Theatre

Review: The Frontline

By John Nathan, July 17, 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.

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Review: High School Musical

By John Nathan, July 10, 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.

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Review: Look Back In Anger

By John Nathan, July 10, 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.

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Review: On The Rocks

By John Nathan, July 3, 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.

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Review: Torn

By John Nathan, July 3, 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.

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Review: Twelfth Night

By John Nathan, July 3, 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.

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Review: Mother/Son

By John Nathan, June 20, 2008


Theatre 503, London SW11

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Review: Dov And Ali

By John Nathan, June 20, 2008


Theatre 503, London SW11

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Review: The Chalk Garden

By John Nathan, June 20, 2008


Donmar Theatre, London WC2

It was not enough for Enid Bagnold that Hollywood turned her horsey novel National Velvet into the movie that introduced Elizabeth Taylor to the world. She wanted to write a thoroughbred play too. In 1956 she did — The Chalk Garden, in which a mysterious governess saves a girl from a household as sterile as its eponymous garden.

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Review: Many Roads To Paradise

By John Nathan, June 20, 2008


Finborough Theatre, London SW10

Stewart Permutt is a dramatist who writes with compassion but without the baggage of sentimentality. The people who populate his plays are more likely to reveal disappointment than hope. Yet they win you over, not by appealing to your sympathy but by revealing their humanity.

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