Review: Ink, The Almeida

Published in The Independent on June 28, 2017

To 1969, when a beleaguered, high-minded newspaper is sold to an Australian sheep-farmer with ambitions to turn it into a popular tabloid. The rag is The Sun, the proprietor Rupert Murdoch – and the playwright retelling this story, This House writer James Graham. Continue reading “Review: Ink, The Almeida”

Anne-Marie Duff: ‘People want to watch interesting women characters’

Published in The Independent on October 12, 2016

Anne-Marie Duff is seeing oil everywhere. Gesturing around a rehearsal room at the Almeida theatre in north London, where she’s starring in a new play, she points out how every plastic pot in which we buy fruit, every disposable coffee cup out of which we drink and even the laminated surfaces of the table in front of us were made using oil. And we’re running out. Continue reading “Anne-Marie Duff: ‘People want to watch interesting women characters’”

Richard Eyre and Lydia Leonard on dialing up Ibsen

Published in The Independent on November 24, 2015

Richard Eyre is going for an Ibsen hat-trick. After two acclaimed productions of the Norwegian playwright at the Almeida in London – Hedda Gabler in 2005, starring a scorching Eve Best alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, and the award-garlanded Ghosts with Lesley Manville in 2013 – he’s back at the same theatre with Little Eyolf. Written in 1894, it’s a later and comparatively little-performed work. Continue reading “Richard Eyre and Lydia Leonard on dialing up Ibsen”

Bertie Carvel on playing a Greek King – and his own mother

Published in Evening Standard on July 23, 2015

Bertie Carvel keeps finding himself torn — locked in a battle between the rational and the irrational. Currently, it’s because he’s in rehearsals for Bakkhai, a fresh, modern translation of Euripides’ tragedy by poet Anne Carson, part of the Almeida Theatre’s Greeks season. Carvel plays Pentheus, ruler of Thebes, who refuses to acknowledge the god Dionysos — played by Ben Whishaw — who has inspired the women of the city to go “off to have a rave on a mountain,” as Carvel puts it. Driven out of his wits by Dionysos, the uptight Pentheus goes spy on them, dressing up as a lady himself. But the god’s followers, the female Bakkhai, find him and literally tear him apart. Continue reading “Bertie Carvel on playing a Greek King – and his own mother”