Theatre

This show is a tribute to all who saved lives like mine

By John Nathan, February 25, 2016

When concert pianist Lisa Jura taught her young daughter Mona to play the piano, she used to say to always think of story when playing music. She could never have known that the story that Mona now most often thinks of when playing the piano is of her mother Lisa, the brilliant Viennese musician whose ticket to life and safety on the Kindertransport was won by her tailor father in a poker game.

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De Gaulle's a hero, Trump is just a fascist

By John Nathan, February 25, 2016

The last time I spoke to Jonathan Lynn was just before the stage version of the glorious TV sitcom Yes, Prime Minister, which he co-wrote with Antony Jay, opened in the West End.

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Review: The Encounter

By John Nathan, February 25, 2016

There are many things to love about a Complicite show: the invention, the sense that you are sitting on the leading edge of theatrical evolution, the way connections are made between the epic and the domestic and, perhaps most of all, how the formality of theatre is broken up so completely.

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Review: Nell Gwynn

By John Nathan, February 18, 2016

Jessica Swayle's joyful play works like a dream on so many levels. When Charles II cries "Down with austerity," he may of course be referring to Oliver Cromwell's notorious era of puritanism, but the cheeky grin tilted at the audience confirms that this is a very modern joke.

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Review: Escaped Alone

By John Nathan, February 18, 2016

As short as it is - 50 minutes - Caryl Churchill's latest work feels like two plays rolled into one. One is compelling. The other, not so.

Four middle-aged women sit in a sunny, suburban back garden chatting to each other about common acquaintances and the old times they've shared together.

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Review: Rabbit Hole

By John Nathan, February 11, 2016

It's the Holocaust play if you're a Jew, or the dead child play if you're a parent. These are plays that are particularly hard to watch if you are a member of a certain demographic. It's not that, as subjects, the death of children or genocide is only of interest to the potential victims of such events.

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Review: The Mother

By John Nathan, February 4, 2016

The Tricycle

Those who saw Florian Zeller's Alzheimer's play The Father will be savvy to the dizzying cleverness with which this French writer constructs his plays.

It is a form that continuously pushes his audience off balance. Any assumption that a scene can be taken at face value is undermined by the subtlest of signals that the whole thing actually exists in a character's mind.

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Floored by the folly of trying to find Feldman

By John Nathan, February 4, 2016

Jeepers Creepers
Leicester Square Theatre

At the risk of being presumptuous, here is a tip for writers of biographical plays. Don't write a life's story. Write a life's crucial moment out of which the character, facts and foibles of the subject emerge.

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Moving memoir hits a perfect note

By John Nathan, January 28, 2016

The Pianist of Willesden Lane
St James Theatre

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Marty Feldman: The best there ever was

By Terry Jones, January 21, 2016

My remit for this piece was how I first got to meet and know Marty Feldman. That's a very abstract question. When do you first meet or know anyone like Marty? He was part of my lexicon from as far back as I can remember. He tickled my funny bone as a writer of television comedies, The Army Game and Bootsie and Snudge, and later, radio's Round the Horne.

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