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Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Seagull, Watford Palace Theatre

Anton Chekhov, in a new version by John Donnelly Directed by Blanche McIntyre  ★★★★  Pros: A modern script that pulls Chekhov into the 21st century, with some fantastic, natural performances and a great set.  Cons: Still a little hard to follow for those unversed in Chekhov. Takes a little while to get going.  Our Verdict: An enjoyable show and a great one to see if you want a digestible introduction to Chekhov. Courtesy of Tristam Kenton for Headlong  Those of you ...

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Narrative, Royal Court

Written and directed by Anthony Neilson★★ Pros: This is a very different format which is interesting and challenging – there is a lot to think about. The acting is very good and the sound and lighting design are really excellent. Cons: It’s not really comprehensible – the theme seems inconsistent and diluted by unrelated scenes and other themes. The characters are shallow and selfish and there is little connection with the audience. Our Verdict: There are some great ideas here ...

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Britain’s Got Talons, Hen and Chickens Theatre

James Morton Directed by James Morton and Chris Lawson ★★★ Pros: A topical and fresh idea which will appeal to a young audience.  Cons: The play (and its audience) would benefit enormously from an interval. In its current format, it is difficult to give the play your full attention, especially towards the end.  Our Verdict: An interesting idea for a play, but an older audience may struggle with the concept. The play needs an interval and the length of some ...

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Table, National Theatre

Tanya Ronder Directed by Rufus Norris  ★★★★★ Pros: Outstanding acting and direction. A beautiful new space which re-defines ‘temporary’ venues. Cons: I’d be clutching at straws. Maybe that it gets a little warm in The Shed! Our Verdict: Unmissable theatre in the London’s most exciting new venue. Courtesy of The Telegraph It’s not every day that the National Theatre launches a new venue. Although it is sad that the Cottesloe is being closed, we know that it will rise again ...

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Singin’ I’m No a Billy He’s a Tim, The Cockpit

Written and directed by Des Dillon ★★★ Pros: A great script. Funny and poignant with strong themes, cleverly delivered in a very credible setting. The cast are fantastic and deliver wonderful comic timing.  Cons: Although pacey and energetic, it is a little drawn out. The early encounters lack the blind anger that could be present when staunch rivals meet in such circumstances. The context outside of Scotland may not relate to all audiences.  Our Verdict: Des Dillon is a very ...

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Win tickets to see The School for Scandal! – Closed

Good news theatre fans: we’re giving away some free theatre tickets again! We’ve teamed up with Turn of the Wheel Productions to give you a chance to win two tickets to see their production of Richard Sheridan’s The School for Scandal at the Waterloo East Theatre, London. The tickets are valid for any performance between 2nd-19th May 2013. As always with our competitions, there are absolutely no catches. We’re not going to sell your data to any third parties and we’re not ...

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Around the House, Ovalhouse Theatre

Presented by the Ovalhouse Theatre Part of 33% London  ★★ Pros: An ideal platform for showcasing young talent.  Cons: The site specific setup was clumsy and contributed little to the production.  Our Verdict: A good idea for a production, but one which needed more engaging performances and more appropriate spaces to work to its full potential.  Courtesy of the Ovalhouse Having seen two fantastic youth performances at the Ovalhouse Theatre, I was happy to return in the long-awaited sunshine to ...

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Publius Horatius, White Bear Theatre

Presented as part of the AXIS Emerging Artists Festival alongside Vesta Created and directed by Menelaos Karantzas ★★ Pros: A clever set for a black box venue with some lovely direction and staging.  Cons: Quite slow which made it hard to follow and I was unsure if all the pauses were necessary.  Our Verdict: A worthy subject to explore, bringing ancient stories into the modern world and contrasting them with much more current geo-political events. Sadly I was left unaware of ...

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Vesta, White Bear Theatre

Presented as part of the AXIS Emerging Artists Festival alongside Publius Horatius  Devised by Fighetta ★★★ Pros: A group of versatile female performances not restrained by stereotyping. Cons: It was very abstract with no real plot. I find it hard to get into a show with no real fictional purpose or characters that I can relate to. Our Verdict: Some real talent on stage, and while I recognise that it is pushing the somewhat fixed boundaries of theatre and performance ...

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Hamlet, Dalstan Bunker (site-specific)

William Shakespeare  Directed by Andrew Shepherd ★★ Pros: Great idea, good choice of location.  Cons: No depth of character or context.  Our Verdict: A great idea, but sadly full of missed opportunities which needed no expensive resources, just better use of what was already there.  Courtesy of Stern Alarum Upon entering the darkness of a disused Dalstan bunker, the thick air, musty smell, the echoes and the cold are all pregnant with expectation, lending an eerie, claustrophobic lingering as you ...

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