Theatre

Review: No Man's Land

By John Nathan, September 23, 2016

John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson were the first to appear in Harold Pinter's 1975 play, initially at the Old Vic and then on this very stage for the West End transfer. A play can't get a better introduction to theatre audiences than that.

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Review: Labyrinth

By John Nathan, September 16, 2016

I didn't know just how immoral the International Monetary Fund could be until I saw Beth Steel's latest play. According to the programme notes, the famous institution was created in the wake of the Great Depression and the Second World War.

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Review: How to Date a Feminist

By John Nathan, September 8, 2016

How to write a rom-com that isn't brimful of cliché? Samantha Ellis goes about adding to this most enduring of genres by subverting every assumption implied by the title of her comedy.
The feminist here is not a woman, but a baker called Steve who is the son of a former Greenham Common CND protestor.

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Review: Burning Doors

By John Nathan, September 8, 2016

Europe's only banned theatre company - Belarus Free Theatre - have turned their focus to Russia, where Maria Alyokhina of the dissident protest band Pussy Riot was imprisoned. In something of a coup, Alyokhina herself joins BFT on stage here to relate the brutal psychological and physical mistreatment endured by her in Russian prisons.

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How to avoid cads and put Jews on stage

By John Nathan, September 8, 2016

The title of Samantha Ellis's latest play - How to Date a Feminist - would sit very comfortably in the self-help canon. If it was a book, it would look perfectly at home in Waterstones' self-improvement section.

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Review: The Entertainer

By John Nathan, September 2, 2016

Kenneth Branagh's West End season finishes with a classic but far from definitive revival. John Osborne's 1957 play is an angry eulogy evoked by the decline of imperial Britain and also its anti-hero Archie Rice, a star of music hall.

Played most famously by Laurence Olivier in the original production, and later the film, too, Rice is a man whose professional life is in terminal decline.

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Review: They Drink It In The Congo

By John Nathan, August 26, 2016

"Um Bongo, Um Bongo, They drink it in the Congo" was - actually, is - the well-dodgy lyric used to advertise a tropical fruit drink. Playwright Adam Brace cleverly uses it not just for the title of his ambitious play, but to highlight the complexity involved when engaging with conflicts abroad, especially when we have been among the chief exploiters of that country's resources.

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Review: Our Ladies of Perceptual Succour

By John Nathan, August 18, 2016

Everything I remember about school outings is about the journey - jostling for coach seats, sweaty egg-mayonnaise sandwiches - rather than the destination.

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Review: Groundhog Day

By John Nathan, August 18, 2016

I'll start, if I may, by addressing fervent fans of the film - of which I am one - and assure them this new musical version is even better.

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Edingburgh Fringe 2016

By Lee Levitt, August 18, 2016

Ari Shaffir: Ari S-P-E-C-T
Heroes @ The Hive, until Aug 28
★★★★✩

What a dude! Nothing is off limits for the former Jerusalem yeshiva student in a well-structured, streetwise and at-times deliciously surreal show.

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