Stage

Review: Fences

By John Nathan, July 7, 2013

We will never know if Troy, the flawed hero in August Wilson’s 1987 play, never played major league baseball because he was too old or, in a white-dominated sport, because he was too black.

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It’s sweet, but maybe a little too sugary

By John Nathan, June 27, 2013

The return of Sam Mendes — and Roald Dahl — to the London stage is a technical triumph. There are scenes of astounding complexity in this new stage adaptation of Dahl’s 1964 children’s fantasy.

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Review: Sweet Birth of Youth

By John Nathan, June 21, 2013

With Eugene O’Neill’s peculiar Strange Interlude at the National, this revival of Tennessee Williams’s rarely staged late play is the second utterly involving offering in London by a great pillar of American drama.

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Review: The Amen Corner

By John Nathan, June 17, 2013

The first of two plays written by the novelist and essayist James Baldwin — revived here by director Rufus Norris in a version gorgeously saturated with gospel music — was penned in the knowledge that religion was a refuge for his fellow African Americans. For them, opportunities to be anything other than an unskilled labourer were practically non-existent.

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Review: Mission Drift

By John Nathan, June 17, 2013

Brooklyn-based theatre company The Team exists to reflect the experience of living in America today.

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Review: These Shining Lives

By John Nathan, May 24, 2013

North London’s newest theatre, just a stone’s throw from Finsbury Park tube, is already being hailed as a miracle — and no wonder. The £2.5m build costs have been met without a penny of subsidy.

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Review: Relatively Speaking

By John Nathan, May 24, 2013

The conversation based on a misunderstanding is a well-used comedy device. You know the kind of thing, one person is talking about their dog while the other thinks he is talking about his wife. The genius of Alan Ayckbourn’s 1967 West End hit (his first) was that he managed to sustain this kind of gag for almost an entire play.

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A National treasure — Hytner looks back on his greatest hits

By John Nathan, May 23, 2013

It was Nicholas Hytner’s third big opening in as many weeks. And how better to follow celebrated productions of Verdi’s Don Carlo starring Jonas Kaufmann at the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Othello with Adrian Lester at the National Theatre than an evening in conversation at the London Jewish Cultural Centre.

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Pulitzer play turns spotlight on relations with Muslims

By John Nathan, May 20, 2013

T he latest play to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama will be remembered for a long time by those who see it at west London’s Bush Theatre, where performances begin today. And Jewish or Muslim audience members are unlikely to forget it. Disgraced is written by Ayad Akhtar, a 42-year-old American actor, screenwriter, novelist and now dramatist.

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Review: Travels With My Aunt

By John Nathan, May 20, 2013

In Giles Havergal’s amusing adaptation of the Graham Greene novel, four actors in dull suits interchange the role of Greene’s narrator — retired bank manager Henry Pulling — and all the other male and female characters in the gently subversive story.

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