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Review of A Day by the Sea at Southwark Playhouse

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/185485/review-a-day-by-the-sea-southwark-playhouse/

Alix Dunmore as Frances Farrar, John Sackville as Julian Anson and Susan Tracy as Laura Anson in “A Day By The Sea” by NC Hunter If you look back there seems to be a halcyon period between the end of the Second World War and the hedonistic time of the 1960s when the British hadn’t realised that the days of empire were over and they were no longer the force to be reckoned with that they once were. This is especially true amongst the middle classes who tried to turn back the clock and take the country back to how it was pre-1939. A fine example of this mentality is on now at the Southwark Playhouse where N C Hunter’s play A Day By The Sea has returned to London after over 50 years absence. In a delightful seaside house Laura Anson (Susan Tracy) is holding court. She currently has a full house with not only the normal resident’s brother-in-law David (David Whitworth) and Doctor Farley (David Acton) – t…

Review of The Busy World is Hushed at the Finborough Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/185309/review-the-busy-world-is-hushed-finborough-theatre/ Michael James and Mateo Oxley – Credit Scott Rylander Let’s start this review off with a quote “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.” If you aren’t sure where this is from I will let you know at the end of the review. However, this quote get’s nicely to the central crux of Keith Bunin’s play The Busy World is Hushed which is having its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre. Hannah (Kazia Pelka) is a happy Episcopalian minister and widow. She is working on a book about a recently discovered gospel which may predate the ‘famous four’ – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – and, if the dates work out correctly, may have been written just after the death of Jesus. Like many academic types, Hannah is really enthralled by her work but dreads the thought of writing it out, so she is interviewing Brandt (Mateo Oxley) for the position of gh…

Review of Absolute Certainty at The White Bear Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/184224/review-absolute-certainty-at-the-white-bear-theatre/

Absolute Certainty – Credit Brittain Photography
Mental illness is something that we are all terrified of in some respects. How many times have articles about mass murderers, serial killers and the like included an interview with someone who is dumbfounded as the perpetrator ‘looked and acted just like everyone else’? In fact, an awful lot of the thriller genre relies on mental health issues not being identified in order to keep the suspense going. And mental health is at the heart of Laila Bouromane’s debut play Absolute Certainty having its first run at the White Bear Theatre. At a fairly nondescript greetings card manufacturer, someone is slightly out of kilter with the rest of the team. That someone is Michael (Mike) Dunhill (Andy Murton) a member of the accounts team who basically likes to keep himself to himself. He doesn’t get involved and attempts at conversation with him result in t…

Review of Coriolanus at The Rose Playhouse

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/181577/review-coriolanus-the-rose-playhouse/

Coriolanus at The Rose Theatre Many societies live exist under the delusion that they are run by men. Yes, the male segment may earn more and be in more positions of power than their female counterparts but, as the song says ‘behind every great man stands a woman’. Shakespeare knew this to be true and demonstrated the effect in great style in his play Coriolanus which has just returned home to Southwark’s Rose Playhouse. Ancient Rome is in uproar. The ordinary folk of the city, the plebeians, are upset that they are hungry as their rulers, the patricians, are holding back grain. Chief among those hated by the plebeians is General Caius Marcius (Chris Royle) who, being from Rome’s upper classes, makes no secret of his loathing of ‘the many headed’. The plebeians have two Tribunes, Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus (Jack Fairley and Sam Perry), who represent them in government, and these two figures spend a…

4 Star Review of Outlaws to In-Laws at the King’s Head Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/180877/review-outlaws-to-in-laws-kings-head-theatre/

Outlaws to In-Laws 70 years is, according the bible, the amount of time that a person has on earth – Psalm 90, verse 10: “The days of our years are three score and ten.” Of course, in reality, people often live much longer. But, over the course of seven decades its amazing how much the world in which we live can change and this is the central message of Outlaws to In-Laws which is part of the centrepiece of the King’s Head Theatre’s Queer Festival 17. Outlaws to In-Laws is not a single play but is an evening comprising of seven plays by individual authors, each taking place in a separate decade between the 1950s and 2010s. The first, Happy and Glorious by Philip Meeks take place on the day of the Queen’s coronation in 1953. In a ‘gentleman’s club’ overlooking Westminster Abbey, Edward (Alex Marlow) and Peter (Elliot Balchin) are welcoming a new member in the shape of Dennis (Myles Devonté) a young b…

4 Star Review: Joe Orton’s Loot at Park Theatre

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https://www.lastminutetheatretickets.com/londonwestend/review-joe-ortons-loot-park-theatre/


LOOT – Sam Frenchum (Hal) Sinead Matthews (Fay) Photo by Darren Bell
How does a play stand the test of time? Shakespeare, as we know, still works on most levels when performed today. But, what about a more recent piece of writing from, say the 1960s? Would a modern sophisticated theatre audience still appreciate the show without it being ‘updated’? Well, now you can find out by heading to the Park Theatre and seeing Joe Orton’s Loot. It is the day of Mrs McLeavy’s (Anah Ruddin) funeral and her household are all getting ready in their own way to see her off in a good old fashioned Catholic manner. Her Husband (Ian Redford) is upset and sombre while her nurse, Fay (Sinéad Matthews) is both cheerful and full of the Holy Roman spirit as the time of the funeral draws nearer. Only Hal (Sam Frenchum) the son of the household seems unperturbed by the death of his mother as he hovers suspiciously round a…

Review of Blue Stockings at The Yard Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/180076/review-blue-stockings-the-yard-theatre/

The cast of the National Youth Theatre production of Blue Stockings at the Yard Theatre – CREDIT Helen Murray It’s just coming up to that time of year when the new university students enrol and start their three year journey that will culminate in them putting on a cap and gown, walking across some form of stage, shaking hands with someone wearing an even more ornate cap and gown then receiving a rolled up piece of parchment while their proud friends and families look on and “social mediarise” the event like there is no tomorrow. Graduation Day ceremonies are beautiful to watch as students of every creed, colour, gender, pick up their awards. Of course, it hasn’t always been like this, and this is the central theme of Jessica Swale’s play Blue Stockings which the National Youth Theatre is currently presenting at The Yard Theatre. It is 1897 and leading academic Dr Maudsley (Dajay Brown) explains to the a…

5 Star Review of Trouble with Men at the King’s Head Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/179910/review-trouble-with-men-the-kings-head-theatre/

Sometimes a show can start a conversation just by its title. And this is particularly true of the latest addition to the King’s Head Theatre Queer Festival 2017 – Trouble with Men. This 45-minute production consists of three gay plays, all written and directed by playwright Nick Myles and performed by a company of three outstanding actors. The evening opened with ‘The Farce’ Three Men and Some Baggage. In a regular flat, Fin (Freddie Wintrip) is getting ready for the arrival of his new boyfriend (William McGeough) but before he arrives, Fin is joined by his best friend Ray (Reece Matthews) and not to put too fine a point on it, stereotypical ‘twink about town’. Fin really wants Ray to leave before the boyfriend turns up but Ray wants to stay and check out the new guy in Fin’s life. When he does arrive, complete with a large bulging suitcase, Ray is instantly, and possibly unfairly, anti-the new g…

Review of PLUTO at the Cockpit Theatre

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/179849/review-pluto-the-cockpit-theatre/


As humans, we often talk about Mother Earth, as if the planet was a real person. Well, what if she was? What if all the celestial bodies observed in the night sky were real with personalities, thoughts and ideas of their own? How would the universe look then? Welcome my friends to Callum O’Brien’s Pluto which, after a very successful run at the King’s Head has just touched down at the Cockpit Theatre. It’s party time and Pluto (Liam Joseph) is really hoping everyone will turn up. However, so far only his local moon Charon (Charlotte Price) has arrived and, while she is a good companion to the lonely Pluto, she is also the only body that ever turns up to Pluto’s parties. However, this evening is going to be different. Firstly an unexpected metal probe marked with the logo of Earth’s NASA has arrived for Pluto and secondly, Charon has secretly arranged for some extra entertainment tonight in the shape of a Strip…

Cirkus Cirkor’s Limits at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

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https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/179829/cirkus-cirkors-limits-southbank-centres-royal-festival-hall/


Cirkus Cirkor – Credit Einar Kling-Odencrants Most shows put on at the theatre tell a story. Straight plays, musicals, ballet, opera, they all have a story to tell that needs to translate from the stage to the waiting audience sitting in the auditorium. Some shows however, are not expected to have much of a narrative to communicate and are there for pure entertainment. So, what happens when a non-story telling piece of theatre decides to do something different and give their audience something to follow as they perform? Well you can find out with a visit to Cirkus Cirkor: Limitswhich I caught at the Royal Festival Hall. Limits is conceived and directed by Tilde Björfors and sets out to imagine a world without borders and mixes music, movement and acrobatics to tell the story of movement both voluntary and especially forced. In with the physical, there are projections telling the audie…