Author Archives

13 May 2017

Angels in America: Parts I & II at the National

By // Theatre (London)

I’m gaslighting myself in going to the big shows. Shows that scream, shows that flash, shows that flail their banality around like spaghetti and people clap. They clap! They clap. …

10 May 2017

The Ferryman at the Royal Court

By // Theatre (London)

It was an Event. Jez Butterworth is The Playwright. An Architect. Racy and gnomic. Not a priori great—David Hare was The Playwright and he’s made no great work since Skylight. …

01 April 2017

The Kid Stays in the Picture at the Royal Court

By // Theatre (London)

‘Why?’ is what you leave with. It’s what you come in with, too, but you have an answer to that. ‘It’s Simon McBurney. It’s Complicite. It’s about a plainly interesting …

07 March 2017

The Almeida’s Hamlet

By // Theatre (London)

I got far too hyped discussing the last big Hamlet and, worst of all, it ended up not being that big—Cumberbatch was competent, but the production didn’t generate discussion beyond …

09 February 2017

Letters to Windsor House by Sh!t Theatre

By // Theatre (London)

#neverlookback You see the above hashtag for a second of Sh!t Theatre’s hour-long show. It’s in footage of Manor House, the duo’s local area, on a billboard apparently for an …

01 January 2017

The 2016 MyTheatre Award Nominees: London

By // Theatre (London)

2016 was the second year of the London branch and a time when many more theatres opened their doors to us, including the National and, just recently, the Almeida, signalling …

04 December 2016

Buried Child at Trafalgar Studios

By // Theatre (London)

Rural Illinois in 1979. A flagging old man wastes away on a couch watching sports on his tiny TV and sneaking swigs of whiskey when alone. This is Dodge (Ed …

20 November 2016

The Sewing Group at the Royal Court Theatre

By // Theatre (London)

The first half, and probably two-thirds, of The Sewing Group is excruciatingly oblique. It opens on two women, clad in black mantles, sitting on bare wooden stools in a bare …

26 October 2016

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer at the National

By // Theatre (London)

It’s over-expansive and yet at its most expansive it’s simultaneously at its best. Disregard (or don’t) the critics who call the ending effusive mush or ’emotional blackmail’. The ending is …

24 October 2016

The Red Barn at the National

By // Theatre

Big British playwright David Hare offers The Red Barn, a new work which adapts La Main, a novel by prolific Belgian Georges Simenon. Simenon was a guy who wrote thrillers …

15 October 2016

Kissing the Shotgun Goodnight at the Ovalhouse

By // Theatre (London)

The opening monologue, performed off-stage and possibly prerecorded, brews the promise of a ‘neo-noir fever dream’ into a disgustingly tactical succession of phrase. Its programme says the show ‘changed from …

12 October 2016

No’s Knife at the Old Vic

By // Theatre (London)

In one sense, it’s the ultimate indulgence to a craving no-one asked for. I don’t mean “ban experiment; bring on the potboilers”, I mean that this production feels irrelevant, and …

05 October 2016

Plastic Figurines at the New Diorama Theatre

By // Theatre (London)

There are, or at least have currently been presented, two ways of tackling autism on a London stage, and this probably goes for other mental illnesses as well: a subjective …

27 September 2016

Father Comes Home from the Wars at the Royal Court

By // Theatre (London)

It’s a grind to attend three hours of theatre. But grinds aren’t always bad. Sometimes, the alienation that accompanies “why I am watching this?” can induce some valuable critical distance. …