Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessica Swale talk Nell Gwynn

Published in The Independent on Sunday on September 13, 2015

British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw may be hot property in Hollywood right now, but she’s about to go back to the very roots of her profession – playing one of the first ever actresses, Nell Gwynn, at Shakespeare’s Globe. Continue reading “Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessica Swale talk Nell Gwynn”

Review: Ross & Rachel, Edinburgh

Published in The Independent on August 17, 2015

What would have happened to Rachel and Ross from Friends after the fairytale ending? How would their relationship fare with children, aging, restlessness, boredom, sickness, and death? These are the questions asked by James Fritz’s perfectly formed play, a one-woman duologue performed with forensic focus by Molly Vevers. She flits between playing Rachel and Ross; words bubble out of her lips in double-time, but with clarity and flair. Continue reading “Review: Ross & Rachel, Edinburgh”

Review: The Angry Brigade

Published in The Independent on May 7, 2015

Playwright James Graham is the very much the man of the hour – literally, if you’re reading this review on 7 May while waiting for election news. His play The Vote, at the Donmar, is also showing live on Channel 4, dramatising in real-time the last 90 minutes before polls close; across town, the Bush hosts a transfer of another political outing. The Angry Brigade opened last autumn in Plymouth, but arrives here with a largely new cast. Continue reading “Review: The Angry Brigade”

Review: peddling, Arcola

Published in The Independent on March 9, 2015

Into a black gauze cube, Harry Melling drops from the ceiling to a burst of loud dance music. It may only be a couple of metres squared, but Melling will rattle around in this cage effectively, taking us on a journey through London: from so-posh-they’re-empty mansioned streets to multi-storey car parks where the down-and-out can kip. It’s a journey of self-discovery too for the “Boy”, as this unnamed disaffected youth struggles to make sense of his place within the world, and his own troubled upbringing.

Melling penned the piece; his first play, it opened at the HighTide new writing festival before proving a hit in New York. The Boy is engaged in a scam for a “bossman”, going door-to-door peddling his wares (household cleaning products), supposedly as part of “Boris’ young offenders scheme.” Continue reading “Review: peddling, Arcola”