Theatre

Review: Di and Viv and Rose

By John Nathan, January 31, 2013

I wish that playwright Amelia Bullmore had found a less obvious way of delivering the tragedy in this tragicomedy. To reveal her device would spoil the plot but it jars because, in most other respects, her warm and witty comedy about three women defies expectation.

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Review: No Quarter

By John Nathan, January 24, 2013

So for the moment at least, Polly Stenham has found her shtick and is shticking to it.

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Review: The Judas Kiss

By John Nathan, January 24, 2013

In David Hare’s 1998 play about Oscar Wilde, it is not the witticisms and aphorisms of Hare’s subject that take the breath away, but the sophistry of his spoilt young lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. He hoists even his basest betrayals of Wilde to the moral high ground with declarations about his own integrity and talent, of which he has none.

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Review: Olga's Room

By John Nathan, January 17, 2013

Olga Benario was a German Jewish communist who undertook daring missions for her cause, including springing her lover and fellow German communist Otto Braun from jail. After being given military training by the Soviets,

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Review: Somersaults

By John Nathan, January 10, 2013

When a language dies it is not just a way of speaking that disappears. Literature, storytelling — particularly the kind that depends on aural tradition — songs, conversations, jokes, all eventually follow the spoken word into extinction.

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Review: Lemony Snicket's Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming

By John Nathan, December 7, 2012

Michael Lambourne puts in a fine performance as Latke, the title role in this adaptation of the Lemony Snicket children’s book, in which a frustrated potato pancake attempts to assert his Chanucah identity in a Christmassy world.

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Review: Merrily We Roll Along - the right direction for Stephen Sondheim

By John Nathan, December 6, 2012

There have been some cracking revivals of Stephen Sondheim musicals over the past few years. This one is up there with the best, which is not bad for a debut director.

But then the director in question is the Sondheim-savvy Maria Friedman, who as a bill-topping performer has earned awards while starring in the composer’s musicals, including this one.

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Review: Kiss Me Kate

By John Nathan, November 30, 2012

For those who, 10 years ago, saw Michael Blakemore’s wonderful revival of Cole Porter’s 1948 musical, comparisons with this solid but less inspired version directed by Trevor Nunn are hard to resist.

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Review: Twelfth Night - Stephen Fry lacking in delight

By John Nathan, November 22, 2012

There are not many Shakespearian characters that cause as much pleasurable anticipation as Malvolio. And casting Stephen Fry in the role — who on television was P G Wodehouse’s talented butler, Jeeves, and so has form when it comes to playing an aristocrat’s loyal steward — makes good sense.

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Review: Constellations

By John Nathan, November 22, 2012

Thanks to the Royal Court, the musical-dominated West End has seen a surge of cracking plays. And none is better than Nick Payne’s ingeniously constructed love story that poleaxes the emotions as much as it stimulates the mind.

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