the West End nearly ten years ago. But this also helps distil the drama down to the bare essentials. And the smaller space of the Charing Cross Theatre gives the piece intensity, focus and a sense or urgency.  Centred around an army unit stationed in Hawaii two weeks before the bombing of Pearl Harbour. There's talk of war but no action except for the fighting among the men. There's so