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: Nora: A Doll’s House, Young Vic

Published in The Observer February 16, 2020

It’s often said that Nora’s slam of the door as she walks out on her husband and children at the end of A Doll’s House has echoed down the centuries. In Stef Smith’s smart new version of Ibsen’s 1879 play, her story certainly reverberates: Smith reimagines Nora in 1918, in 1968, and in 2018.

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Review: The Jungle, Young Vic

Published in Time Out on December 16, 2017

Welcome to The Jungle. Take a seat at one of the makeshift tables surrounded by tarpaulin and chipboard walls. This is the Afghan Flag restaurant, one of many establishments that grew up in the Calais refugee camp – recreated here to evoke the powerful community that also grew up there. Continue reading “Review: The Jungle, Young Vic”

Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on July 25, 2017

Tennessee Williams’ once rejected the idea of the “straight realistic play with its genuine Frigidaire and authentic ice cubes”. Here, director Benedict Andrews plonks a whole great sack of them at the front of the stage, next to four bottles of whisky. Continue reading “Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre”

Making Measure for Measure for modern times

Published in The Independent on Sunday on September 27, 2015

Shakespeare plays apparently being like proverbial buses, the third major production of Measure for Measure in 2015 is about to open at the Young Vic in London; it follows Cheek by Jowl’s version at the Barbican and another at Shakespeare’s Globe. This glut is all the more unexpected given that it’s hardly a bankable big-hitter; Measure for Measure is a comparatively little-seen “problem play”, which has a troubling blend of tragic and comic elements. Continue reading “Making Measure for Measure for modern times”

From A Brave New World to 1984: why dystopian novels are invading the theatre

Published in The Independent on Sunday on June 14, 2015

“We live in a dystopia now.” So claims playwright Dawn King.

“We’re walking round with these tiny computers in our pockets: your government probably knows everything about you; your phone company definitely knows everything about you – even your calorie intake; you spread all this information everywhere you go, and yet at the same time there are boatloads of people dying to get into a country like ours …. We live in the future and the future’s kind of failed us.” Continue reading “From A Brave New World to 1984: why dystopian novels are invading the theatre”