Richard Blackwood excels in Ryan Calais Cameron’s searing monologue Typical, the weight of its enduring relevance painfully clear
“Look, I know me, I got this”
Christopher Alder died in police custody in Hull in April 1998. More than 20 years later, his story still has a terrible resonance in today’s society as the racial reckoning of the Black Lives Matter movement attests but crucially, can we really say anything has changed? The fact that Ryan Calais Cameron’s one-man-show Typical is also inspired by his own experiences of everyday racism suggests not though at the same time, he points to a potential pathway for the future.
Directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Typical is uncompromisingly direct. How could it be anything else? Talking airily of institutional racism is something like a get-out-of-jail-free card that allows too many of us to get away with shirking responsibility. Here, we have no choice but to look directly into the tight close-ups of a black man’s face as a group of police officers cause his death, in a police station, when he was the victim of the original crime of racial assault outside a nightclub earlier that evening. Continue reading “Review: Typical”
“An Ogre always hides, an Ogre’s fate is known, an Ogre always stays in the dark and all alone”
I hadn’t originally intended to go to Shrek The Musical, certainly not this early in the run, never having seen the films and having a somewhat mixed reaction to the lead casting. The Nigels, Lindsay and Harman, intrigued me but Amanda Holden (I’ve never seen Britain’s Got Talent either) and Richard Blackwood did not appeal. But when an offer appeared on the show’s Facebook page, for £40 tickets at the front of the Upper Circle at a ridiculously cheap price of £15, I snapped up a pair as a birthday treat.
A big-budget production of the show had a relatively short run of just over a year on Broadway but a much-revised version went out on tour across North America last year and it is a copy of this scaled-down production that is now previewing in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, directed by Rob Ashford and Jason Moore. It has a book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire (also writer of the harrowing Rabbit Hole – talk about diversity!) and music by Jeanine Tesori, and according to my lovely companion for the evening, it cleaves very closely indeed to the first film in the franchise, right down to the same jokes being repeated. This is a review of an early preview, indeed there’s about a month of preview performances, so do bear that in mind as I have. Continue reading “Review: Shrek The Musical, Theatre Royal Drury Lane”
My intention is, honestly, to see less theatre this year and try and regain some semblance of a normal life again on the odd evening. But the curse of advance booking and grabbing cheap(er) tickets whilst you can has meant that there’s already an awful lot of theatre booked for 2011. Some have been booked without a huge deal of enthusiasm, but others have a dangerous amount of anticipation attached to them…and so I present to you, the shows I am most excited about seeing this year (so far).
Antonioni Project – Toneelgroep Amsterdam at the Barbican
The Roman Tragedies was hands down one of the most exhilarating and refreshing theatrical experiences of 2009 and possibly my life, I’m even headed to Amsterdam in May to see a surtitled production of their Angels in America. So when I heard that the same Dutch theatre company were returning to the Barbican in February, tickets were booked instantly and I am feverishly over-excited for this now! Continue reading “Shows I am looking forward to in 2011”