Theatred

Reviews

Written for Everything Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing is without doubt one of Shakespeare’s more popular plays, and this particular incarnation was a successful venture for the Royal Shakespeare Company when it premiered two years ago. Teamed up with Love’s Labour’s Lost, this Much Ado (or Love’s Labour’s Won, as the RSC also call it) is set in the early 20th century. Whereas the first play is set before the First World War, the latter sees the soldiers just returning from the front. Perhaps that sounds a bit grim, but don’t worry: director Christopher Luscombe keeps things (mostly) firmly comedic.

Jeeves and Wooster: they probably don’t need much of an introduction. P.G. Wodehouse’s jolly but dim aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his unflappable valet Jeeves have been a successful duo in print, on TV and, since two years ago, in the theatre. Writers David and Robert Goodale had a proper hit on their hands when their play opened in the West End three years ago, with Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfayden in the leads. And now Tower Theatre Company have brought Jeeves and Wooster’s adventures to the Bridewell Theatre, for anyone who missed the hype the first time round.

Written for Everything Theatre

It doesn’t happen often that you walk into an auditorium and are personally welcomed by the performer doing the show. Yet, Shôn Dale-Jones does exactly that just before the start of his one-man show The Duke at the Royal Court’s small theatre upstairs. It sets the tone perfectly for a very personal 60 minutes, in which Dale-Jones talks about three things: the process of finishing up a film script he’s worked on for ten years, the aftermath of his mother accidentally breaking a porcelain figure of the Duke of Wellington, and the refugee crisis.

Written for Everything Theatre

The Brides of Bluebeard is an innovative retelling of the old folktale about a murderous nobleman who kills (and possibly eats) a whole string of wives. But whereas the original story is very much Henry VIII meets Hannibal Lecter, cabaret ensemble The Ruby Dolls have put a slightly lighter twist on things. One of the interesting variations is that each of Bluebeard’s wives is from a different historical period, which allows the Dolls to show us the changing role and status of the married woman. There’s also jokes, audience interaction and lots of close harmony singing, so, despite what the original story might suggest, you’re definitely not in for a grim evening here.

Written for Everything Theatre

The best summary I could possibly give of my visit to BAZ Productions’ new show dreamplay is this: my companion for the evening and I walked out of the venue, looked at each other and said something along the lines of, ‘what the hell did we just do?’.