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”

Review: The Winter’s Tale, the Globe

Published in What's on Stage on February 5, 2016

The Winter’s Tale is enjoying a moment in the sun – following Kenneth Branagh’s version in the West End and Northern Broadsides’ touring show, Michael Longhurst here directs the play as part of Dominic Dromgoole’s season of late Shakespeares; this is an unflashy production, that allows Shakespeare’s words to speak for themselves. Continue reading “Review: The Winter’s Tale, the Globe”

Stars of Escaped Alone on Caryl Churchill’s new play

Published in The Independent on Sunday on January 24, 2016

A new Caryl Churchill play is always big news – and this winter, we’ve been treated to two. Following her short but scalpel-sharp play Here We Go at the National Theatre, we have Escaped Alone at the Royal Court. Not much is known about it, except that it centres on four women drinking tea in a garden and discussing “catastrophes”. And that those four women are played by four brilliant British actresses, doyennes of the stage and screen, whose combined acting experience stretches to more than 170 years. Continue reading “Stars of Escaped Alone on Caryl Churchill’s new play”

Jessie Buckley on War and Peace, Judi Dench and competitive karaoke

Published in Evening Standard on December 16, 2015

“It’s always good dinner chat: ‘Have you read War and Peace?’” says Jessie Buckley, star of the new BBC six-part adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel, pealing into laughter at the thought of showing off such a highbrow reading appetite. While many viewers will no doubt tune in thinking the telly version will save them at the occasion of such dinner-party chat, it should also inspire people to pick up Tolstoy’s doorstopper. Continue reading “Jessie Buckley on War and Peace, Judi Dench and competitive karaoke”