Theatre

Review: 66 Minutes in Damascus and The Prophet - caught up in the Arab Spring

By John Nathan, June 28, 2012

Reasons to link these very different plays: they are both born out of the turmoil in the Middle East and each reflects one of the greatest fears of those caught up in the Arab revolutions — abduction by the authorities.

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Review: Democracy - Michael Frayn's spy thriller deserves better

By John Nathan, June 28, 2012

There is no better example of one man's mastery of the stage than the two plays recently revived at the Old Vic. While Noises Off (now in the West End) is by a comedy writer at the top of his game, Democracy – first seen in 2003 and which has here been imported from Sheffield Theatres - could only have been created by a fine political dramatist.

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Review: The Sunny Side of the Street - an ambitious tribute to Dorothy Fields

By Gerald Jacobs, June 28, 2012

Dorothy Fields, who died in 1974 at the age of 69, was one of the great Jewish contributors to the great American songbook. She collaborated with leading musical composers, most notably Jerome Kern on such creations as The Way You Look Tonight and A Fine Romance.

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Review: The Last of the Haussmans - Julie Walters stars in National Theatre's Chekhov-lite drama

By John Nathan, June 22, 2012

It would be harsh to say that Chekhov is turning in his grave. Stephen Beresford’s debut play is a little too tender, a bit too entertaining for that. But so obviously in thrall is Beresford to the Russian master, all the acting, directing and yes, writing talent on view here is fatally diminished by the comparison it invites.

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Review: Gatz - Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby in a marvellous eight-hour marathon

By John Nathan, June 22, 2012

New York theatre company Elevator Repair Service has come up with the definitive rule on how a novel should not be adapted for the stage. Don’t spend eight hours reading the entire book out loud, word for word, and then call it a play. That would never work.

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Review: Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy

By John Nathan, June 15, 2012

In the 1980s, Harvey Fierstein’s Trilogy became the first Broadway hit to focus on gay life. Thirty years later, gay men still get beaten to death on the streets, parents still find it difficult to accept that their child’s sexuality may be different from their own and religious groups still think that a good way to protect their values is to deny gay people the right to affirm theirs.

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Review: Satire clubs posh boy David Cameron

By John Nathan, May 31, 2012

You have to wonder what the likes of David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson would make of Laura Wade’s satire, which was first seen at the Royal Court in 2010.

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Review: Habima's bravura Merchant of Venice

By John Nathan, May 31, 2012

It was an extraordinary evening. A production by Israel’s Habima Theatre company of The Merchant of Venice, staged at Shakespeare’s Globe, performed in Hebrew, charged with pro-Palestinian protest and electrified by a very fine production.

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Review: The Beekeeper

By John Nathan, May 21, 2012

I am often torn by new Holocaust plays. What new lesson can possibly be learned? Here playwright Michael Ashton explores the relationship between Menachem (Eliot Giuralarocca), a Jewish Auschwitz inmate, and Richard Baer (Robert Harding), the camp’s last commandant.

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Review: DeVito shines in The Sunshine Boys

By John Nathan, May 18, 2012

In 1972, seven years after The Odd Couple, Neil Simon wrote about another equally odd pairing, two veteran comedians known off-stage as Willie Clark and Al Lewis but on stage as The Sunshine Boys. They were based on two real-life Vaudeville Jewish comics.

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