Plays update November 2021

Casting updates for the Young Vic’s Best of Enemies, Hampstead Theatre’s Peggy For You, audio drama Ghost Walk and the Royal Court’s A Fight Against…

The Young Vic has revealed the complete cast and creative team for James Graham’s bold new play Best of Enemiesdirected by Jeremy Herrin, in a co-production with Headlong.

1968 – a year of protest that divided America. As two men fight to become the next President, all eyes are on the battle between two others: the cunningly conservative William F Buckley Jr., and the iconoclastic liberal Gore Vidal. Beliefs are challenged and slurs slung as these political idols feud nightly in a new television format, debating the moral landscape of a shattered nation. Little do they know they’re about to open up a new frontier in American politics, and transform television news forever…

Charles Edwards plays Gore Vidal and David Harewood plays William F. Buckley Jr. The complete cast also includes Margo Cargill, Emilio Doorgasingh, Clare Foster, Tom Godwin, John Hodgkinson, Justina Kehinde, Syrus Lowe, Kevin McMonagle and Sam Otto. Continue reading “Plays update November 2021”

Lockdown film review: Emma. (2020)

Autumn de Wilder offers an Emma. with a contemporary sensibility but not much sense

“Mother, you MUST sample the tart!”

You don’t see Jane Austen much at the theatre. Her situation notwithstanding, over the years I think I’ve only seen a single Pride and Prejudice and a vibrant Persuasion (plus countless Austentatious inventions), adaptations of her work just don’t seem to pop up in theatres with much regularity at all. I wonder why that is for there’s certainly no lack of them on our screens.

I wasn’t much of a fan of the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring film but loved both the TV versions I’ve seen with Kate Beckinsdale and particularly with Romola Garai. This latest iteration of Emma., directed by Autumn de Wilde and adapted by Eleanor Catton, only hit cinemas recently but due to coronavirus restrictions, found its way pleasingly quickly onto on-demand services. Continue reading “Lockdown film review: Emma. (2020)”

Review: DÓTTIR, Courtyard Theatre

“What did your father do?”

With a set-up that reads like a Shakespearean version of the Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman joke, Whit Hertford’s new play DÓTTIR takes an interesting spin through the Bard’s knotty relationship with gender. So Ophelia, Desdemona, Jessica, Cordelia, Lavinia, and Kate the Curst wake up in a room from which Miranda has just fled and the Jailer’s Daughter has just been placed. But it’s far from a joke, they’re all handcuffed and anonymised in monochrome utilitywear and balaclavas. And when a piercing siren sounds, we bear witness to the extent to which they fear their unseen captor.

One by one, they detail the faults ascribed to them in their respective plays (Hamlet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest and Two Noble Kinsmen, in case you weren’t sure), as told them by men. But Hertford then does is to delve deeper into each woman and her circumstances, building up backstory and fleshing out detail, giving each character their due. This is done to varying degrees of effectiveness but crucially, you come to realise the commonalities that Shakespeare gave them in their parental relations.  Continue reading “Review: DÓTTIR, Courtyard Theatre”