Theatre

Review: The Walworth Farce

By John Nathan, October 3, 2008

Cottesloe, National Theatre, London SE1

The Irish father in Enda Walsh's funny and disturbing comedy tries to rewrite family history by forcing his two sons to perform repeatedly a play version of his life that hides the bloody crime he committed back in Cork.

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Review: Welcome To Ramallah

By John Nathan, October 3, 2008

Arcola Theatre, London E8

Rather like the idealistic do-gooder in her latest offering, Sonja Linden has supported several worthwhile causes, among them victims of the Rwandan genocide, about whom she wrote a fine play. But sometimes there is a dramatic price to be paid when a playwright's politics is so conspicuously present on stage.

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Review: Ivanov

By Jenni Frazer, September 26, 2008

Wyndhams Theatre, London WC2 

Anton Chekhov's Ivanov is generally written off as the young man's early scribblings before going on to the greatness of plays such as The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters. But in the skilful hands of writer Tom Stoppard and director Michael Grandage, the Donmar's production of Ivanov is a revelation - a hugely intricate West End play which is both comic and tragic.

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Review: Cherry Docs

By Alex Kasriel, September 26, 2008

Wyndhams Theatre, London WC2

 

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Review: Rain Man

By Jenni Frazer, September 26, 2008

Apollo Theatre, London W1

 

There is something deeply queasy about this production of Rain Man, which, though produced with the co-operation of the National Autistic Society, nevertheless seems to invite the audience to be complicit in laughing at autism.

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The drama that compares Israel with Nazi Germany

By John Nathan, September 25, 2008

When Jonathan Lichtenstein's play, Memory, arrived in New York, some Jews were so outraged they walked out of the theatre. Others gave a standing ovation.

Perhaps this is a predictable response to a work that effortlessly connects pre- and post-war Berlin with modern-day Bethlehem. Memory also depicts how Jews were treated in Germany before the war and the way many Palestinians are treated by Israel now.

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Review: Kicking A Dead Horse

By John Nathan, September 19, 2008

Almeida Theatre, London N1

It all went wrong for Hobart Struther after he became a successful art dealer. And now here he is stranded in the middle of the desert, his "quest to find authenticity" on hold while he digs a grave for his "deader than dirt" horse who snuffed it after his oats went down the wrong way.

It seems that writer and director Sam Shepard - that chronicler of dysfunctional Midwestern America, who like Hobart is in his mid-sixties - is taking stock.

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Review: Now Or Later

By John Nathan, September 19, 2008

Royal Court, London SW1
 

Election night in America. The Democrats are getting closer to victory. With only a couple of months to go before the real thing, this is the Royal Court's attempt at relevant theatre.

And although the Democrat candidate here is white and much more like Bill Clinton than Barack Obama, this tense drama by American writer Christopher Shinn is very relevant indeed.

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From banking to dancing

By David Lasserson, September 19, 2008

Karen Ruimy gave up a career in finance to become a dancer. Now she is bringing her own show to the West End.

Karen Ruimy is an unlikely leading lady for a West End dance show. For one thing, most of her adult life has been spent doing something else. "I studied finance! I have an MBA from a great French business school. I went into banking and I loved it!" Outside the Lyric Theatre in the heart of London's theatreland are pictures of Ruimy in full flamenco regalia, striking passionate, hot-blooded poses. Is this the same woman?

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Twelfth Night

By John Nathan, September 12, 2008

Tricycle Theatre, London NW6

You could be forgiven for thinking you have walked into the wrong theatre. An electric double bass dominates the stage. To its left is a set of drums, to its right a bank of synthesizer keyboards. Not exactly the traditional stage design for a production of one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies. But then the Filter company's 80-minute version of a play that normally takes almost three hours is not exactly traditional.

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