The Cherry Orchard, Young Vic

Cherry Orchard at Young VicFor a play in which inertia, atrophy, indecision, and the inability to move forward are key elements – aren’t they always in Chekhov – Katie Mitchell’s marvelously busy and concentrated staging of The Cherry Orchard fair zips along. In Simon Stephens’ punchy and highly contemporary translation the comedy is kept sharp and buoyant and immediate … [Read More]

Radio 2 Arts Show with the amazing Claudia Winkleman

bbc_radio_twoDelighted to be back as a regular guest on the the Radio 2 Arts Show with the amazing Claudia Winkleman[Read More]

A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic

Streetcar - Gillian Anderson The first thing one needs to grasp about A Streetcar Named Desire – and director Benedict Andrews has seized hungrily upon it in his unnerving staging at the Young Vic – is Tennessee Williams’ sense of the mythic over the mundane; the heightened reality – or transcendence – that makes poetry of street talk and … [Read More]

Amadeus, Chichester Festival Theatre

Peter Shaffer has always been a big ideas man and the curse laid upon Antonio Salieri that he and he alone should recognise the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart while all around him – not least himself – bask in mediocrity is one of his biggest and most challenging. Amadeus isn’t a play about rivalry, … [Read More]

Carousel, Arcola Theatre

CAROUSELThe first thing that strikes you about this joyously inventive postage stamp staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece – and it strikes you so forcibly in this high-decibel digital age that it’s almost a pinch-yourself moment – is that the show is entirely acoustic. No samplings, no obtrusive head-mics, just an unlikely quintet of instruments … [Read More]

Don Giovanni, Glyndebourne

Don Giovanni Glynebourne 2014The darkness descends with the shocking first chord of the Overture brutally shutting out a beautiful day at Glyndebourne. Such comedy as there is in this show (and that aspect of the piece is kept well in check) will be black, for sure. Director Jonathan Kent and his designer Paul Brown – and revival director … [Read More]

The Life of the Party, Menier Chocolate Factory

I still regard myself as an Andrew Lippa newbe – though now that his recent outing at the St James Theatre has morphed into fully-produced all-singing, all-dancing London show with props and projections and costumes and lights I am beginning to feel a little less like a gatecrasher at the party. Ok, so I went … [Read More]

Rags revisited

Rags At Lyric TheatreIt managed 18 previews and just four performances on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in 1986 and what I wouldn’t have given to have seen the great Teresa Stratas in the central (very central) role of Rebecca Hershkowitz. But Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz’ Rags has endured as a score and the cast album … [Read More]

A sneak preview of Goodall and Hart’s “Bend It Like Beckham – the Musical”

It is the afternoon of Friday 2 May in the none too prepossessing upstairs studio of the Dominion Theatre and I am one of a privileged few invited to a workshop reading of the West End bound Howard Goodall/Charles Hart/Gurinder Chada & Paul Mayeda Berges musical of that film charmer Bend It Like Beckham. … [Read More]

A View from the Bridge, Young Vic

These days it almost goes without saying that something extraordinary is happening at the Young Vic. There hasn’t been a show I have seen there over the last two years that didn’t challenge and excite my theatrical imagination. But Ivo van Hove’s staging of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge is something else. It … [Read More]