Theatre

Review: Reasons to be Pretty

By John Nathan, November 28, 2011

The nicest guy in Neil LaBute's play says that his girlfriend is ugly. Imagine what the nastiest guy is like.

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Review: Juno and the Paycock

By John Nathan, November 28, 2011

Much of the power of Sean O'Casey's gut-wrenching Dublin play, in which the losers keep on losing until they have only the ragged clothes they stand in and the bare boards they stand on, lies in not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

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Review: Hamlet

November 17, 2011

This is not the first time that Hamlet has been given a Freudian makeover. But, for much of this enthralling production, you wonder if director Ian Rickson is as bonkers as Michael Sheen's unforgettable Danish prince.

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Review: The Lion In Winter

By John Nathan, November 17, 2011

With two of this country's favourite funny actors in the role of Henry II and his estranged wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, director Trevor Nunn has decided that James Goldman's 1966 play is much more a comedy than it is a melodrama.

The year is 1183 and, as he does every Christmas, King Henry, played by Robert Lindsay, releases from prison his troublesome French Queen, a witty Joanna Lumley,

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Review: Three Days In May

By John Nathan, November 11, 2011

Playwright Ben Brown likes to revive history's heroes and put them on the stage. He did it with the poet Philip Larkin and, in his last play, with Herbert Samuel, the first practising Jew to sit in the British Cabinet.

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Review: 13

By John Nathan, November 11, 2011

The cast is big, the staging by director Thea Sharrock impressive, but the ideas in Mike Bartlett's play are fatally undeveloped.

Although Bartlett insightfully focuses on one of the gathering issues of our time - how to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons - the sense here is of the issues of the day being used to cobble a play together in the hope that it will feel relevant.

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Review: Collaborators

By John Nathan, November 4, 2011

This fizzing, Nicholas Hytner-directed stage debut by Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge takes its inspiration from the play that Mikhail Bulgakov was compelled to write about his number one fan - Stalin.

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Review: Inadmissible Evidence

By John Nathan, November 4, 2011

As the lawyer Maitland, a convulsing, super-charged and occasionally vomiting Douglas Hodge turns in possibly the performance of the year as a man in mid-life crisis. John Osborne's play is a confessional of betrayals and self-loathing. In Jamie Lloyd's electric production, Maitland's grimy office doubles as courtroom for his crimes and misdemeanors.

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Interview: Alfred Uhry

By John Nathan, November 3, 2011

It is the morning after the opening night before and Alfred Uhry is looking pretty relaxed. The author of Driving Miss Daisy is in his slippers and sat on an over-upholstered sofa in an almost bookless room that the central London hotel where he is staying calls "The Library". He used to say that opening nights were as scary as walking on fire.

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Review: Shalom Baby

By John Nathan, October 31, 2011

If new plays are to take on the subject of the Holocaust in ways that speak to future generations across the cultural and racial spectrum, then they are going to have to be at least as engaging as this offering from writer and director Rikki Beadle-Blair.

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