Re-review: Grounded, Gate Theatre

“You can’t hide from the eye in the sky, my children”

Grounded ranked in my top five plays of 2013 when it first played the Gate, and I enjoyed it so much that I went back when it came back in 2014. And could I resist one more chance to see Lucy Ellinson’s extraordinary performance in George Brant’s ever-acute one-woman show, could I heck! Directed by Chris Haydon, Grounded cuts deeply into the psychology of outsourcing military decision-making to remote drone pilots, particularly this one soldier who new motherhood calls into question her previously easily gung-ho mentality. Definitely recommended.

Running time: 70 minutes (without interval)
Booking until 25th March

Winners of 2016 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play
The Christians Produced by Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group. Written by Lucas Hnath
Eclipsed Produced by The Public Theater. Written by Danai Gurira
Gloria Produced by Vineyard Theatre. Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
WINNER – Guards at the Taj Produced by Atlantic Theater Company. Written by Rajiv Joseph
John Produced by Signature Theatre. Written by Annie Baker

Outstanding Musical
WINNER – FUTURITY Produced by Soho Rep. and Ars Nova in association with Carole Shorenstein Hays. Music by César Alvarez with The Lisps, Lyrics and Book by César Alvarez
Iowa Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Written by Jenny Schwartz, Music by Todd Almond, Lyrics by Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz
Southern Comfort Produced by The Public Theater. Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins, Music by Julianne Wick Davis, Based on the Film by Kate Davis, Conceived for the Stage by Robert DuSold and Thomas Caruso
Tappin’ Thru Life Produced by Leonard Soloway, Bud Martin, Riki Kane Larimer, Jeff Wolk, Phyllis and Buddy Aerenson, Darren P. DeVerna/Jeremiah J. Harris and the Shubert Organization. Written by Maurice Hines
The Wildness: Sky-Pony’s Rock Fairy Tale. Produced by Ars Nova in collaboration with The Play Company. Text by Kyle Jarrow & Lauren Worsham, Songs by Kyle Jarrow Continue reading “Winners of 2016 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Nominations for 2016 Lucille Lortel Awards

Outstanding Play
The Christians Produced by Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group. Written by Lucas Hnath
Eclipsed Produced by The Public Theater. Written by Danai Gurira
Gloria Produced by Vineyard Theatre. Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Guards at the Taj Produced by Atlantic Theater Company. Written by Rajiv Joseph
John Produced by Signature Theatre. Written by Annie Baker

Outstanding Musical
FUTURITY Produced by Soho Rep. and Ars Nova in association with Carole Shorenstein Hays. Music by César Alvarez with The Lisps, Lyrics and Book by César Alvarez
Iowa Produced by Playwrights Horizons. Written by Jenny Schwartz, Music by Todd Almond, Lyrics by Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz
Southern Comfort Produced by The Public Theater. Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins, Music by Julianne Wick Davis, Based on the Film by Kate Davis, Conceived for the Stage by Robert DuSold and Thomas Caruso
Tappin’ Thru Life Produced by Leonard Soloway, Bud Martin, Riki Kane Larimer, Jeff Wolk, Phyllis and Buddy Aerenson, Darren P. DeVerna/Jeremiah J. Harris and the Shubert Organization. Written by Maurice Hines
The Wildness: Sky-Pony’s Rock Fairy Tale. Produced by Ars Nova in collaboration with The Play Company. Text by Kyle Jarrow & Lauren Worsham, Songs by Kyle Jarrow Continue reading “Nominations for 2016 Lucille Lortel Awards”

Re-review: Grounded, Gate Theatre

“You don’t spend a million dollars so I can fly a remote control plane”

Lucy Ellinson’s magnificent performance in George Brant’s Grounded last year was a huge success both at Edinburgh and then at the Gate Theatre, indeed I ranked it in my top five productions of the year and so it is little surprise to see it reappear in Notting Hill for a month-long reprise. My original review can be read here and to be honest, there’s not much more to say this time round apart from you really should get booking before it sells out once again!

Running time: 80 minutes (without interval)
Booking until 30th May

Review: Grounded, Gate Theatre

“A plane with no cockpit, a bird with no eyes”

Watching Lucy Ellinson perform is probably one of the greatest treats UK theatre has to offer us. There’s something about her searching directness that makes sitting in the audience of one of her shows a much greater act of participation that most of us are used to. Utterly unafraid at reaching out to every single person in front of her, the surprise of eye contact with you still feels uniquely special and something important is shared even in the seconds of that fleeting moment, even if you’re not quite sure exactly what it is. When it breaks, as it must, you feel bereft, craving the next one when it comes, and so it goes, pulling you entirely into the immediacy of her performance.

Perhaps not everyone has this same level of engagement with her, but I find it impossible to imagine that anyone could sit through Grounded and just feel like they had witnessed just another show. Playing at the Gate after a hugely successful Edinburgh run, George Brant’s monologue is a searing indictment of drone warfare but also a fascinating exploration of the struggle of balancing the experience of being a soldier in combat with the realities of family life.  Continue reading “Review: Grounded, Gate Theatre”