Review: Remnants, The Print Room

Published in The Telegraph on June 20, 2017

Dubbed an “electro-folk drama” by theatre-maker Patrick Eakin Young, director of the company Erratica, Remnants is a work that resists categorisation – a potent tapestry of song, electronic music, dance and recorded interviews. Continue reading “Review: Remnants, The Print Room”

Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on July 25, 2017

Tennessee Williams’ once rejected the idea of the “straight realistic play with its genuine Frigidaire and authentic ice cubes”. Here, director Benedict Andrews plonks a whole great sack of them at the front of the stage, next to four bottles of whisky. Continue reading “Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre”

Imelda Staunton on the National’s new blockbuster musical Follies

Published in The Telegraph on July 14, 2017

It may not open till next month, but the first release of tickets for Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre are already entirely sold out. However thousands more are on sale today from 8.30am, at the same time as a first-look photograph of the cast is unveiled.

The level of love for the musical has surprised its star, Imelda Staunton – but then, it hasn’t had a full staging in London since 1987. The story of the Weismann Follies’ vaudeville showgirls, who return to the theatre they performed in 30 years previously, features standards such as ‘Losing My Mind and ‘I’m Still Here’, and garners serious devotion among Sondheim fans.

Continue reading “Imelda Staunton on the National’s new blockbuster musical Follies”

Review: A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on July 14, 2017

It was set in olden times; it was set in modern times. That’s the main conceit of Matthew Dunster‘s new stage adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities — but sadly, it fails to really become a potent tale for anyone’s time. Continue reading “Review: A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre”

Blanche McIntyre: ‘Staging violence against women responsibly keeps me up at night’

Published in The Stage on June 30, 2017

Titus Andronicus has got a reputation. It’s Shakespeare’s schlock horror moment, a gore fest that for centuries was considered too crass to be staged, and now prompts gleeful headlines about how many audience members have fainted at its dismemberments. Continue reading “Blanche McIntyre: ‘Staging violence against women responsibly keeps me up at night’”

How Rotterdam has led the way for transgender stories on stage

Published in The Independent on June 20, 2017

It was 2008 when Jon Brittain first started working on his play Rotterdam, about a lesbian couple where one half transitions to being a man. He had several friends who were transitioning gender, and was suddenly struck by how few trans stories ever got told. Continue reading “How Rotterdam has led the way for transgender stories on stage”

The woman who could ‘draw’ music

Published in BBC Culture on May 30, 2017

Few people know Daphne Oram, but she helped shape the sounds, and songs, we listen to today. A pioneer of electronic music, she wrote Still Point – thought to be the world’s first composition which manipulates electronic sounds in real time – in 1949. In 1957, she set up the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The same year, she began working on her Oramics machine, which turned graphical gestures into music: the user could ‘draw’ the sounds they wished to hear.

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Review: An Octoroon, Orange Tree Theatre

Published in Time Out on May 25, 2017

How do you deal with slavery as a black American playwright? Take someone else’s play, and play with it. Problematise it. Take the piss out of it. Take the piss out of the idea, too, of a ‘black playwright’ being constantly expected to confront race issues. But don’t forget to still punch the audience in the guts. Continue reading “Review: An Octoroon, Orange Tree Theatre”

Review: Richard III, The Arcola

Published in What's on Stage on May 18, 2017

Snarling, gurning, clad in black leather and dragging his deformed leg around by a chain… this Richard III could only telegraph ‘villain’ stronger if he came accompanied by a boo-hiss chorus. Yet Greg Hicks’ supple, detailed performance never tips into caricature. He’s by far the best thing in an otherwise rather pedestrian production by Mehmet Ergen. Continue reading “Review: Richard III, The Arcola”