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”

Sophie Okonedo: ‘My body is my barometer – my instincts are physical’

Published in The Observer on April 23, 2017

Sophie Okonedo was born in 1968 in London and studied at Rada. She has worked extensively across theatre, film and TV and was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. Continue reading “Sophie Okonedo: ‘My body is my barometer – my instincts are physical’”

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: Much Ado About Nothing, Selfridges

Published in Time Out on August 30, 2016

This modern version of Much Ado is set on a traverse stage that evokes a catwalk. Which is appropriate, because this is Shakespeare refashioned – or to use the shouty official description, reFASHIONed – by Selfridges, in a pop-up theatre built inside those halls of glittering jewellery and bags that cost more than many shows’ production budget. The company, well-respected fringe veterans The Faction, are decked out in high-fashion garb. Continue reading “Review: Much Ado About Nothing, Selfridges”

Why Game of Thrones is bad news for British theatre

Published in The Telegraph on June 2, 2016

Game of Thrones must be a dream for the theatrical casting agent. It’s full of good-looking, young British actors whose involvement in the wildly successful TV show guarantees feverish interest from fans and frothing media coverage, whatever they do next. Even if it’s Elizabethan drama. Continue reading “Why Game of Thrones is bad news for British theatre”

Gender-blind Shakespeare: classic roles are being taken by women

Published in The Independent on April 21, 2016

King Lear. Henry V. Malvolio. Three of the greatest Shakespeare parts a man could ever hope to play? Think again – for these juicy roles are soon be taken by women, in what looks like a watershed for gender-blind casting. Continue reading “Gender-blind Shakespeare: classic roles are being taken by women”

Ivo van Hove on working with David Bowie and tearing up Shakespeare

Published in The i on April 20, 2016

When Belgian director Ivo van Hove last brought a Shakespeare production to London, he warned his actors: “We are now going into the cage of the lions. We are going perhaps to be devoured – or we tame them.” Continue reading “Ivo van Hove on working with David Bowie and tearing up Shakespeare”

Review: Table Top Shakespeare, Barbican

Published in What's on Stage on March 7, 2016

Julius Caesar is a bottle of oil; Mark Antony, coarse sea salt in a blue tub. Forced Entertainment deliver the complete works of Shakespeare– using household objects. One person tells an abridged, colloquial version of each play, sat at a large trestle table; helping to animate, or visually anchor it, are a cast of condiments, utensils, cleaning products… I see Julius Caesar and The Merry Wives of Windsor: wars are conducted with plastic cups; the merry wives are a pair of squeezy honeypots. Continue reading “Review: Table Top Shakespeare, Barbican”