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Ian

Member Since 12 Feb 2007
Offline Last Active Apr 16 2014 10:31 AM
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Topics I've Started

Laughton

18 October 2013 - 10:50 PM

Terrific new play (by Roger Osborne) about Charles L and Elsa Lanchester with a superb cast of four. Lots of fantastic "throw-away" lines of impersonation (I particularly liked the one-line Olivier quote). Vincent Franklin (as Laughton) and Kacey Ainsworth (as Lanchester) give particularly fine layered performances of a troubled yet enduring relationship. Barnaby Sax and Christopher Wright each have three roles to complete the excellent cast.

Directed by Chris Monks, Designed by Tim Meacock with Lighting design by Jason Taylor.

Developed in part at the National Theatre Studio. Ridiculously short run in Scarborough - finishes 26th October. Well worth catching.

Farragut North - Southwark Playhouse.

20 September 2013 - 04:32 PM

Engrossing and well acted play about US election campaign staff - ruthless, back-stabbers and ambitious. Strong cast.

The tempoary playhouse has nicer bars but the main stage lacks warmth.

Independent On Sunday Cuts Arts

07 August 2013 - 06:34 AM

The Independent on Sunday has fired all of its arts reviewers, including theatre critic Kate Bassett. The "national" press has often been accused of ignoring regional theatre - somewhat unjustly - but coverage of new work in the provinces has always been patchy, and of late seems ever more restricted to largely "event" theatre - Branagh in Manchester and the Edinburgh Festival - plus a few favoured theatres like Chichester and Stratford. There are, of course, notable exceptions. Libby Purves for The Times regularly travels the country, but the principal critics too often stick to London. Now even London will not, it seems, be covered by one of the National Papers, at least not by its own staff.

By choice or by budget constraints?

Is this a worrying trend, further marginalising the work done by theatres or an inevitable consequence of the decline of the printed press?

This Is My Family - Sheffield

11 July 2013 - 09:18 AM

Only a week and a bit left to catch a superb new (ish) musical in Sheffield at the Crucible Studio by Tim Firth. An affectionate slice of family life as seen through the eyes of 13 year old Nicky (excellent Evelyn Hoskins), described as a musical comedy, it does exactly what it says on the tin, firing equally through both barrels.

Partly sung-through - tortology I know but you will know what I mean if you see it - it has few "numbers" but is none-the-less very tuneful. Mum Yvonne and dad Steve (Clare Burt and Bill Champion) have great chemistry both together and with other members of the family, namely gran May (Sian Phillips) who is heart-breaking - "Do I know you?" - brother Matt ( Terence Keeley) who has a big voice and a superb "attitude", and finally the racy, happy-go-lucky aunt Sian (Rachel Lumberg) who gets, and delivers on, the funniest number of the show. There is not a weak link amongst them, all beautifully directed by Daniel Evans.

Richard Kents design is also notable - for a "studio" production this holds nothing back.

I say new (ish) for what is a world premiere as Firth has recycled a fair bit from an album he created around 10 years ago called "Harmless Flirting" so if you need to hear "Last Man Standing" or "Same Thing Twice" again (and you probably will) seek it out. Slightly altered words from the album, but you will also find other references contained in the show.

Very highly recommended.