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”

Review: 2:22 A Ghost Story, Criterion Theatre

Against all expectations, a return visit to 2:22 A Ghost Story, now at the Criterion Theatre, is hugely effective, and not just because Sam Swainsbury is in the cast

“Are you going to piss on my chips, mate?”

Sometimes, there’s real value in going back to something. I wasn’t much of a fan of 2:22 A Ghost Story the first time I saw it. But an invitation to see its new cast (including the marvellous Sam Swainsbury) at the Criterion Theatre – the show’s third West End iteration – offered an intriguing to chance to look at the show anew, fore-armed with the knowledge of what was going to happen.

And second time proved the charm, as it becomes a different kind of viewing experience, one which I found to be much more satisfying. I’m generally not a fan of horror in theatre and I think I allowed that to colour my mind too much in advance of seeing the show first time around. But mentally reconceiving it as a mystery puzzle, it holds up extremely well on repeat viewing. Continue reading “Review: 2:22 A Ghost Story, Criterion Theatre”

News: Special Measures Theatre present Dictating to the Estate

Special Measures Theatre has announced a two-week site-specific performance of Dictating to the Estate, a documentary play about the events leading up to the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower.

This year will mark the 5th anniversary of the fire and it is against this backdrop that Dictating to the Estate analyses this wholly preventable tragedy. Following two readings at the Playground Theatre in early 2019, and two free online readings, the script has incorporated the feedback from local residents and survivors to produce a play that aims to reflect their experiences. Continue reading “News: Special Measures Theatre present Dictating to the Estate”

News: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to tour the UK

Simon Friend Entertainment has announced first casting for a brand-new stage adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold HotelHayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, Whistle Down the Wind), Paul Nicholas (Jesus Christ Superstar, BBC 1’s Just Good Friends, Eastenders), and Paula Wilcox (Thames TV’s Man About The House, ITV’s Coronation Street) will star in this feel-good tale of love, adventure, and starting-over which begins a major new UK tour this autumn.

Written by Deborah Moggach who now adapts her bestselling novel 2004’s These Foolish Things for the stage, it having previously inspired the BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated film. The cherished story will be brought to life on stage when it opens at the Richmond Theatre on Monday 5th September 2022 and is directed by Lucy Bailey (Oleanna, UK Tour & West End); Gaslight, UK Tour; Witness for the Prosecution, London’s County Hall). Continue reading “News: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to tour the UK”

Review: But What If You Die?, Camden People’s Theatre

Adam Lenson’s But What If You Die? toys interestingly with the one-man show format at Camden People’s Theatre

“What about him?”

Even the mention of a one-man show is freighted with different meanings for people, anecdotally among my non-theatregoing colleagues they appear to be much maligned. But if a show were to change someone’s mind, I’d wager that  Adam Lenson’s self-penned and performed But What If You Die? could give it a good go.

Nominally, it is the story of Lenson’s diagnosis with and treatment of skin cancer but through loop pedals, a non-linear timeline that would put Doctor Who to shame, Libby Todd’s striking design, songs and a good deal of mordant humour, it proves so much more. Underpinned by a philosophical approach to the events of his life, Lenson wonders what if, what if, what if… and then wonders about what that wondering does to us. Continue reading “Review: But What If You Die?, Camden People’s Theatre”

Review: Jarman, Jack Studio Theatre

Mark Farelly works hard to bring Jarman to life in his one-man show at the Jack Studio Theatre

“I need to take you to some strange, possibly queer, places”

Mark Farrelly’s Jarman certainly impresses with the energy it brings to a stripped back Jack Studio Theatre, just a chair and a couple of props there to help bring this biography of Derek Jarman to life. And as he rattles through the major events of this hugely creative life, it’s hard not to be swept along with it.

The definition of a polymath, Jarman turned his hand to whatever took his fancy – design, filmmaking, painting, writing, gardening and crucially, gay rights activism. And Farrelly conjures much of that complexity, running through anecdotal vignettes sprinkled with some amusing impressions (Ken Russell, John Gielgud) as he rose from unassuming beginnings. Continue reading “Review: Jarman, Jack Studio Theatre”

News: cast and creatives announced for The Fellowship

Hampstead Theatre is delighted to announce the full cast and creative team for the world premiere of The Fellowship, an electrifying, hilarious and gripping new play by Roy Williams.  Directed by Paulette Randall, The Fellowship will run from 17 June until 23 July 2022. 

Set in modern Britain, The Fellowship cast comprises of Rosie Day (Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon, Southwark Playhouse; Microwave, National Theatre), Ethan Hazzard (Raised by Wolves, HBO; The Long Song, BBC One)Trevor Laird (Small Island and One Man, Two Guvnors, National Theatre), Suzette Llewellyn (Running with Lions, Lyric Hammersmith; EastEnders, BBC One), Cherrelle Skeete (Fun Home, Young Vic; The Phlebotomist, Hampstead Theatre), and Lucy Vandi (An Unfinished Man, The Yard; Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, Aldwych Theatre). Continue reading “News: cast and creatives announced for The Fellowship”

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”

News: Royal Court reveal Priyanga Burford, Jake Davies and Siena Kelly in That Is Not Who I Am 

Priyanga Burford, Jake Davies and Siena Kelly have been cast in That Is Not Who I Am by Dave Davidson, directed by Royal Court Theatre Associate Director Lucy Morrison. The production will run from Friday 10 June 2022 to Saturday 16 July 2022 with press night on Thursday 16 June 2022, 7pm. 

Commenting on the play, the cast said;  Continue reading “News: Royal Court reveal Priyanga Burford, Jake Davies and Siena Kelly in That Is Not Who I Am “

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”