Review: Queen Anne, Theatre Royal Haymarket

“Lie down madam and legs apart
Now brace yourself for this may smart”

Helen Edmundson’s Queen Anne played a well-received run at the RSC the winter before last and it has now transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a summer season. It contains two excellent performances from Romola Garai as Sarah Churchill (stepping into the role created by Natasha McElhone) and Emma Cunniffe as the titular monarch and you can read my four star review for Cheap Theatre Tickets right here.

Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes (with interval)
Booking until 30th September

Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things

Romola Garai will star as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough alongside Emma Cunniffe as the eponymous monarch in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Queen Anne. They will be joined by Jonathan Christie, Michael Fenton-Stevens, James Garnon, Richard Hope, Hywel Morgan, Beth Park and Carl Prekopp with further casting to be announced soon.

After originally opening at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2015, Queen Anne will transfer to Theatre Royal Haymarket for a thirteen week limited run from 30 June until 30 September. Written by Helen Edmundson (The Heresy of Love, RSC) and directed by Natalie Abrahami (Happy Days, Young Vic), this gripping play explores the life of one of England’s little-known sovereigns and her intimate friendship with her childhood confidante Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.

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

Review: The Dog, The Night And The Knife, Arcola Theatre

“Is that the…correct procedure”

If you like your plays with a beginning, a middle, an end and an easily definable narrative arc, then the work of German playwright Marius con Mayenburg is probably not for you. If however, you don’t mind a play that is utterly unafraid of inhabiting an obscure world and has no interest in providing any kind of traditional dramatic resolution, then the UK premiere of his 2008 play translated here by Maja Zade as The Dog, The Night And The Knife could well be up your straße.

Directed by Oliver Dawe, it is a brilliantly disconcerting piece of theatre that seems destined to be labelled “darkly comic” and/or “knotty” as the go-to phrases for this kind of work And it is work. Between them, Dawe and von Mayenburg cultivate an atmosphere of remarkable strangeness as a man, named simply M, wakes up in a world where much has changed. Normal rules of behaviour no longer apply and so he, and us the audience, needs to adapt to work out just what the hell is going on. Continue reading “Review: The Dog, The Night And The Knife, Arcola Theatre”

Review: As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe

“I would love you if I could”

Are certain of Shakespeare’s plays done to death whilst other neglected? When asking a friend, with whom I caught up briefly this week, what he was going to see this week, my response to him saying As You Like It was ‘which one?’. This may actually be the only production currently running in London – though I did take in the Royal Exchange’s modernised version on my trip to Manchester last month – but it does feel we are never too far away from As You Like It in one shape or another.

This particular production, which has played a few dates at Shakespeare’s Globe in the midst of a considerable UK and Europe jaunt, has the similar small-scale touring feel to the Hamlet that opened the Globe’s season this year with a small cast of travelling players – here in Victorian dress – covering all the roles and providing the musical accompaniment, all from the large wooden box that dominates, and forms an integral part of, the stage. Continue reading “Review: As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe”