Theatre

Review: Henry VI Parts I, II, and III; Richard III

By John Nathan, May 16, 2008

Roundhouse, London NW1

“I want to get the complete set of stickers,” said the man queuing for a pint of lager in the Roundhouse’s foyer. You get no sticker for each of Shakespeare’s eight history plays, but he makes the point well. This rare RSC eight-play cycle, which starts with Jonathan Slinger’s camp-as-Christmas Richard II and ends with his chillingly psychotic Richard III, leaves you with a hugely satisfying sense of completion.

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Review: The Birthday Party

By John Nathan, May 16, 2008

Lyric Hammersmith, London W6

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Review: What A State

By Bernard Josephs, May 16, 2008

Hampstead Town Hall, London NW3

Hard-line socialists and radical chic Hampsteadites are not known for their sense of humour. The world is just too serious a place for mirth, and the situation in the Middle East in particular is no laughing matter.

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Review: Israel 60 Gala Show

By Alex Kasriel, May 16, 2008

Wembley Arena, London

The organisers sold the event using Jackie Mason’s name as a draw, but in reality the audience Israel 60 Gala Show got a lot more excited about a lesser known performer on the night.

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Got the Golda touch

By John Nathan, May 16, 2008

Broadway star Tovah Feldshuh is bringing her acclaimed portrayal of the Israeli leader to London

Shakespeare asked: “What’s in a name?” Tovah Feldshuh has the answer. “There’s plenty in a name,” says the Broadway star. “By changing my name I changed the whole landscape of my life. I didn’t realise it then, I was only 18.”


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They gave us Les Mis. Next up: Vichy France

By John Nathan, May 9, 2008

The new West End musical Marguerite takes a 160-year-old love story and updates it to wartime France. John Nathan asks its creators: will it be a hit?


The men behind the musical: co-writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg,
and lyricist Herbert Ketzmer

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Review: The Year Of Unmagical Thinking

By John Nathan, May 9, 2008

 

Lyttelton, National Theatre, London SE1

The ingredients promise something unforgettable. An extraordinary memoir about the nature of grief, written and adapted for the stage by one of America’s great prose writers, directed by one of Britain’s greatest playwrights, and performed by one of the country’s finest actresses.

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Review: An Eligible Man

By John Nathan, May 8, 2008

 

New End Theatre, London NW3

“I’ve become a death bore,” laments widower Judge Christopher Osgood in Rosemary Friedman’s play. Poor Osgood (Graham Seed) is left to grapple with the lonely reality of life without his dear departed wife. Well, not that departed. Her ashes and urn take pride of place on the writing bureau in his living room.

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Review: Small Change

By John Nathan, May 8, 2008

Donmar Warehouse, London WC2

Four chairs and four actors are the main ingredients in Peter Gill’s beautifully acted revival of his own 1976 play. Gill’s protagonists are two working-class Cardiff boys (Matt Ryan and Luke Evans) and their mothers (Sue Johnston and Lindsay Coulson).

The picture painted is one of a post-war community where fathers are absent and mothers live in unfulfilled terrace-housed loneliness with their children.

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Acts of unity in a war zone

By John Nathan, May 2, 2008

Theatre director Ofira Henig tells John Nathan why her work with Palestinians could restore a lost sense of perspective to her country

In Spitting Distance, by Palestinian Taher Najib, is described as a funny and disturbing play about international travel in a post-9/11 world. Directed by Israeli Ofira Henig, it stars Khalifa Natour, who plays a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, and arrives next week at the Barbican on London, where it will be performed in Arabic with English surtitles. Although, as Henig explains, it was originally written by Najib in Hebrew.

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