Theatre

Review: The Table

By John Nathan, April 22, 2013

The inaugural play in the National’s temporary, very big and very red new venue is high on concept, but on contrivance also. The big idea underlying Tanya Ronder’s offering is that of the kitchen table not only serving as the surface on which we eat, work and occasionally have sex, but as witness to a family’s trials and tribulations.

More..

Review: Children of the sun

By John Nathan, April 22, 2013

Unlike his contemporary Chekhov, it’s not only Russia’s pre-revolutionary privileged class who populate Maxim Gorky’s plays but a hostile and starving proletariat. This work, which the political dramatist and activist wrote from his St Petersburg prison during Russia’s aborted 1905 revolution, gives a sense of them circling the home of scientist Protasov.

More..

Review: Once

By John Nathan, April 15, 2013

This is the tender little acoustic romance that kicked the hell out of bigger, brasher shows at New York’s Tony awards. And it is easy to see why. Once is based on the Oscar-winning Dublin-set film and uses the same, sometimes devastatingly beautiful soundtrack composed by Glen Hansard, of the indie band, Frames, and Marketa Irglová.

More..

Review: Peter and Alice

By John Nathan, April 15, 2013

You wait generations for a new play to be premiered in the West End and then two come along at once.

More..

Review: Before the Party

By John Nathan, April 15, 2013

Any play that conjures the line, “I’ve got a kitchen full of prostitutes and Nazis”, has to have something going for it.

More..

Review: Book of Mormon

By John Nathan, April 15, 2013

Someone described as a “leading media liberal” was reportedly overheard in the foyer asking “why has nobody called this show racist?”. I wish someone had replied, “why has nobody called you stupid?”. This long-anticipated Broadway musical may offend in many ways, but being racist isn’t one of them.

More..

Review: Mies Julie

By John Nathan, March 18, 2013

South African writer/director Yael Farber has taken successful reinterpretations of classics around the world before. But none has had the impact of this updated Strindberg.

More..

Review: Longing

By John Nathan, March 15, 2013

As Donald Rayfield, Chekhov's biographer says, the trouble with Chekhov's plays is that there are so few of them.

So you can see the logic of this exercise conducted by novelist and first-time dramatist William Boyd, who has set out to do for Chekhov what he has done for Ian Flemming with his James Bond books.

More..

Review: Paper Dolls

By John Nathan, March 14, 2013

This may be the year’s unlikeliest world premiere. Conceived and written by American Philip Himberg, the show was inspired by an Israeli documentary that followed Filipino immigrants who work by day in Tel Aviv as carers for elderly Chasidic men, and by night in gay bars as a drag act called The Paper Dolls.

More..

Review: Facts

By John Nathan, March 8, 2013

These are some of the facts. In 1992, an American archaeologist called Albert Glock was shot and killed in Bir Zeit, on the West Bank. Reports say he was killed by an Israeli weapon used by a unidentified masked gunman who escaped using a car with Israeli number plates. Theories surrounding the case include plots by Hamas cells and Israeli agents.

More..