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Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

28276321_10156248551934973_4813927839880737730_nVanessa Kirby is a great actress and could not fault her – she plays an early thirties wealthy and aimless heiress with aspects of a spoilt and wilful teenager. And yet you see the anxiety and inner torment. It is a long, long time since I saw Strindberg’s Miss Julie on which this is based and a lot of the reviews have not liked this adaptation. For me though is about the speed of descent into tragedy which seems disproportionate to what we get of the back story in the play. Some critics did not like the 10 minutes of party scene with dancing and thumping music; I loved it. So good and bad. Great acting and dancing from the whole cast but unconvincing storyline.

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Found this one a little complicated to follow at times but it has a great cast and is Screen-Shot-2018-02-19-at-10.13.43-PM-260x300genuinely funny period piece. Congreve’s play is from the 1700’s and yet gender equality is key in the plot.  Millamant wishes to marry Mirabell and there is a scene where the contract is negotiated.  Central to Mirabell’s demands is that she does not fall into the stock role of wife but mutual respect is to be at the heart of the marriage.  Justine Mitchell as Mirabell is hilarious bringing a modern intonation to her speeches.  Haydn Gwynne is on form as Lady Wishfort and absurd character, her best scene being one where she is getting ready to meet a potential suitor, arranging herself on the chaise longue in white powder.  Keeping this review brief though as the run ended the day after I saw it so you can’t go and see it.  Sorry!

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IMG_3667Going to go against the critics with this one.  I really did like this but I was taken with the set, the craziness of the party scene with frogs on sticks and cardboard boxes shuffling around and, most of all, by the witches.  It was a modern dress staging made to look almost post apocalyptic with Macbeth’s body armour held together with tape and ripped clothes everywhere and shredded black plastic hanging down.  But the witches were pretty strange with one looking like Bette Davis in … Baby Jane, all smeared lipstick and high-pitched cackling.  At one stage there were many strange characters in black with faces on the back of their heads slowly going up a ramp towards the witches, followed by more in red jackets.  Hard to describe but pretty off the wall and one to hang around in your dreams after the play.   And in the last scene the witches were on bendy poles watching the fight with Macduff.  There has been criticism of the two leads, Anne-Marie Duff and Rory Kinnear, but it was just good to see an interesting staging.   Would I recommend it?  Not necessarily but don’t worry if you have tickets and have been put off by the reviews.

 

 

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IMG_0773Did a couple of things last weekend which you can no longer do as they’ve ended so for my blog record:
North Fashioning Identity at Somerset House: great show with music, clothing, photos, painting and lots of audio. Felt very at home listening to northern voices talking about post punk and the dulcet sounds of colliery bands.
Last night of Belleville at the Donmar with James Norton and Imogen Poots in an Amy Hertzog play about the disintegration of a young couple’s marriage. Arguments, depression, suicide – pretty uplifting evening. Over the top ending but terrific acting; very different to the potential Bond role he is tipped for.

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Fantastic Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre.  Not only do you get to see Lady Stark (Michelle Fairley playing Cassius), The Governor (David Morrissey playing Mark Anthony) but also Paddington (Ben Whishaw playing Brutus).  All the actors are terrific but the clever staging is the star of the production.  If you get a chance to go stand in the area downstairs (it is only 2 hours with no interval)  but you are in the thick of the action. It starts with a band (actors) before the play gets going covering Eye of the Tiger and Seven Nation Army to get us in election campaign mood.  There are marshalls moving the audience around to get the actors in and out and it all goes so smoothly with a series of small stages coming up out of the ground.  The battle scenes are so well done and really exciting.  Long time since I sat leaning on the rail taking it all in.  The place erupted into prolonged applause at the end.  Great production.DSC_1835

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rnt_pp_2_2_393I have been looking forward to seeing this one for some time at the NT and it lived up to expectations.  This play is a stage version of the film Network and is 2 hours in length without an interval, so movie length.  The staging is interesting with members of the public eating dinner live on the stage with real chefs in the background. And at one point cast members are outside being filmed and then come back onto stage still talking.

The cast is great.  Bryan Cranston is marvellous as Howard Beale, the news anchor having a breakdown on stage and turning into a ranting celebrity guru.  Michelle Dochery is a revelation as I always thought her so wooden as Lady Mary and Douglas Henshall always turns in a solid performance.   I don’t want to given anything away so will say no more other than try to get tickets on a Friday until 22nd March.

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Visited the new Bridge Theatre for the first time on Saturday to see Young Marx.  Firstly, the building.  Great sign outside with the sloping “I” in Bridge; lovely lighting and nice cheese straws.  Great lines of sight from around the auditorium of the stage and reasonable leg room.  But the play.  Great cast with Rory Kinnear, directed by Nicholas Hytner and written by Richard Bean of One Man, Two Governors, a play I’d loved.  All I can say is oh dear.  A bit too slapstick without the laughs – we left in the interval and went to see the Lord Mayor’s Show fireworks instead which were great.

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