News: Almeida 2021 season announcement

First up in June is the World Premiere of and breathe… by Yomi ode, a theatrical adaptation of poems from his forthcoming collection Manorism. Directed by Olivier Award-winning director Miranda Cromwell, featuring David Jonsson.

From July Lolita Chakrabarti’s Hymn will be performed to live in-person audiences for the first time following a string of sold-out live stream performances earlier this year. Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani reprise their roles, and Blanche McIntyre directs. Continue reading “News: Almeida 2021 season announcement”

Review: Royal Court’s Living Newspaper #5

Edition #5 of the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper takes a more reflective approach to great effect

“Most people do it. Not me, I have a conscience”

The Royal Court’s Living Newspaper continues with edition #5 which feels a little less reactive to the headlines and a little more reflective on the state of the world as we find it today. It looks back, probing into how our history has shaped us but it also identifies the precipice of the current moment and how, more than ever, so very much is at stake. 

The quiet fury of Dalia Taha’s A Warning takes aim at Israeli border policies through the medium of books, Kayla Meikle’s devastatingly contained performance a real stand out. And Zia Ahmed’s elegiac scene/unscene finds a brutal poetry in its takedown of the systemic racism in the theatrical establishment, skewering good liberal intentions perfectly. Continue reading “Review: Royal Court’s Living Newspaper #5”

News: writers and cast for Living Newspaper #5

Written by Zia Ahmed, Leo Butler, Guillermo Calderón, Nick Cassenbaum, E.V. Crowe, Maud Dromgoole, Nessah Muthy, Iman Qureshi, Marcelo Dos Santos, Nina Segal, Dalia Taha, Joel Tan and Maya Zbib.

Who has created our country’s past and who is shaping its future? Who gets to have their cake and eat it?

Edition 5 sets out to dismantle histories – be that personal or political – whilst finding allies in bookshop glances, questioning who is desperate for hygge comfort and looking to our comrades and weather reporters for the true future.

As we look back and forward, Edition 5 is a provocation to find joy in the cracks and the spaces left behind. Continue reading “News: writers and cast for Living Newspaper #5”

Review: Sundowning, Tristan Bates

I’m never quite sure why I put myself through dementia plays, they upset me like nothing else and yet I go again and again. The latest is Nessah Muthy’s Sundowning, currently showing at the Tristan Bates Theatre and based as it is, in part at least, on Muthy’s own family history, it is achingly done.

Whilst Alyssa has been locked away in prison, her grandmother Betty has faced a different kind of institutionalisation. Suffering from dementia, Betty’s daughter and Alyssa’s aunt Teresa has relocated to a care home to alleviate the strain but once Alyssa is released and discovers this, she sets about organising a jailbreak for her nan. Continue reading “Review: Sundowning, Tristan Bates”

Review: The Host, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at the Yard Theatre

“She’s white, like us”

Rounding off the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain’s inspired residency at the Yard (read my review of last week’s Blue Stockings here) is a new play from Nessah Muthy called The Host. Picking at the scab of the Brexit vote and the ongoing refugee crisis, Muthy reveals the kind of festering wound that is shocking to see, even as it has infected so many levels of our society and so much of our contemporary discourse.

Yasmin is the most responsible of four half-sisters who are grieving the loss of their mother and the relative security she provided for them on their Croydon council estate. For times of austerity are biting hard and Yasmin finds herself supplementing her job as a cleaner by acting as debt collector for a local loan shark. But it is only when she takes in Syrian refugee Rabea and offers him her couch that objections are raised.  Continue reading “Review: The Host, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at the Yard Theatre”

Review: Gastronauts, Royal Court

“Brave diners…trust us”

Gastronauts is a self-identified “ theatre adventure with food and music”, a label that calls to mind Lyn Gardner’s timely blog on finding new names for alternative theatre, but the key word that reveals its nature, in my opinion, is devised. Writers April De Angelis and Nessah Muthy with director Wils Wilson have created this show in collaboration with a company of five, and as it explores the not inconsiderable topic of food and our multi-faceted relationship with it, plus serving up a range of varied nibbles to illustrate their point, the 95 minute running time seems scarcely sufficient.

For as the show touches on all of its talking points, there is barely the time to delve into them in anything but the most glancing manner. The catastrophic environmental effects of our more extravagant eating habits, the vicissitudes of the diet industry, the reality of what goes into processed foods like white bread, the profiteering that exploits those who grow much of our foodstuffs and also more benevolent aspects, like the comforting memories that food from the family table inspires in us even as we become adults.  Continue reading “Review: Gastronauts, Royal Court”