Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things

 

 

The race to declare the most exciting show for 2018 has well and truly been declared by Complicite with Grief is the Thing with Feathers, a new production based on the award-winning novel by Max Porter. Directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy, it is a moving story of a widower and his young sons which becomes a profound meditation on love, loss and living.
 
And if only dates for Galway and Dublin have been announced thus far , a glance at the co-producers – the Barbican, Cork Opera House, Edinburgh International Festival, Oxford Playhouse, St Ann’s Warehouse and Warwick Arts Centre – gives a little hope that we might not have to travel the Irish Sea if we don’t want to (although don’t quote me on that!)

Continue reading “Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things”

Review: The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare’s Globe

“She is spherical – like a globe”

There’s something lovely about the exposure that director Blanche McIntyre is now receiving (see this interview, if not the comments) although some of us may have been aware of her talent for a wee while now. She now makes her directorial bow at the Globe with a nifty take on The Comedy of Errors. As two sets of identical twins rattle around an evocatively near-Eastern Ephesus, there’s a good deal of humour but cleverly there’s also an underlying tone of real pathos that McIntyre gradually brings to the fore.

Matthew Needham and Simon Harrison’s Antipholuses (Antipholi?) have a marked similarity that excuses Hattie Ladbury’s Adriana’s case of mistaken identity as she enthusiastically tries to iron out another rocky patch in her marriage and as their manservants, Brodie Ross and Jamie Wilkes make a fine pair of Dromios as their hapless helplessness in the face of much confusion allows for some of the funnier, slapstick-inflected moments of the production to come forth.

As is often the case at this venue, the comedy is broad, extremely so, but the usage of turkeys and octopi would surely put a smile on even the most churlish of faces, and there’s a delightful strangeness to the work of Stefan Adegbola as a mysterious Dr Pinch. And as the physical bluster eventually subsides, there’s a charming deal of affection that comes shining through in the end as the mayhem subsides, even if just for a moment.

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (with interval)
Booking until 12th October

Review: Foxfinder, Finborough

“Nature is full of symbols…you just have to know how to interpret them”

Expectations are a tricky thing. One of the reasons I do like to see shows earlier in the run is that I can safely formulate my own opinion on things without too much chatter from elsewhere unduly influencing me. For I am terrible at accidentally borrowing ideas and phrases, mostly unintentionally!, and ending up responding to the reviews of others in the end, where I prefer this blog to more about how I react to the piece I’ve just seen. Sometimes though, I will let myself be guided by others when their recommendations of a certain piece of theatre, that I haven’t seen, become too big to ignore.

Such it was with Foxfinder at the Finborough. A play by Dawn King that won the 2011 Papatango New Writing Competition in conjunction with the Finborough, the word of mouth for this was overwhelmingly good and though I hadn’t intended to catch the show, a gap in the schedule for a Saturday matinée late in the run meant I could squeeze it in. The play is set in a dystopian England, a parallel world that reminded me a bit of the film Children of Men, where farmers are under strict orders to meet quotas to feed the people of the city who are forced to work in a much feared ‘factory’. Sam and Judith Covey’s farm is suffering from a suspected contamination though and as William, an inspector comes to investigate, he sets in chain a shattering set of events. Continue reading “Review: Foxfinder, Finborough”