Theatre

Being small is theatre's big future

By Edward Hall, March 5, 2015

As a young director in the late 1980s I was able to borrow money from a bank to produce a new play in Edinburgh, and I was very proud to be able to pay it back. I can't imagine any financial institution behaving in a similar way today if faced with a young director and writer eager to risk their money on new writing.

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Yes, maybe we really are too stupid to enjoy theatre

By John Nathan, February 26, 2015

So you are all a little bit thicker than you used to be, are you? When I say all, I obviously don't mean every one of you.

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Review: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical

By John Nathan, February 26, 2015

The untold story here is that the string of fantastic chart hits revived in this show were created by Jews.

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Review: The Hard Problem

By John Nathan, February 5, 2015

Tom Stoppard's long awaited latest play marks the last production that Nicholas Hytner will direct at the National before standing down as surely the most successful artistic director in the institution's half-century of existence.

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Review: Taken at Midnight

By John Nathan, February 5, 2015

There are few sights more inspiring than Penelope Wilton as Irmgard Litten standing up to the Gestapo. With imperious contempt she swats away a Nazi officer's smug justifications for arresting her lawyer son Hans. In 1931, Hans put Hitler on the stand and humiliated the future Führer by exposing him as a witless rabble rouser.

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Hello, Goodbye Girl

By Naomi Firsht, February 5, 2015

The average shul has seen many a Purimspiel and Chanucah play rehearsed within its walls, but 24-year-old Ilai Szpiezak has upped the ante for Alyth Synagogue by inviting West End performers on to its stage to rehearse his new fringe production in nearby Highgate.

The young musical producer is bringing The Goodbye Girl to Upstairs at the Gatehouse, an intimate 120-seat theatre in Highgate Villa

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Review: The Ruling Class

By John Nathan, January 29, 2015

Perhaps it was the late Peter Barnes's Jewishness that allowed him to look with such wry askance at Britain's class system.

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Review: Bad Jews

By John Nathan, January 29, 2015

This rather brilliant New York play by Joshua Harmon is given an added massive dose of poignancy by coincidentally opening in the anniversary week of Auschwitz's liberation. In this unintended context there is something particularly remarkable about the way Harmon explores how post-Holocaust Jewish generations live with the legacy of the Shoah.

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Opera: Andrea Chénier

By Jessica Duchen, January 29, 2015

By Umberto Giordano

Nobody at Covent Garden could have guessed that shortly before Andrea Chénier's opening, vast protests for freedom of speech would occur in Paris. In Giordano's French Revolution blockbuster the eponymous poet is condemned to death for using his pen as "a weapon against hypocrisy". Among the opera's weaknesses, though, is that we never learn what he said.

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Am I a bad Jew for giving my play an 'offensive' title?

By John Nathan, January 22, 2015

Of all the posters advertising plays, there is one that sticks out more than any other. It's a picture of two young men and a woman beating the hell out of each other. Above them, in bold, unmissable lettering is the play's title: "Bad Jews".

"Nobody suggested I change it," says 31-year-old New York playwright Joshua Harmon. "But I was afraid they were going to.

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