Reviews

Written for Everything Theatre

I think it was Kenneth Tynan who once said that the most joyful words in the English language are ’90 minutes straight through’. By that logic, Man Up, with its very modest run time of 50 minutes, should have been one of the most joyous shows I’d ever seen. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Written for Everything Theatre

Cyril Cuthbert is a successful author and playwright, whose wife Catherine has distinctly mixed feelings about his newfound fame, which sees her spending many a lonely evening at home. On one such evening – their wedding anniversary – husband dear decides on a night out with the lads, leaving it up to their roguishly handsome neighbour Major Treherne to escort Catherine to the opera in his stead. It’s the starting point of a series of misunderstandings which will lead to poverty, broken hearts and even a duel in Belgium, before going in for the obligatory happy ending. (I don’t think that counts as a spoiler; in terms of plot, if you’ve seen one comedy of manners, you’ve basically seen them all.)

Written for Everything Theatre

If you’re an audacious small theatre company, there’s no better place to be this time of year than Vault Festival. As such, I was unsurprised to encounter mash up wizards GOLEM! among the line up. Specialists in repurposing and reimaging existing plays, with Tomorrow Creeps, they have embarked on their most ambitious project to date: a new play created by mixing and matching parts of sixteen works by William Shakespeare.

Written for Everything Theatre

Will they, won’t they, will they? Uncertainty was the name of the game in the lead up to the opening night of Rita, Sue and Bob Too at the Royal Court. The coproduction with Out of Joint was initially pulled by the Court over the involvement of the theatre company’s former Artistic Director Max Stafford-Clark, who resigned after allegations of sexual harassment were made against him late last year. The show was subsequently reinstated amid cries of censorship, and here we are.

Written for Everything Theatre

A cold winter evening is the perfect time to see a light-hearted bit of twenties comedy, especially when it’s taking place at a lovely pub theatre such as the Drayton Arms. The odd name of the play in question, Thark, refers to the country house that our leading man Hector Benbow has sold to Mrs Frush, a sale that she is now keen to undo because the house is haunted. We only find this out at the end of the first act, which is mostly taken up with Hector trying to hide from his wife the fact that he’s trying to start an affair. This is usually accomplished by blaming his nephew Ronny and his long-suffering butler Hook for everything that goes wrong. The second act, which takes place in the haunted house in question, is also largely given over to Hector’s machinations, the supposed ghosts merely serving as an excuse for various characters to crawl into bed with people who are not their significant others. In other words, it’s exactly what you would expect from a 1920s English country house farce.