Theatre

Review: The Homecoming

By John Nathan, November 26, 2015

The title of Harold Pinter's 1965 classic refers to Teddy who, after years of absence, visits his modest childhood home where his father Max and brothers Lenny and Joey still live. But what comes across in Jamie Lloyd's flashy, 50th-anniversary revival of the play is somewhat of a revelation.

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Review: Evening at The Talk House

By John Nathan, November 26, 2015

Rather like writer Robert who, in Wallace Shawn's latest play, bears an instinctive dislike of actor Dick, I admit to harbouring a similar prejudice towards Shawn himself.

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Review: Waste

By John Nathan, November 19, 2015

When the Lord Chamberlain banned Harley Granville Barker's 1907 "English tragedy," it was for reasons of sexual modesty.

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Review: The Winter's Tale

By John Nathan, November 12, 2015

The launch of Kenneth Branagh's year-long season of West End plays begins with such Christmas cosiness I half expected Branagh's Leontes - the kindly king who turns into a jealous, child-killing tyrant - to pitch up wearing a red costume and singing ho, ho ho.

Why not? This is the West End and if Shakespeare is to be performed here, it has to be done commercially.

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Review: All On Her Own and Harlequinade

By John Nathan, November 12, 2015

Kenneth Branagh's other offering pairs two little-known Terence Rattigan shorts. In the first, Zoe Wanamaker is in schizophrenic form as a Hampstead widow seemingly possessed by the ghost of her recently deceased, working-class husband. The piece works as a sardonic portrait of marriage and as a brief foray into the psychology of grief.

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Review: The Moderate Soprano

By John Nathan, November 5, 2015

Conspicuous in David Hare's latest play is a rebuke to the English. Not all of them, just those who are so insulated by the fair-play traditions of their country they find it hard to comprehend the foul behaviour of regimes abroad.

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Review: The Hairy Ape

By John Nathan, November 5, 2015

Five years after the RSC production of the musical Matilda opened, one memory is more vivid than any other: Bertie Carvel as the child-hating headmistress. Or, to be precise, the ape-like hand tucked backwards under the forearm that suggested that this woman was not only not all female, but not all human.

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'I'm happy Les Mis gave me a shot at immortality'

By John Nathan, October 29, 2015

Les Miserables lyricist Herbert Kretzmer was hoping that his 90th birthday would be a modest affair. "Maybe a small lunch party," he said as we climbed the stairs to his office at the top floor of his tall Kensington house earlier this month. This was said with perhaps more hope than expectation.

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Review: Treasure

By John Nathan, October 29, 2015

Yiddish theatre rarely breaks out of the past. Memories of SJ Harendorf's comedy, King of Lampedusa, have been recently revived.

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Molière deep-fried and sizzling

By John Nathan, October 22, 2015

A Wolf in Snakeskin ShoesTricycle

It turns out that spilling from an agonisingly slow train, and arriving 10 minutes late into Marcus Gardley's ferocious version of Molière's Tartuffe is no bad way to see an updated classic.

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