Theatre

Review: High Society

By John Nathan, May 26, 2015

There is something a little bit brilliant in the casting of Kate Fleetwood in the role of heiress Tracy Lord. Fleetwood was a terrifying Lady Macbeth opposite Patrick Stewart and now here she is on the role most people associate with the gilded Grace Kelly.

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Review: Death of a Salesman

By John Nathan, May 21, 2015

You can argue the toss as to whether Miller's classic is, as Antony Sher and his director (and partner) Gregory Doran claim, the greatest American play. Tennessee William's Streetcar is in with a shout as is O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. But Salesman's greatness is not in doubt. It's a play that demands as much from its director as from as its actors.

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Review: Hay Fever

By John Nathan, May 15, 2015

There are not many - if any - comedies as fresh as Hay Fever that have been around since 1925, which is when Noel Coward wrote it in just three days. On the face of it, the play's main ingredient - people having affairs in a country house - should be enough to scream hoary old war horse at any one considering a revival.

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Review: The Audience (starring Kristin Scott Thomas)

By John Nathan, May 8, 2015

Is it me or is the decision by director Stephen Daldry to cast Kristin Scott Thomas as the Queen in this revival of Peter Morgan's play an odd one? Facially, they couldn't be more different. Yet Scott Thomas makes up for being more beautiful than our monarch with a panoply of mannerisms and gestures that are spot-on.

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Review: The Merchant of Venice

By John Nathan, May 8, 2015

As always with Shakespeare's Jew play - and by the end of this month there will have already been three major productions this year - you hope the director finds a way to justify Shylock's revenge.

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Review: American Buffalo

By John Nathan, April 30, 2015

Nothing brings out the Hollywood stars quite like a David Mamet play. It is only a few months since Lindsay Lohan was tempted out of her comfort zone and on to the London stage by Mamet's Speed the Plow. This time, Coen brothers favourite John Goodman and Homeland's Damian Lewis take on Mamet's seminal play of 1975.

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Review: Clarion

By John Nathan, April 30, 2015

I half expected this debut play by journalist Mark Jagasia to be stuffed full of in-jokes and hack humour that only people in the newspaper business would fully appreciate. But of course, the Faustian pact that drives sensationalist journalism isn't only struck between proprietor and journalist, but with the public, too.

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Review: Gypsy

By John Nathan, April 25, 2015

To say that Imelda Staunton makes Momma Rose, one of musical theatre's iconic roles, all her own is not enough. You have to also say that since the show was first seen in1959, those who have played Rose - the mother of all pushy showbiz matriarchs - include Ethel Merman, Bernadette Peters and Angela Lansbury.

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Interview: Maureen Lipman

By John Nathan, April 23, 2015

It is a sunny, spring afternoon and Maureen Lipman walks breezily towards the stage door of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, where she is starring in Harvey, Mary Chase's 1944 American comedy about an invisible six-feet-tall rabbit. Lipman's chunky golden earrings are glinting in the sunshine, her fingers are tapping out a text message.

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Review: Carmen Disruption

By John Nathan, April 23, 2015

As a friend said before seeing this updated version of the opera, "Why? There are enough versions of Carmen to sink a ship." Playwright Simon Stephens - whose stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has become this hard-hitting writer's best known work - does a sterling job in justifying yet another.

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