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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Emilia - Vaudeville Theatre

Have you heard of Emilia Bassano? Outside of this play’s growing reputation, it’s unlikely. If I count the number of times I studied Shakespeare and his male contemporaries from secondary school to the end of my literature degree, I run out of fingers and toes. But how many times was Emilia Bassano’s name mentioned? Perhaps once in passing, when speculating the subject of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, his ‘Dark Lady’. Perhaps not. Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s exceptional play sets out to change that, and gloriously succeeds.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Waitress - Adelphi Theatre

Of all the theatre I have seen over the last few years, Waitress has had possibly the most consistent and heartiest presence in my life. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why. It’s not the most innovatively crafted or poignant show that I’ve seen. And it doesn’t do much to challenge or subvert what has come before it. But there’s something about the combination of all its elements – or ingredients, shall we say – that blend together into an irresistibly sweet recipe. (Sorry, but apparently baking wordplay is compulsory when writing about Waitress).

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Come From Away - Phoenix Theatre

Beyond the strength of the production, I was struck by two questions when thinking about how to present my thoughts on Come From Away:
  1. Is art/entertainment based on 9/11 and such events exploitative and distasteful or educational and poignant? 
  2. Does ‘hype’ hinder the extent to which you can enjoy something?
And I’ve spent the last few days flitting between the two possible angles for this post, without coming to any conclusion on which approach to take. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

i stopped...when - VAULT Festival

Though I’m yet to share my 2018 round-up (I will finish it before 2020…), one theatre memory that immediately comes to mind and undoubtedly makes the list is my trip to VAULT Festival. Not only was it my first experience of this eclectic arts festival, but I saw Nicole Acquah’s brilliant play, For A Black Girl – a theatre highlight of the year. As I vowed to return to VAULT Festival come 2019, it seemed only fitting that I revisit to see Acquah’s latest venture, i stopped…when.


Monday, 26 November 2018

A Very Very Very Dark Matter - Bridge Theatre

The critical stance on Martin McDonagh’s latest play at The Bridge has been difficult to avoid. Besides a couple of four-star reviews, there were an abundance stamped around the two-star mark. Though I prefer not to read any criticism ahead of seeing a production, particularly if I’m going specifically to review, the consensus that A Very Very Very Dark Matter is a convoluted, bizarre and often offensive piece of theatre has bubbled up and disrupted the surface in a way that’s impossible to ignore. 


Monday, 5 November 2018

Chicago The Musical, Phoenix Theatre: The Verdict

Revivals are equal part safe and risky. Yes, you are guaranteed an audience with an existing connection, but with that connection comes expectations and a scrutinising comparison between the new production and the source material. While a Chicago revival seems like an easy move on paper - the assured level of recognition, interest and ultimately ticket sales - it also exposes the revival to being pitted against every prior production, forces the actors into the shoes of those who tread before them and raises expectations for something bigger, better and bolder than ever before.

Friday, 28 September 2018

On Morality, Mettle and Magic - #BeMoreMatilda

Over my few (and completely unintentional) months away from the blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to make of this space, and the strange online universe that has become of blogging. Though I sat stubbornly within the ‘lifestyle bloggers’ camp in my initial couple of years of blogging, I’ve clearly, and again, unintentionally, drifted comfortably into the (rather expansive) niche of theatre, travel and books. 
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