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Tag Archives: National Theatre

This House, National Theatre

everything theatre originally reviewed this production in the Cottesloe Theatre at the National. It will transfer into the Olivier Theatre at the National on 23rd February 2013, where it is currently booking until 15th May 2013: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/this-house James GrahamDirected by Jeremy Herrin★★★★ Pros: A cracking script, scintillating performances, and a great overall concept. Cons: Few and far between, but I didn’t think some of the musical interludes were fitting. Our Verdict: A brilliant piece of new writing, and a high quality ...

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Damned by Despair, National Theatre

Tirso de Molina, in a new version by Frank McGuinnessDirected by Bijan Sheibani★★★ Pros: Spectacular design, interesting concept, and excellent performances, particularly in moments of humor. Cons: The content was a bit dense – made all the more complicated by the inconsistent attempt to update the era and language. Our Verdict: An interesting and unique work, but the production fails to revitalize this Spanish classic for a contemporary audience. Courtesy of the Evening Standard When you first enter the Olivier ...

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Scenes from an Execution, National Theatre

Howard BarkerDirected by Tom Cairns★★★ Pros: Some interesting concepts in the scripts and good performances on stage. Cons: Sometimes a bit slow, and tries to say a lot of things at once. Our Verdict: Enjoyable with the usual high production values, but not groundbreaking. Courtesy of the National Theatre One thing you don’t expect to see when you pay a visit to the National Theatre is a catastrophic set malfunction. In a way, we were lucky to witness such a ...

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Private Peaceful, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Michael MorpurgoAdapted and directed by Simon Reade★★★★ Pros: It is brilliantly acted and beautifully written. Cons: Whilst billed for eight years and upwards, I feel age ten is probably more appropriate. Our Verdict: A wonderful all round show, sadly finished now but we hope for a prolonged run in due course! Courtesy of The Telegraph It has been quite some time since I have wholeheartedly joined in a spontaneous standing ovation. It was definitely well-deserved in this production of Private ...

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The Doctor’s Dilemma, National Theatre

George Bernard ShawDirected by Nadia Fall ★★★ Pros: An old play with very current issues; interesting to watch. Cons: The characters lack refinement and are a little disappointing, and it didn’t make me feel anything in particular. Our Verdict: It’s a good show overall, but it’s not quite up to the National’s usual standards. Courtesy of Alastair Muir for the Daily Telegraph The Doctor’s Dilemma was written in response to the theatre critic William Archer’s claims that George Bernard Shaw wouldn’t ...

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Timon of Athens, National Theatre

William ShakespeareDirected by Nicholas Hytner★★★★ Pros: Simon Russell-Beale’s superb performance in a superbly adapted play. Cons: Hardly any, slightly dragged towards the end of the second half. Our Verdict: Top-notch stuff from the National, and definitely worth seeing despite the fact that you may never have heard of it! Courtesy of Time  These days, I don’t look at the descriptions for the National’s shows before I book my tickets; I just assume that they are all going to be worth ...

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The Last of the Haussmans, National Theatre

Stephen BeresfordDirected by Howard Davies★★★ Pros: A cast that makes you go ‘wow’, a stunning set, and some wonderful individual performances. Cons: Some conversations didn’t seem quite real, despite it being a naturalistic production. Our Verdict: This play will do very well with the cast it has but there’s something not quite there. Yet. Courtesy of the National Theatre The first play written by actor-turned-playwright Stephen Beresford, The Last of the Haussmans follows an ailing hippy (Julie Walters) and her ...

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Antigone, National Theatre

Sophocles, in a new version by Don TaylorDirected by Polly Findlay★★★★ Pros: great performances, short, snappy staging. Cons: Greek tragedies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea – they are by definition depressing! Our Verdict: an engaging and worthwhile rendition of a Greek classic. Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph Re-imagining ancient Greek tragedies is always a difficult task. It seems that, because these plays have been around for literally thousands of years, any conceivable adaptation has already been done. It can therefore ...

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Misterman, National Theatre

Written and Directed by Enda Walsh★★★★ Pros: Powerful acting supports a complex, beautiful and well-constructed story in a intricately devised setting. Cons: Desperately sad. Our Verdict: An unsettling experience but an incredible night of theatre. Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph There aren’t many shows in life that can genuinely make you feel something deep beneath your skin. Misterman achieves that, if for no other reason than bestowing you with the sincere desire to take a shower. The production is probably the ...

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