Review: A New Play For The General Election, Finborough Theatre

“That looks like George Osborne…”

Well you certainly can’t fault Chris New for finding a new angle amidst the glut of election-themed political theatre that can be found from the Donmar to Theatre Delicatessen. And there’s something fascinating in reading about the way in which A New Play For The General Election was devised over a four week period by New and his cast of four, using guided improvisation to get to a predetermined end point, a brutal “final destination” that spits with real menace.

The forty-five minutes leading up to that point don’t always kick with the same force though. Its intentions are clear as the disturbed Danny drags his abducted victim into an abandoned warehouse and commences an obtuse line of questioning which reveals that in fact, this really is George Osborne. Two more people then arrive – the equally troubled Maggie and her tolerant partner Richard – throwing an already turbulent situation into more turmoil. Continue reading “Review: A New Play For The General Election, Finborough Theatre”

Review: The Art of Concealment, Jermyn Street Theatre

“One has to be careful about the things one reveals”

The Jermyn Street Theatre seem to be a little bit off with their timing here with The Art of Concealment. They were first off the mark in the capital last year in Terence Rattigan’s centenary year with their production of Less Than Kind, so importing a biographical piece like this one by Giles Cole now feels a little redundant, given how much of his work, and work inspired by his life, we were able to gorge ourselves upon. But still, he’s a figure I find fascinating and so I was more than willing to give this play a try.

The Art of Concealment plays for the most part like a simple biography of the English playwright. The older version, nearing death, recounts tales of his youth as he escaped the shadow of his father’s expectations to pursue a career writing in the theatre. As we see, he became quite the professional success with a string of successes on the West End stage, but this was countered by the secrecy of his private life as he remained desperate to keep his homosexuality a secret from his public, and more importantly from his mother, much to the chagrin of his lovers. Continue reading “Review: The Art of Concealment, Jermyn Street Theatre”

Review: The Biting Point, Theatre503

“The march is coming…”

Ruth is refusing to come to terms with the recent past and the reality of her life now; Dennis finds himself trapped in a sordid mess very much of his own making; Malcolm is struggling to balance caring for his sister with trying to live his own life. The stories of these three people and how the personal affects and defines the political, often to extreme levels as a race riot approaches, make up The Biting Point, a new play by Sharon Clark playing at Theatre503 in Battersea, directed by Dan Coleman.

Read the rest of this review at Broadway World [link opens an external site]