Review: Twelfth Night, National Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on February 23, 2017

Simon Godwin’s production turns Malvolio into Malvolia, with Tamsin Greig playing the uptight steward. Malvolio has long been seen as the plum part in this comedy of mistaken identities, and Greig rises to the occasion fruitily. Continue reading “Review: Twelfth Night, National Theatre”

Review: The Girls, Phoenix Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on February 22, 2017

You’d have to have a heart dry as an old sunflower seed not to moved by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical version of The Calendar Girls. Based on the – by now very familiar – story of a Yorkshire WI group who posed for a nude calendar to raise money after the husband of one of their members, Annie, died of cancer, the musical follows the hit film and play of the story (both also by Firth). But it proves a tale that still has the capacity to raise a smile – as well as funds for Bloodwise, a cancer charity. Continue reading “Review: The Girls, Phoenix Theatre”

Review: Years of Sunlight, Theatre 503

Published in Time Out on January 31, 2017

Paul and his mother Hazel face the burnt-out ruins of her home. It’s on an estate in Skelmersdale, a new town built in the 1960s, drawing residents from an overcrowded Liverpool. Paul has long since ditched Skem – as it’s known – for Ireland, and returns disdainful of his former home. The disdain seems to stretch to his mother too, and her attempts to help his friend Emlyn, who became a drug addict. Continue reading “Review: Years of Sunlight, Theatre 503”

Review: In the Depths of Dead Love, The Print Room

Published in What's on Stage on January 20, 2017

The action outside the Print Room proves considerably more lively and vital than what’s on stage: on press night, a substantial protest was held against the casting of white actors in Chinese roles in Howard Barker’s play. The issue of ‘yellowface’ was raised when the casting was announced, prompting the Print Room to release an astonishingly tangled and tone-deaf statement. Continue reading “Review: In the Depths of Dead Love, The Print Room”

The Observer rising stars of 2017: Morfydd Clark

Published in The Observer on January 1, 2017

In her professional debut, Morfydd Clark was upstaged by a lamb. She’d nabbed the title part in Blodeuwedd – “it’s the Welsh Juliet” – staged on a Snowdonian hillside in 2013. But as if elaborate Welsh-language poetry and swarms of midges weren’t challenging enough, one evening “this lamb came on – it was in July when they’re really not little and cute anymore – and baaa-ed loudly through the love scene.” Continue reading “The Observer rising stars of 2017: Morfydd Clark”

Hattie Morahan on new BBC Drama My Mother and Other Strangers

Published in The Telegraph on November 13, 2016

You know you’ve made it as an actor when you inspire someone to write a whole television series around you. And that’s happened for Hattie Morahan: scriptwriter Barry Devlin created new BBC One drama My Mother and Other Strangers with her in mind. Continue reading “Hattie Morahan on new BBC Drama My Mother and Other Strangers”

The artist getting men to act out their girls with guns fantasies

Published in Vice on October 25, 2016

“All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.” So claimed French film director Jean-Luc Godard back in the 1960s. This quote that hit home for performance artist Louise Orwin, partly because the 29-year-old recognized the uneasy truth in it: She’s long loved the smoulder of the femme fatale, and grew up on a diet of Westerns, road movies, and Tarantino. Continue reading “The artist getting men to act out their girls with guns fantasies”

When pop stars score theatre

Published in The Independent on October 31, 2016

“Look up here, I’m in heaven/I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.” So opens Lazarus, a song on David Bowie’s final album Blackstar – and also the title of a stage musical sequel to The Man Who Fell To Earth, which premiered in New York last year before his death, and opens in London next week. Continue reading “When pop stars score theatre”

Review: Shopping and Fucking, Lyric Hammersmith

Published in Exeunt on October 17, 2016

Shopping and Fucking. What a great name for a play – short and sharp, memorable and naughty, Nineties as fuck. And a name that, arguably, helped ensure the play was remembered for causing a ‘scandal’ when it was first put on in 1996; a myth Mark Ravenhill eloquently refutes in a foreword to a 20th anniversary addition of the text. Continue reading “Review: Shopping and Fucking, Lyric Hammersmith”