I was lucky enough to see the New York premiere of Lynne Nottage’s tight mini-epic at The Public some five years ago. Maybe it was the jet lag, but in that experience, it took me a while to figure out that Mlima, the narrator who opens the play, is in fact an elephant - and not just any elephant but the last of the ‘great tuskers’ who are supposed to be protected but whose ivory remains in high demand in certain quarters - the economics of which are a dramatically complex force. In Miranda … [Read more...]
London Theatre Reviews - West End & Off West End - Brighton
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Focusing on the teenage John Leason (Tré Medley), apprenticed by his uncle to William Jaggard (c. 1568-1623), or rather his son Isaac (Kaffe Keating), with the elder Jaggard in declining health, this is a story about printing and publishing. John wonders if they are not the same thing: Isaac almost snaps back that they are not, though there’s no attempt to explain the difference (it’s easily Googleable, as I discovered after the show, if you really want to know the details). Not very much at all … [Read more...]
This was, as a fellow theatregoer pointed out to me afterwards, laughing with what can only be described as a nervous giggle, “different”, which is a polite way of saying it was rather weird. The characters are all dressed in high-visibility vests. It appears the production was suggesting the cast were not so much in the construction sector as in a factory setting, with regular public address system announcements at every scene change, introducing each scene. It would, to be fair, have been … [Read more...]
Backstage farce and character comedies about angsty actors reckoning with the twilights of their careers are subgenres in their own rights and many a fine writer has built satisfying stories in this vein. Sadly, legendry comedians Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer have managed with It’s Headed Straight Towards Us only to construct a painful evening of tedium and cliché that is so formulaic and dated it feels like a cable TV pilot made just for its name-value and destined never to go to … [Read more...]
I’m not one for podcasts – a few years ago someone told me about Serial, an investigative journalism podcast about nonfiction stories. I never got around to listening to it, although this show appears to have been at least partly influenced by it, focusing on a true crime podcast put together by Kathy Baxter (Bronté Barbé) and Stella Carmichael (Rebekah Hinds). They initially met as pupils, but such was their dedication to their podcast and to one another that the passing of the years didn’t … [Read more...]