Why Christmas shows are going down a psychedelic rabbit hole

Published in The Independent on Sunday on December 4, 2015

At no other time of the year are family-friendly shows more welcome than at Christmas. Yet it’s also often a time of boringly traditional, bankable fare. Panto reigns and theatre can tend towards the literary, twee and old-fashioned: Dickensian orphans in the faux snow, endless visits to Narnia and Neverland. This year, however, there’s a sleigh-full of alternative shows hurtling down a distinctly psychedelic rabbit hole. Continue reading “Why Christmas shows are going down a psychedelic rabbit hole”

Review: High Society, Old Vic

Published in The Independent on May 15, 2015

What a treat this show is. A hotchpotch of previouses – adapted by Arthur Kopit from Philip Barry’s 1939 play The Philadelphia Story, but owing more to the 1956, Cole Porter-scored film version High Society, and with extra numbers from his back catalogue slipped in – this staging achieves the arguably rare feat of surpassing its filmic predecessor. Maria Friedman, a musicals veteran onstage, proves she’s just as good in the director’s chair, and the show certainly makes for a “swellegant, elegant” last hurrah for the Old Vic’s outgoing artistic director Kevin Spacey. Continue reading “Review: High Society, Old Vic”