Posts Tagged ‘Almeida’

Ink at the Almeida

DSCF2486Loved this play directed by Rupert Goold at the Almeida.

Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises.

James Graham’s ruthless, red-topped new play leads with the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper – when a young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asked the impossible and launched its first editor’s quest, against all odds, to give the people what they want.

It is a great cast.  The leads, Richard Coyle as Larry Lamb and Bertie Carvel as Rupert Murdoch, are really engaging with Tom Steed as Bernard and Sophie Stanton as Joyce standing out for me. It is clear that Murdoch buys the paper to get back at the establishment and Lamb joins the cause as he is also outside the group due to being a northerner.  Lamb trawls Fleet Street looking for staff and then follows a very funny brainstorming scene as to what the paper should offer.  We go from knickers in a tin via a kidnap to page 3.  There is a lot of humour, some singing and dancing in the first act, and a wonderful set.  It switches from a Fleet Street basement to a printing press room  all swathed in cigarette smoke.

The whole experience was enhanced by finding myself sitting next to Kevin Spacey in the interval as I am a huge fan.


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Cracking play.  Great sets, great actors, soundtrack imageworked and a great dancing scene.  It seems very contemporary despite being written in 1993:

New York. A film studio.  A young woman has an urgent story to tell.  But here, people are products, movies are money and sex sells. And the rights to your life can be a dangerous commodity to exploit. Everyone has a story, but who owns it? What happens when a young woman sells her story to a film production company, only to see it falsified? (Almeida)

There is dancing, creepy moments, sudden violence, odd relationships and a blind taxi driver.  The last scene left me feeling oddly uplifted for all the strangeness that had preceded it.

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Oil at the Almeida

Unusual and ambitious play which takes some tuning into as the lead character, May, travels through time with her daughter, Amy.  The time travel is not based on reality as May starts in 19th Century Cornwall and travels across 150 years as does Amy; so in 1908 Amy is 10 and in the 1970’s she is 15 years old.  The play is about many things, one being oil, but the best part for me was the mother-daughter relationship between Anne-Marie Duff and Yolanda Kettle.

Duff is great as always getting across her loneliness , desperate for her daughter to be in control of her destiny, something she gave up so much herself to secure, and yet is not giving to her daughter by her controlling behaviour.

The future scenario was the most interesting, humorous and moving, with the UK out of oil and us beholden to Chinese fuel supplies and the final mother-daughter dialogue.  It did get surreal with mother and daughter in fat suits singing Justin Bieber – I thought I’d fallen asleep and missed a moment.

Ambitious, well acted and interesting but not entirely successful from my point of view but still worth seeing – and “Love Yourself” is reprised for a second time in the closing scene so what’s not to enjoy.

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This Mike Bartlett play was reviewed as something along the lines of fluff between the ears by a King-Charles-III.-Image-by-NB-www.nbstudio.co_.uk_national paper.  Enjoyable fluff though!  Not all plays need to be deadly serious to been enjoyed and I felt like I had sat through a royal soap opera, like watching Alison Jackson photos coming to life.  It started with great singing and music at a funeral and ended with great singing and music at a coronation.

In between we had Wills and Kate look a likes, Kate demonstrating steely resolve.  Harry buying scotch eggs in Sainsbury’s, falling in love with a republican art student before putting the family and country first.  Tim Piggot-Smith was great as Charles aging measurably in the last scenes.   Only jarring note were ghostly visits from Diana that did not add anything to the plot.  It was funny, entertaining, gripping and well written and acted.  I would recommend it but it is sold out!

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