Murderer, manipulator… or not that bad at all? The reframing of Richard III

Published in The Observer on March 3, 2024

For a king who has been dead for more than 500 years, Richard III has been making a remarkable number of headlines this winter. And yes – many of them are discontented. From fights among historians over his actions to casting controversies around fictionalised depictions, Richard III is more contentious than ever.

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Heather Agyepong: ‘A black love story that doesn’t centre trauma? Refreshing’

Published in The i on February 26, 2024

“Love is messy, right?” Heather Agyepong asks, from deep within the run of rehearsals for Shifters, a new show in which she plays one half in a tender, funny, and, yes, pretty messy romantic relationship.

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Review: Shed: Exploded View, Royal Exchange

Published in The Telegraph on February 16, 2024

It’s a lesser-seen sort of stage adaptation – but occasionally, playwrights take inspiration from great works of art. Tim Crouch’s An Oak Tree drew on Michael Craig-Martin’s artwork. Sondheim riffed on Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George. And in Shed: Exploded View, Phoebe Eclair-Powell was inspired by Cornelia Parker’s installation of a blown-up garden shed to explode her own theatrical form.

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Is Millennial nostalgia ruining musicals?

Published in The i on January 19, 2024

“This isn’t your mother’s Mean Girls” went the trailer tagline for the new movie version of the stage musical adaptation of Tina Fey’s adored 2004 film. Aside from seeming precision-tooled to enrage aging millennials, this tagline was also, it turns out, misleading: the new film, out this week, is a re-tread of the old, with added smartphones and songs.

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‘Treason,’ the Musical Where the Fans Came First

Published in The New York Times on November 2, 2023

The catchy, folk-tinged numbers from “Treason the Musical” have been streamed online over a million times, in 96 countries. Its fans — known as “Plotters” — have been listening to an EP, an acoustic record and a live album of the songs, as well as sharing their own performances on TikTok. But until this fall, there hadn’t even been a full-scale production of the show.

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Miss Saigon is back on stage – and people are angry

Published in The i on July 6, 2023

The heat is on Miss Saigon: Sheffield Crucible is mounting the first all-new production of the mega-hit musical since its premiere in 1989 – and in doing so, has made many people angry.

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Review: Wildfire Road, Sheffield Playhouse

Published in The Stage on March 9, 2023

Outside the theatre, Wildfire Road’s running time is billed at 58 minutes. Such almost comic precision is rather fitting for Eve Leigh’s tightly wound play. Beautifully crafted, it doesn’t waste a minute – and ends up doing more in (just under) an hour than many plays manage in twice that. 

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Charlie Josephine: ‘The backlash to I, Joan was painful – but we saw it coming’

Published in The i newspaper on January 26, 2023

Charlie Josephine is done writing plays that just point out a problem – they’ve decided their work needs to at least attempt to offer some solution, however imperfect.

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