Reviews

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.

Written for Everything Theatre

Usually when I tell people about a show I’m going to review, I get a mostly enthusiastic response. Occasionally, it’ll be something like ‘well, rather you than me’. This was the first time the reactions were more along the lines of ‘are you sure this is legit and you’re not going to be kidnapped?’. That’s because The Vanek Trilogy took place in a stranger’s living room at an undisclosed address, and all I knew was to come to the corner of a street off the Shepherd’s Bush Road at 7.30 PM to await pick up. Fortunately, there were already quite a few other audience members on the scene when I arrived, soon followed by two ladies with clipboards, so it was all a lot less sketchy than it sounded like. (You’ll be relieved to hear that I’m writing this on the tube back home after the show, rather than from the boot of a car.)

Written for Everything Theatre

This new reworking of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca, by Becca Marriott and King’s Head Theatre artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher, is set in Paris during World War Two. Painter Marius, played by Martin Lindau on press night, has agreed to hide a Jewish man escaped from prison. Unfortunately, Marius has already attracted the attention of Nazi officer Scarpia (Przemyslaw Baranek), who also happens to have the hots for Marius’ girlfriend, the titular opera singer Tosca (Philippa Boyle).