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.
Continue reading “Review: Nora: A Doll’s House, Young Vic”
I interviewed Billie Piper for The New York Times, on Yerma transferring to Broadway, her youthful career as a pop star, her time in Doctor Who and her new writing projects. See the full profile here.
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”
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”
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”
“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”