Review: The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion, SSE Swalec Stadum

Published in The Independent on December 20, 2015

Only the imagination of Gruff Rhys could have come up with this singular show. He expands his 2007 album Candylion into a psychedelic fable – for all the family! Billed by National Theatre Wales as a “theatre gig”, live music propels the story, with the audience standing or moving about the space. Continue reading “Review: The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion, SSE Swalec Stadum”

James Dacre on King John and The Hook

Published in The Independent on June 4, 2015

Political theatre doesn’t have to be angry new writing taking pot shots at David Cameron; a good story can always layer up meaning and resonance. So it is with the work of James Dacre, artistic director of Northampton’s Royal & Derngate theatres and a man busy this summer filling our stages with meditations on politics and power, the individual versus the system, the private versus the public. Continue reading “James Dacre on King John and The Hook”

Review: The Audience, Apollo Theatre

Published in The Independent on May 5, 2015

We’re on the brink of discovering who our next prime minister will be, a royal princess has just been born… it seems the perfect time to revive Peter Morgan’s hit play, staging the private audiences between Queen Elizabeth II and her various prime ministers. Continue reading “Review: The Audience, Apollo Theatre”

Review: Beyond Caring, National Theatre

Published in The Independent on May 4, 2015

Three casual workers arrive for the night shift at a meat factory. There’s hard-faced Becky (Victoria Moseley), timid, dowdy Susan (Kristin Hutchinson) and Grace (Janet Etuk), forced into employment despite her rheumatoid arthritis. They join Phil (Sean O’Callaghan), the only full-time member of staff and a gentle giant type – though like all of them, he seems bruised by life. Continue reading “Review: Beyond Caring, National Theatre”

Review: Stand, BAC

In front of us are six people – individuals who have stood up for something they believe in, each in their own small or sustained or noisy way. As a piece of verbatim theatre, Stand uses interviews with real people to form the script, performed by actors with every “um” and “y’know” retained. The set is extremely simple – each actor has a chair, music stand with a script, their own grey backdrop. We cut between the interviews, their lives slowly coming into focus. Continue reading “Review: Stand, BAC”

Review: Fight Night, Unicorn Theatre

This timely revival of a play by provocative young Belgian company Ontroerend Goed puts the power in the audiences’ hands – quite literally. We’re given a little keypad as we enter; a host (the entertaining Angelo Tijssens) brings on five candidates. As well as being asked to anonymously press buttons to give up our own personal data – from the basics of age and gender to rather more revealing opinions on traits we admire or words we find offensive – we can use these keypads throughout the show to vote for our favourite candidate. Like I said, timely.

Continue reading “Review: Fight Night, Unicorn Theatre”