Theatre

Review: Invincible

By John Nathan, July 24, 2014

The comparison between playwright Torben Betts and the much more famous Alan Ayckbourn was well made when Betts's class comedy was first seen at Richmond's Orange Tree theatre earlier this year.

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Review: Richard III

July 17, 2014

Since he took over the Trafalgar Studios, director Jamie Lloyd has staged some of the most thrilling and accessible productions of Shakespeare I've ever seen. And it's all been done with an eye to keeping the bard as accessible as possible. There are low ticket prices for young audiences.

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Review: Daytona

By John Nathan, July 14, 2014

Sometimes returning to a play can change a mind. But even one of the West End's grandest theatres cannot change the impression that Oliver Cotton's work, first seen at the Park Theatre last year, is an all-too whimsical attempt to grapple with heavyweight themes such as Jewish identity and the morality of exacting revenge in cold blood.

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Review: The Crucible

By John Nathan, July 14, 2014

The sense of foreboding is immediate and never recedes. Yaël Farber's gripping revival of Arthur Miller's 20th-century classic is conjured out of a shadowy gloom by incantation. A woman chants while tracing the perimeter of the Old Vic's intimate in-the-round stage.

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Review: Great Britain

By John Nathan, July 3, 2014

Richard Bean's satire on the press - probably the most significant since Howard Brenton and David Hare's Pravda of 1985 - arrives amid reports of the show being rehearsed in secret and of director Nicholas Hytner taking lawyers' advice not to open until the end of the phone-hacking trial.

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Review: Skylight

By John Nathan, June 26, 2014

Since the rise of James Graham and his fascinating parliamentary play This House, David Hare is no longer the undisputed champion of political playwriting in this country.

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Review: Making Stalin Laugh

By John Nathan, June 26, 2014

It might help to have more than a passing interest in Soviet politics to get the most out of David Schneider's ambitious new play. Jewish artists such as the Moscow State Theatre's Solomon Mikhoels, played here with great charisma by Darrell D'Silva, had extra reason to be afraid.

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Review: The Valley of Astonishment

By John Nathan, June 26, 2014

A new Peter Brook play is always keenly awaited. This one, which the 89-year-old director has co-written and co-directed with his long-time collaborator Marie-Helene Estienne, is the latest in a series of plays on neurology. It explores synaesthesia - enhanced responses to the world's stimuli.

In some people, it results in an incredible ability to retain facts and sequences of numbers.

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Review: Hotel

By John Nathan, June 19, 2014

There is swagger to this thriller by Polly Stenham, the playwright who in 2007 at the age of 20 burst on to the stage with her debut play That Face.

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Review: Mr Burns

By John Nathan, June 19, 2014

No theatre is showcasing smarter work at the moment than Rupert Goold's Almeida. Whether this astoundingly esoteric show follows the venue's American Psycho and Charles III into the West End is hard to say.

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