The 2015 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Best Actor
Kenneth Cranham, The Father, Ustinov Bath, Tricycle Theatre & Wyndham’s Theatre
Ralph Fiennes, Man And Superman, National Theatre’s Lyttelton
James McAvoy, The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios
Simon Russell Beale, Temple, Donmar Warehouse

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
Denise Gough, People, Places and Things, National Theatre’s Dorfman
Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51 , Noël Coward Theatre
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe
Lia Williams, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios Continue reading “The 2015 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards”

Review: The Motherf**ker in the Hat, National Theatre

“Look let’s just go there, to the pie place, and we’ll have, like, some pie, and we’ll just, like, talk, or not even talk, we’ll just eat pie first and be. And after that, we’ll talk.”

On the National Theatre’s website and nearby publicity, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ show is labelled The Motherf**ker with the Hat; inside the theatre, the accepted verbal version is The Mother with the Hat; I hear rumours that TfL have insisted on The Mother****** with the Hat for their posters (though I’ve yet to see one); and on Twitter, the official hashtag manages the neatly encapsulated #MoFoHat. But dammit, I’ve got to get it out just once at least, the title of this play is The Motherfucker with the Hat. And if that offends you, then seriously don’t book a ticket cos it’s just the tip of the iceberg, know whadda mean!

Premiered on Broadway in 2011 with a cast featuring Chris Rock and Bobby Cannavale, it’s a vibrant slice of Nuyorican life on the rough side and lays its card on the table in its opening seconds. Reformed drug dealer Jackie has just been released from Riker’s Island determined to turn over a new leaf but his beloved “Beautiful Boriqua Taino Mamacita Fuck Me Long Time Princess Fuckin’ Beauty Queen” Veronica is still using and just as they’re about to get on down under the covers, he spots another gentleman’s hat on the table and all hell breaks loose, drawing in Jackie’s cousin Julio, his sponsor Ralph and Ralph’s long-suffering wife Victoria.  Continue reading “Review: The Motherf**ker in the Hat, National Theatre”

Winners of 2014-2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards

John Gassner Playwriting Award (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
WINNER – Ayad Akhtar, The Invisible Hand
Halley Feiffer, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard
Elizabeth Irwin, My Mañana Comes
Markus Potter, Stalking the Bogeyman
Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
WINNER – Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Peter Gallagher, On the Twentieth Century
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town Continue reading “Winners of 2014-2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards”

Winners of 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play
WINNER – Between Riverside and Crazy Produced by Atlantic Theater Company. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) Produced by The Public Theater in association with American Repertory Theater. Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
The Invisible Hand Produced by New York Theatre Workshop. Written by Ayad Akhtar
My Mañana Comes Produced by The Playwrights Realm. Written by Elizabeth Irwin
The Nether Produced by MCC Theater. Written by Jennifer Haley

Outstanding Musical
The Fortress of Solitude Produced by The Public Theater in association with Dallas Theater Center. Book by Itamar Moses, Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman. Conceived by Daniel Aukin, Based upon the novel by Jonathan Lethem
WINNER –Hamilton Produced by The Public Theater. Book, Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
The Lightning Thief Produced by Theatreworks USA Music and Lyrics by Rob Rokicki, Book by Joe Tracz. Adapted from the book by Rick Riordan
Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe Produced by Radio Mouse Entertainment, Martin Hummel, Caiola Productions, Terry Schnuck, Susan Jaffe Tane, Hernreich-Horvath Productions, Catalyst Theatre in association with Fireboat Productions, Mary Cossette, Meredith Lynsey Schade. Written and Composed by Jonathan Christenson
Pretty Filthy Produced by The Civilians in association with Jon B. Platt Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman, Book by Bess Wohl. Conceived by Steve Cosson, Michael Friedman & Bess Wohl Continue reading “Winners of 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Nominations for the 2015 Drama Desk Awards

Outstanding Play:
Clare Barron, You Got Older
Lisa D’Amour, Airline Highway
Anthony Giardina, The City of Conversation
Stephen Adly Guirgis, Between Riverside and Crazy
Elizabeth Irwin, My Manãna Comes
Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Jack Thorne, Let the Right One In

Outstanding Musical:
An American in Paris
Hamilton
Fly By Night
Pretty Filthy
Something Rotten!
The Visit Continue reading “Nominations for the 2015 Drama Desk Awards”

Nominations for 2014-2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards

John Gassner Playwriting Award (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Ayad Akhtar, The Invisible Hand
Halley Feiffer, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard
Elizabeth Irwin, My Mañana Comes
Markus Potter, Stalking the Bogeyman
Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Peter Gallagher, On the Twentieth Century
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town Continue reading “Nominations for 2014-2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards”

Nominations for 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play
Between Riverside and Crazy Produced by Atlantic Theater Company. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) Produced by The Public Theater in association with American Repertory Theater. Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
The Invisible Hand Produced by New York Theatre Workshop. Written by Ayad Akhtar
My Mañana Comes Produced by The Playwrights Realm. Written by Elizabeth Irwin
The Nether Produced by MCC Theater. Written by Jennifer Haley

Outstanding Musical
The Fortress of Solitude Produced by The Public Theater in association with Dallas Theater Center. Book by Itamar Moses, Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman. Conceived by Daniel Aukin, Based upon the novel by Jonathan Lethem
Hamilton Produced by The Public Theater. Book, Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
The Lightning Thief Produced by Theatreworks USA Music and Lyrics by Rob Rokicki, Book by Joe Tracz. Adapted from the book by Rick Riordan
Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe Produced by Radio Mouse Entertainment, Martin Hummel, Caiola Productions, Terry Schnuck, Susan Jaffe Tane, Hernreich-Horvath Productions, Catalyst Theatre in association with Fireboat Productions, Mary Cossette, Meredith Lynsey Schade. Written and Composed by Jonathan Christenson
Pretty Filthy Produced by The Civilians in association with Jon B. Platt Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman, Book by Bess Wohl. Conceived by Steve Cosson, Michael Friedman & Bess Wohl Continue reading “Nominations for 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, St Leonard’s Church

“There’s a concept, Cunningham, called “playing the card you are dealt” – one can either accept that concept, or, one can slowly lose their mind, heart and soul.”

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot premiered in the UK back in 2008 at the Almeida with a colourful and sharp production from Headlong. Producer/director and latterly actor Antony Law’s revival down the road in St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch has removed the colour for an altogether more severe aesthetic and, although there are two sets of cushions on the pews, it is a severity that punishes your posterior as much as anything. The setting of the church has a sombre beauty and occasional acoustic challenges aside, offers a grandeur to this courtroom-set drama with its Alice-in-Wonderland-style oversized judge’s platform but Law rarely exploits the potential of this unique venue and the production suffers a little for it.

Set in Purgatory, the point where souls await their ultimate destination of either heaven or hell, Guirgis puts Judas in the dock and in something of a show trial, a vastly eclectic range of witnesses are called not just to explore the reasons behind his betrayal of Jesus but a wider examination of what it means to be good or to be responsible. So contemporaries like Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas the Elder are interrogated for their culpability whilst luminaries such as Sigmund Freud and Mother Teresa find themselves under the spotlight as their reputations are questioned too. It’s a heady mixture of intellectual argument and showboating pizazz, difficult to pull off and only intermittently successful here. Continue reading “Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, St Leonard’s Church”