review

Review: The Taming of the Shrew

By John Nathan, July 20, 2012

It turns out that Samantha Spiro was just limbering up when she played ferocious Filumena at the Almeida Theatre recently. This time, as Shakespeare’s most reluctant bride, Spiro is positively murderous.

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Review: Birthday - male pregnancy comedy will have you in stitches

By John Nathan, July 6, 2012

The pregnant male is not a new idea, but in exploring it Joe Penhall has come up with 90 minutes of hilariously emasculating comedy that could leave the men in the audience in a state of post-natal depression.

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Television: It's strictly stereotypes again in Strictly Kosher rerun

By Simon Round, June 28, 2012

If you enjoyed last year’s first instalment of ITV1’s prime-time documentary about the Manchester Jewish community, you will probably have enjoyed this two-parter, screened on successive nights this week, as it was identical to the first programme in most respects.

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Review: 66 Minutes in Damascus and The Prophet - caught up in the Arab Spring

By John Nathan, June 28, 2012

Reasons to link these very different plays: they are both born out of the turmoil in the Middle East and each reflects one of the greatest fears of those caught up in the Arab revolutions — abduction by the authorities.

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Review: Democracy - Michael Frayn's spy thriller deserves better

By John Nathan, June 28, 2012

There is no better example of one man's mastery of the stage than the two plays recently revived at the Old Vic. While Noises Off (now in the West End) is by a comedy writer at the top of his game, Democracy – first seen in 2003 and which has here been imported from Sheffield Theatres - could only have been created by a fine political dramatist.

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Review: The Sunny Side of the Street - an ambitious tribute to Dorothy Fields

By Gerald Jacobs, June 28, 2012

Dorothy Fields, who died in 1974 at the age of 69, was one of the great Jewish contributors to the great American songbook. She collaborated with leading musical composers, most notably Jerome Kern on such creations as The Way You Look Tonight and A Fine Romance.

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Review: The Last of the Haussmans - Julie Walters stars in National Theatre's Chekhov-lite drama

By John Nathan, June 22, 2012

It would be harsh to say that Chekhov is turning in his grave. Stephen Beresford’s debut play is a little too tender, a bit too entertaining for that. But so obviously in thrall is Beresford to the Russian master, all the acting, directing and yes, writing talent on view here is fatally diminished by the comparison it invites.

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Review: Gatz - Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby in a marvellous eight-hour marathon

By John Nathan, June 22, 2012

New York theatre company Elevator Repair Service has come up with the definitive rule on how a novel should not be adapted for the stage. Don’t spend eight hours reading the entire book out loud, word for word, and then call it a play. That would never work.

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