Theatre

La Boheme

By Stephen Pollard, May 3, 2012

John Copley's production of La bohème opened in 1974 and this is its 25th outing. But it can rarely have seemed fresher than with this excellent cast, and under the stunning baton of Semyon Bychkov.

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The flying dutchman

By Stephen Pollard, May 3, 2012

There is one reason to see this new production of Flying Dutchman. And it is a compelling reason which makes me urge you to see it.

Edward Gardner, ENO's music director, conducts his first Wagner. And he does not just make a decent stab at it - he produces some of the greatest Wagner conducting you could ever hear.

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Misterman

By John Nathan, May 3, 2012

There is one man but many voices in Enda Walsh's 90-minute rampage through a psychotic's mind, with Cillian Murphy giving a compelling performance as an oddball Irish evangelist descending into insanity.

Murphy's Thomas Magill is holed up in a disused warehouse where he re-enacts recorded encounters with his hometown's "sinners".

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Chalet Lines

By John Nathan, May 3, 2012

Watching Lee Mattinson's portrait of the working-class Walker family, I wondered if the reason I would rather chew tin foil than be in their company might have something to do with my own class prejudices.

But I don't think this is a case of a prissy sensibility, though. It's more that Mattinson presents crudeness, instead of wit, as comedy.

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Big and Small

By John Nathan, April 27, 2012

It is fair to say that the draw here is Cate Blanchett and not, for all his reputation as one of Germany's most respected living dramatists, Botho Strauss.

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The other Israeli dramas defying the boycotters

By John Nathan, April 27, 2012

The presence of Israel's Habima Theatre in London next month for the Globe Theatre's international Shakespeare festival has prompted well-publicised calls for a boycott. Less attention has been directed at another Israeli theatre event, taking place in London this weekend.

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Long Day's JourneyInto Night

By John Nathan, April 19, 2012

I can hardly bear this brilliant play. Eugene O'Neill drew on his own family for this, his most famous and harrowing work, written in 1941, though first performed posthumously 15 years later. American actor Laurie Metcalf is so disturbingly ghostly as the morphine-addled matriarch, at one point she appears to be practically transparent.

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It's murder - especially for the audience

By John Nathan, April 11, 2012

If, like me, your reflex response to watching a character being strangled to death is to hold your breath until it is all over, then, like me, you are likely to have turned a shade of blue by the time Eve Best's likeable Duchess of Malfi meets her end.

In John Webster's 1613 Jacobean tragedy, the duchess falls for a dashing courtier, Antonio (Tom Bateman), who is well beneath her social status.

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The King's Speech

By John Nathan, April 6, 2012

● The King's Speech was an unproduced play before it became an Oscar-winning film.
David Seidler, who wrote both, is going to get two hits out of one compelling story - how the King George VI (aka Bertie) relied on an Australian commoner to get over the crippling stutter that made his every speech a terror, and his whole life a misery.

Adrian Noble's production is anchored by the friction an

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Rigoletto

By Stephen Pollard, April 6, 2012

There is one compelling reason to see this revival of David McVicar's 11-year-old production of Rigoletto.

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