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”

Are Nineties throw-backs a theatrical comfort blanket?

Published in What's on Stage on June 15, 2016

Do you know every single word of “A Whole New World”? Can you answer without a moment’s hesitation which Hogwarts house you’d be in? Do you know exactly what a Ross and Rachel couple is? Congratulations: not only are you a classic child of the Nineties, but you’re also now the theatre’s new favourite customer. Continue reading “Are Nineties throw-backs a theatrical comfort blanket?”

Patrick Marber and David Leveaux on reviving Closer

Published in The Independent on Sunday on February 15, 2015

In reviving his seminal 1997 play Closer, playwright Patrick Marber is having an odd encounter: “It’s like your past coming to meet you. Very strange feeling … quite nice; bit disturbing.” He’s not the only one who’ll be brought up sharp by the return of Closer at the Donmar this month, in its first major revival since the original, late-Nineties run that saw it travel from the National to the West End and on to Broadway.

The play – a witty but often cruel four-hander about the romantic turmoil of four Londoners, involving overlapping relationships and betrayals – tends to elicit strong responses. An audience may feel flayed by the brutalities that unfold, as we see the first and last meetings of each swapping couple. People who witnessed it in one of its original incarnations tend to remember the experience. Continue reading “Patrick Marber and David Leveaux on reviving Closer”