News: cast announced for 25th anniversary revival of Closer runs at the Lyric Hammersmith

Full casting is announced today for Closer, the Olivier-Award winning cult play of the Hollywood hit film of the same name, written by Patrick Marber and directed by award-winning director Clare Lizzimore. In a radical new staging by Lizzimore, this uncompromising modern classic explores passion with surgical precision and the cost of risking it all for intimacy. Twenty-five years after its debut, in a city out of lockdown, the play is as searing today as it ever was in its exploration of love, sex, and the fragility of the human heart. This 25th anniversary revival of Closer runs at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 14 July to 13 August.

Closer brings together a captivating cast with Jack Farthing, most recently seen as Prince Charles in Pablo Larraín’s critically-acclaimed film Spencer (Shoebox Films), playing Dan; Scottish BAFTA nominee and Dickinson’s (Apple TV+) rising star Ella Hunt in her stage debut, playing Alice; Nina Toussaint-White, best known for her role in the Emmy-nominated BBC series The Bodyguard, playing Anna; and Sam Troughton, who has performed extensively on stage and the screen including David Fincher’s recent biographical drama Mank (Netflix) and the hit HBO/Sky Atlantic miniseries Chernobyl, playing Larry. Continue reading “News: cast announced for 25th anniversary revival of Closer runs at the Lyric Hammersmith”

Review: My Fair Lady, London Coliseum

Strong work from leads Harry Hadden-Paton and Amara Okereke can’t quite make this production of My Fair Lady work in the London Coliseum

“I’ll never know what made it so exciting”

For a musical considered such a classic, you don’t get many productions of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady to the pound. The National’s revival with Martine McCutcheon dates back more than 20 years now (before my theatre-blogging time) and outside of London, Sheffield Theatre’s soaring production was nearly a decade ago (I did get to see that one). Even further afield, it did reappear in New York in 2018 and it is that Lincoln Center production that has now set up home at the London Coliseum.

In some ways, it is a happy (spiritual) homecoming. In its two leading roles, director Bartlett Sher has garnered two strong performances. Harry Hadden-Paton reprises his turn as a younger-than-usual and wryly funny Henry Higgins and Amara Okereke shimmers as Eliza Doolittle, a legit soprano getting a rare chance to sing a big legit soprano role. And Catherine Zuber’s costumes and hats are magnificently outré , to the point where you’re worrying about neck support for several of the cast. Continue reading “Review: My Fair Lady, London Coliseum”

Nominations for the 2022 Drama Desk Awards

Outstanding Play
Cullud Wattah, by Erika Dickerson-Despenza, The Public Theater
English, by Sanaz Toossi, Atlantic Theater Company
Prayer for the French Republic, by Joshua Harmon, Manhattan Theatre Club
Sanctuary City, by Martyna Majok, New York Theatre Workshop
Selling Kabul, by Sylvia Khoury, Playwrights Horizons
The Chinese Lady, by Lloyd Suh, The Public Theater

Outstanding Musical
Harmony, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
Intimate Apparel
, Lincoln Center Theater
Kimberly Akimbo
, Atlantic Theater Company
SIX: The Musical
The Hang, HERE Arts Center Continue reading “Nominations for the 2022 Drama Desk Awards”

News: Peter Forbes joins the cast of National Theatre’s Jack Absolute Flies Again

Rehearsals have started for Jack Absolute Flies Again, a riotous and comedic new version of Sheridan’s The Rivals, co-written by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Oliver Chris (Emma) that will play in the Olivier theatre from 2 July.

July 1940. After an aerial dog fight, Pilot Officer Jack Absolute flies home to win the heart of his old flame, Lydia Languish. Back on British soil, Jack’s advances soon turn to anarchy when the young heiress demands to be loved on her own, very particular, terms. Continue reading “News: Peter Forbes joins the cast of National Theatre’s Jack Absolute Flies Again”

News: casting announced for Girl From The North Country tour

Full casting for the first Dublin and UK Tour of Girl From The North Country has been announced. Written and directed by Conor McPherson with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan,  the production embarks on its first UK tour following an opening 5-week season at 3Olympia Theatre Dublin from 25 June 2022.

The full cast includes Keisha Amponsa Banson (Mrs Neilsen), Ross Carswell (Elias Burke), Colin Connor (Nick Laine), Frankie Hart (Ensemble),  Joshua C Jackson (Joe Scott), Eli James (Reverend Marlowe), Justina Kehinde (Marianne), Teddy Kempner (Mr Perry), Graham Kent (Ensemble),  Owen Lloyd (Ensemble), Nichola MacEvilly (Ensemble),  Chris McHallem (Dr Walker), Frances McNamee (Elizabeth Laine), Gregor Milne (Gene Laine), Eve Norris (Katherine Draper), Daniel Reid Walters (Ensemble), James Staddon  (Mr Burke), Neil Stewart (Ensemble) and Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Burke). Continue reading “News: casting announced for Girl From The North Country tour”

TV Review: The Split Series 3

The third and final series of The Split is hugely enjoyable, a wonderful showcase for Nicola Walker, Deborah Findlay and more 

“What is the secret to the good divorce?”

The glossy soap stylings of The Split are the kind of things that often get referred to as guilty pleasures but I would argue that there’s nothing guilty about enjoying Abi Morgan’s legal drama which has now finished its third and final series. And throwing in death, deception and yes, divorce, it ups the ante most successfully, delivering a satisfying set of conclusions for the Defoe family.

With Hannah hoping that divorce to Nathan might not actually be the end, Nina balancing new motherhood with an affair, and Rose about to adopt with James, the first episode throws its balls up in the air. And by the end, we’ve met Nathan’s new – pregnant – girlfriend, seen Nina tumble too deep and also watched someone die, setting the path for the three sisters to unwind with tears and recrimination aplenty, plus a whole lotta family love too. Continue reading “TV Review: The Split Series 3”

News: National Theatre reveal 2 new production and a tour

The National Theatre today announces two new productions, and the booking dates of two previously announced productions, to be performed on all three South Bank stages this Autumn, as well as the UK and Ireland tour of The Ocean at the End of The Lane.

Lyndsey Turner (Under Milk Wood) will direct Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in the Olivier theatre in September. A gripping parable of power and its abuse, this urgent new staging will see Brendan Cowell (Yerma) make his National Theatre debut as John Proctor alongside Erin Doherty (The Crown, My Name is Rachel Corrie) playing the role of Abigail. Further casting includes Fisayo Akinade, Rachelle Diedericks, Nick Fletcher, Karl Johnson, Gracie McGonigal, Matthew Marsh and Eileen Walsh

With set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Catherine Fay and lighting design by Tim Lutkin. Sound design by Tingying Dong (content design) and Paul Arditti (system design). Staff director is Blythe Stewart, and dialect coaches are Majella Hurley and Hazel Holder. Continue reading “News: National Theatre reveal 2 new production and a tour”