Nominations for 2016-2017 Outer Critics Circle Awards

John Gassner Playwriting Award
Jaclyn Backhaus, Men on Boats
Sarah DeLappe, The Wolves
Paola Lázaro, Tell Hector I Miss Him
Qui Nguyen, Vietgone
Bess Wohl, Small Mouth Sounds

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Falsettos
Nick Cordero, A Bronx Tale
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit Continue reading “Nominations for 2016-2017 Outer Critics Circle Awards”

Review: A Life, Finborough

“You are an Irish summer of a man”

Having spent most of his life fulminating behind his civil service desk in small-town Ireland, Desmond Drumm is forced to re-evaluate everything when he is given just six months to live in this fiercely moving and funny play from Hugh Leonard – A Life. Aware he has frequently sacrificed people for his principles, he attempts to make his peace with his oldest friends. But old scores from the past must be dealt with first and so as he struggles to get his emotional affairs in order in the current day, reminiscences of his younger days play out at the same time, shedding light on how Drumm has become the man he is. A commission from the Finborough Theatre, Eleanor Rhode’s production is the first UK showing for this Tony-nominated play in 30 years. 

Rhode’s previous work here has clearly encouraged her to explore the boundaries of how this intimate theatre can be used, creating an extraordinary sense of openness and space. James Turner’s design is stark simplicity, just crashing surf daubed on the wall behind and a single chair – a neat nod to the play – with props being kept to a bare minimum, to enhance the feeling of fluid timelessness. And scenes are played out from unexpected places – the extreme sides, the steps amidst the audience –popping up like fragments of memory that cannot be ignored either by us or by the older versions of the characters. Continue reading “Review: A Life, Finborough”