2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards Shortlist

Best Leading Performer in a New Production of a Musical
Arinzé Kene, Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre
Beverley Knight, The Drifters Girl, Garrick Theatre
Carrie Hope Fletcher, Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Dianne Pilkington, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, UK Tour
Eddie Redmayne, Cabaret, Playhouse Theatre
Ivano Turco, Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Jessie Buckley, Cabaret, Playhouse Theatre
Julian Ovenden, South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre
Olly Dobson, Back to the Future: The Musical, Adelphi Theatre
Stephanie McKeon, Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes, Barbican
Tom Francis, Rent, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester Continue reading “2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards Shortlist”

Review: A Number, Old Vic

Paapa Essiedu and Lennie James deliver stunning performances in a cracking production of Caryl Churchill’s A Number at the Old Vic

“I think it’s funny, I think it’s delightful
‘delightful?'”

After Timothy and Sam West, and John and Lex Shrapnel, Lyndsey Turner’s production of A Number for the Old Vic is actually the first one I’ve seen that didn’t involve a real father and son combo (I wasn’t too fussed about Roger Allam and Colin Morgan at the Bridge a couple of years ago tbh). And possibly with that slight remove of biology, something electric happens to make this the best one I’ve seen yet.

Caryl Churchill’s 2002 play about a father who clones his son has turned out to be one of her most popular (see above) and also one of her most evergreen. Ideas about actual cloning were perhaps more prevalent then, Dolly the Sheep having dominated the discourse but 20 years later, the play has only gained in depth and gravitas, its commentary on parental sin and construction of identity roaring ferociously as ever. Continue reading “Review: A Number, Old Vic”

News: the Old Vic reveals some of its 2022 plans

Matthew Warchus’ programme for the Old Vic’s 2022 includes an interesting couple of choices and the return of a festive favourite for the sixth year running

The 47th
29 Mar–28 May 2022

The world premiere of Mike Bartlett’s viciously funny new play The 47th, directed by Rupert Goold with Bertie Carvel, Tamara Tunie and Lydia Wilson. A chaotic glimpse into the underbelly of the greatest political show on earth – the next presidential race.

Jitney
09 Jun–09 Jul 2022

The London premiere of Baylis Director Tinuke Craig’s five-star production of August Wilson’s Jitney, with cast including Geoff AymerLeanne HenlonWil JohnsonLeemore Marrett Jr and Tony Marshall. A groundbreaking modern classic exploring the fragile bond between eight men in a racially segregated, post-Vietnam America. Continue reading “News: the Old Vic reveals some of its 2022 plans”

August casting update

 

Linda Bassett and John Heffernan have been cast in Caryl Churchill’s new play What If If Only, which will be directed by James Macdonald. With set design by Miriam Buether, lighting design by Prema Mehta, sound design by Christopher Shutt and assistant direction from Grace Duggan.

What If If Only will run in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Wednesday 29 September 2021 – Saturday 23 October 2021. Performances run Monday – Saturday at 6pm, plus Friday 8, 15 & 22 October 2021 at 10pm. The running time is a lush 14 minutes. Continue reading “August casting update”

Review: Bad Nights and Odd Days, Greenwich Theatre

Paul McGann and Kerrie Taylor, among others, shine in Bad Nights and Odd Days, a set of four short plays by Caryl Churchill at Greenwich Theatre

“She thinks the sun shines out of your arse, I could tell her different”

In the aftermath of such an epochal event as a global pandemic, you can understand why many a theatre would tend towards the safer, warmer end of programming in order to attract audiences back out once again. Which is why is most gratifying to see some buck that trend, Greenwich Theatre doing so in quite some style in an evening of four short plays by Caryl Churchill entitled Bad Nights and Odd Days.

Predictably, it’s a fascinating, challenging, probing theatrical experience, that really does further cement Churchill’s totemic position in the landscape. From global apocalypses to bedroom conversations, her unmistakable linguistic prowess carves out startling insights into her characters and into the way we all wield words, their meaning so often veiled under layers of need and ambition, love and desperation.  Continue reading “Review: Bad Nights and Odd Days, Greenwich Theatre”

News: Young Vic and Old Vic announce new programmes

Theatre returns at both end of The Cut – programmes announced for both the Old Vic and the Young

  • Queers Curated by Mark Gatiss, 2 Jun, 30 Jun
  • Home? Curated by Noma Dumezweni, 14-20 Jun
  • The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, 7-10 Jul
    Directed by Jeremy Herrin and starring Daniel Mays and David Thewlis
  • Bagdad Cafe by Percy and Eleonore Adlon, adapted by Emma Rice, 19 Jul-21 Aug, streamed 25-28 Aug
    Starring Patrycja Kujawska, Le Gateau Chocolat and Sandra Marvin
  • Camp Siegfried by Bess Wohl, 7 Sep-30 Oct
    Directed by Katy Rudd and starring Patsy Ferran and Luke Thallon
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jack Thorne, 13 Nov-8 Jan
    Directed by Matthew Warchus
  • A Number by Caryl Churchill, 24 Jan-19 Mar 
    Directed by Lyndsey Turner  and starring Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu
  • Into the Woods – Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, 16 Apr-9 Jul
    Co-directed Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman

  • Changing Destiny by Ben Okri, 9 Jul-21 Aug
    Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
  • Klippies by Jessica Siân, 4–13 Aug
    Directed by Diyan Zora
  • AI developed by Chinonyerem Odimba and Nina Segal, written alongside GPT-3 OpenAI technology, 23–25 Aug
    Created by Jennifer Tang and Company
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare, 25 Sep-13 Nov
    Directed by Greg Hersov and starring Cush Jumbo
  • Best of Enemies by James Graham, 2 Dec-22 Jan
    Directed by Jeremy Herrin

20 shows to look forward to in 2020

I look ahead to some of the 2020 shows exciting me most with an emphasis away from the West End, looking mostly instead at the London fringe and across the UK 

Sure, there’s all sorts of big ticket shows coming to London in 2020 (with big ticket prices too to go with their big names), like Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal, Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, A Doll’s House with Jessica Chastain. But there’s so much more to discover if you venture away from Shaftesbury Avenue…

1 The Glass Menagerie, Odéon–Théâtre de l’Europe at the Barbican
Not that I want to be predictable at all but Isabelle Huppert! Acting in French! Right in front of you! I understand that van Hove-fatigue might be setting in for people but only a FOOL would pass up the chance to see one of our greatest living actors. A FOOL! 

2 The Glass Menagerie, Royal Exchange
And if you wanted to do a direct compare and contrast, Atri Banerjee’s revival for the Royal Exchange will be worth checking out too for an alternative perspective. 

3 The Wicker Husband, Watermill
Even before Benjamin Button tore my heart apart, I was excited for the arrival of this new musical by Rhys Jennings and Darren Clark but now, the bar has been raised even higher. And the gorgeous intimacy of the Watermill feels like a perfect fit.


4 Children of Nora, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
Me: “I don’t need any more Ibsen in my life”
Also me: Robert Icke revisiting the world of A Doll’s House through the eyes of the next generation? Yes please.

5 Romantics Anonymous, Bristol Old Vic
I don’t think I thought this delicious Koomin and Dimond musical would ever actually return, so this short run in the UK ahead of a US tour feels like a real blessing. Now where did I put my badge?
Continue reading “20 shows to look forward to in 2020”

The 2019 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards – Shortlist announced

Proper award season is starting to kick into gear now with the reveal of the shortlist for the 2019 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards and an uncharacteristically strong set of nominations that will surprise a fair few. I had little love for Sweet Charity so I’d’ve bumped its nod for something else but generally speaking, I’m loving the love for Dorfman shows and the Royal Court and I hate the reminder that there’s a couple of things I mistakenly decided not to see (Out of Water, …kylie jenner)

BEST ACTOR in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group
K. Todd Freeman Downstate, National Theatre (Dorfman)
Francis Guinan Downstate, National Theatre (Dorfman)
Tom Hiddleston Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre
Wendell Pierce Death of a Salesman, Young Vic & Piccadilly
Andrew Scott Present Laughter, Old Vic

NATASHA RICHARDSON AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS in partnership with Christian Louboutin
Hayley Atwell Rosmersholm, Duke of York’s
Cecilia Noble Downstate, National Theatre (Dorfman) & Faith, Hope and Charity, National Theatre (Dorfman)
Dame Maggie Smith A German Life, Bridge
Juliet Stevenson The Doctor, Almeida
Anjana Vasan A Doll’s House, Lyric Hammersmith Continue reading “The 2019 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards – Shortlist announced”

Review: Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp., Royal Court

Fancy a new Caryl Churchill play? Well here’s four of ’em. Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. impresses at the Royal Court

True story, I’d intended this review of Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. to be much more formally adventurous than my usual four paragraphs. But my coding ain’t up to scratch and real life intervened to take up time and so I’m just using normal words and format to express my admiration for this quartet of new Caryl Churchill plays.

Directed by James Macdonald, they’re an often extraordinary combination, circling around ideas of myths and stories with her customary precision and linguistic expertise. Married to the ingenuity of Miriam Buether’s set designs, each cannily different to the other as they loom out of the darkness of Jack Knowles’ lighting, it is a full-on auditory treat. And that’s before we even mention a cast that includes Deborah Findlay and Toby Jones. Continue reading “Review: Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp., Royal Court”