Review: Conspiracy, New Diorama Theatre

Barrel Organ’s emotionally open Conspiracy puts the conspiracy theorists under the spotlight at the New Diorama Theatre

“Take it away from the carpeted area”

The world of conspiracy theories is an easy one to mock but though Barrel Organ’s Conspiracy runs the gamut from Area 51 to Princess Diana’s death via Elvis, JFK and the moon landing, there’s something much more sophisticated, and sympathetic, at work here. Rather, the focus is on the people who buy into those theories, those develop and defend them so avidly, and the cost that pursuing ‘truth’ has on both themselves and their relationships.

The jumping off point of Jack Perkins’ text is the iconic 1932 photograph ‘Lunch Atop A Skyscraper’ – you know, the one from Act 2 of Heartbeat of Home – and to begin with, the amiable trio of Rose Wardlaw, Azan Ahmed and Shannon Hayes take us on a beguiling journey through their meticulous research into all the problems they’ve found. Dates that don’t match up, names that can’t be found, clouds doing the wrong thing, lunchboxes that don’t convince…gotta be a fake right? Continue reading “Review: Conspiracy, New Diorama Theatre”

June theatre round-up

I might have taken a break from reviewing in June, but I didn’t stop going to the theatre – I had too many things already booked in. Here’s some brief thoughts on what I saw.

Betrayal, Harold Pinter
Shit-Faced Shakespeare – Hamlet, Barbican
The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Cheek By Jowl at the Barbican
Somnium, Sadler’s Wells
Les Damnés, Comédie-Française at the Barbican
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Theatre Royal Bath
Blithe Spirit, Theatre Royal Bath
The Hunt, Almeida
Present Laughter, Old Vic
Europe, Donmar Warehouse
The Deep Blue Sea, Minerva
Plenty, Chichester Festival Theatre
Pictures of Dorian Gray, Jermyn Street
The Light in the Piazza, Royal Festival Hall
J’Ouvert, Theatre503
Hair of the Dog, Tristan Bates Continue reading “June theatre round-up”

Review: Jubilee, Lyric Hammersmith

Punk becomes very hard-going in a raucous but overlong Jubilee at the  Lyric Hammersmith

“Welcome to “Jubilee”. An iconic film most of you have never even heard of, adapted by an Oxbridge twat for a dying medium, spoiled by millennials, ruined by diversity, and constantly threatening to go all interactive. You poor fuckers.”

There’s a sense of Chris Goode’s adaptation of the 1978 Derek Jarman film Jubilee getting out ahead of itself as one of its key characters delivers the above speech pretty much as we begin. But no amount of self-awareness can give this production enough life to sustain its punkish attitude over a bloated running time.

Running at a reconfigured Lyric Hammersmith (design by Chloe Lamford) after playing the Royal Exchange late last year, there’s a definite statement of intent from the very beginning as the queer inhabitants of a squat take up residence. Cocks are waved, breasts are bared, queens are transported (Lizzie One Point Zero) and new kweens established, Travis Alabanza’s Amyl Nitrate. Continue reading “Review: Jubilee, Lyric Hammersmith”