Theatre

Review: The Female Of The Species

By John Nathan, July 25, 2008

Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2

 

Eight years ago, the outspoken feminist academic Germaine Greer was held hostage by a female student who intruded into her secluded Essex home.

This is the event that inspired Joanna Murray-Smith to write a comedy in which a famous writer called Margot (Eileen Atkins) is tied up by Molly (Anna Maxwell Martin), a student bearing a grudge and a gun.

More..

Review: Wink The Other Eye

By John Nathan, July 25, 2008

Wilton's Music Hall, London E1

 

"Is it a sin to present entertainment for the working classes?" asks Mr Wilton. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, he built the world's oldest surviving music hall in London's East End, just off Cable Street.

More..

Review: Hangover Square

By John Nathan, July 25, 2008
Finborough Theatre, London SW10

 

Staging Patrick Hamilton's seedy, pre-war Earl's Court novel in an Earl's Court theatre gives an extra edge to Fidelis Morgan's adaptation. In this tiny venue, Gemma Fairlie's production and Alex Marker's design miraculously serve up a rare, shadowy vision of London's underbelly in 1939.

More..

Review: Zorro The Musical

By John Nathan, July 18, 2008

Garrick Theatre, London WC2

It is hard to take yourself seriously if you cavort around in a black, figure-hugging outfit, mask and cape, cracking a whip.

No, not the latest witness in the Max Mosley trial. We are talking about Zorro, the legend immortalised on screen by Douglas Fairbanks, and now the subject of the West End’s latest musical, loosely based on Isabelle Allende’s book, with a score by the Gipsy Kings and a hero played with charismatic self-deprecation by Matt Rawle.

More..

Review: The Frontline

By John Nathan, July 18, 2008

Shakespeare’s Globe, London SE1

London audiences are used to the “Miserables”. Now meet the “Invisibles”. In the Globe’s first attempt to reflect modern London on its Shakespearean stage, this is how the hustlers, prostitutes, fantasists, drug dealers, drug users, do-gooders and ne’r-do-wells that populate Ché Walker’s play announce themselves.

More..

Review: High School Musical

By John Nathan, July 11, 2008


Hammersmith Apollo, London W6

As I took my seat in a row of six-year-olds dressed as cheerleaders, something told me I was probably not a member of this show’s target audience. The last time I felt this conspicuous I was the lone bloke in an auditorium filled with women in late middle age. We were watching Menopause The Musical. They seemed to wonder why I was there. So did these cheerleaders — and their parents.

More..

Review: Look Back In Anger

By John Nathan, July 11, 2008


Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1

This is a good time to see John Osborne’s revolutionary play. In 1956 it opened at the Royal Court a month after Enid Bagnold’s The Chalk Garden  opened at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, the two dramas offering completely opposing views of 1950s Britain.

The Chalk Garden is currently triumphantly revived at the Donmar Warehouse in London, and if it is revealed as the more accomplished work, Look Back in Anger is still the better state-of-the-nation play.

More..

Review: On The Rocks

By John Nathan, July 4, 2008


Hampstead Theatre NW3

Before even a word is spoken, Amy Rosenthal’s new comedy is almost fatally handicapped.

Set in the Cornish village of Zennor in 1916, Rosenthal’s play is populated by two literary couples — DH Lawrence and his German wife Frieda, and their friends Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry, who are persuaded to move into the stone cottage next door.

More..

Review: Torn

By John Nathan, July 4, 2008


Arcola Theatre, London E8

This production has been overshadowed by the murder last weekend in North London of Ben Kinsella, whose sister, Brooke, is in the cast.

More..

Review: Twelfth Night

By John Nathan, July 4, 2008


Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London NW1

“With a hey, ho, the wind and the rain,” sings Clive Rowe’s sweet-voiced Feste as the rain lashed the stage of the Open Air Theatre.

More..