Monday, April 22

Tag: Lyceum Theatre

Through the Mud – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Through the Mud – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Extraordinary! The first word to come out of my lips after this exceptional performance. From the creators of ‘Black is the colour of my voice’, comes a powerful new story about the experiences of two African American women separated by 42 years, but suffering the same racial discrimination living as citizens in the, supposed, Land of the Free. Written and performed by Apphia Campbell and co-produced by Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Stellar Quines, Through The Mud is a re conceived version of Woke, the one-woman play which won Campbell a Scotsman Fringe First Award in 2017. Although I never saw Woke, changing this from a one-woman to a two-woman play looks to have been a very inspired idea indeed. Alongside the seasoned Campbell, is the excellent Tinashe Warikandwa playin...
A Skull in Connemara – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham
North West

A Skull in Connemara – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham

A sell-out opening night for A Skull in Connemara at the Lyceum Theatre in Oldham, (the second play in The Leenane Trilogy). The Lyceum proved to be the perfect setting for Martin McDonagh’s work, which centres on the gravedigger Mick Dowd, as the audience had to descend to this atmospheric, below-ground, jewel of a theatre. Immediately the audience were presented with Peter Fitton’s inspired split stage set design: on the one side Mick Dowd’s humble home and the other, the graveyard outside the church. The front row of the audience were mere feet away from the stage and could clearly see the superb attention to detail achieved by the talented set construction team. The lighting design by Bob Critchley was effective in differentiating the two different settings, keeping the audience clear...
Life is a Dream – Lyceum Theatre
Scotland

Life is a Dream – Lyceum Theatre

Co-produced by Cheek by Jowl, Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico (CNTC Madrid) and LAZONA; in collaboration with the Barbican, London and Scène Nationale d’ALBI-Tarn, France The only time I saw a production by Cheek by Jowl was in 1981, when the company was an infant. I don’t remember the play I saw, but I remember the company because the production was jaw-droppingly good. For this reason, I chose to review, decades later, Life is a Dream. In this classic Spanish tale, a prince is released from imprisonment to test whether the prophesy that he will be a tyrant, will, in fact, come true. The play is listed as one of the forty greatest plays of all time. It was performed in Spanish with English surtitles. First published in 1636, you could be forgiven for wondering if it migh...
As Far As Impossible – Lyceum Theatre
Scotland

As Far As Impossible – Lyceum Theatre

The stage is set with a giant white cloth, held up in places by cables and pulleys. It looks like snow covered mountains, peaceful and serene. This is what ‘the impossible’ looks like from far away. Like a picture postcard. But look closer. Four actors of different nationalities and a drummer combine at various times under, in or in front of the vast cloth structure, which is raised, dropped, illuminated in various ways.  This is a land that most of us do not know of, or ignore, or just wish were not there. But it is. A land visited by aid workers and humanitarians, at least for as long as their sanity can stand it. In the face of civil war, genocide, mass killings how long can anyone’s mind last before cracking apart? And yet, incredibly, some are drawn back again and again to th...
Home, I’m Darling! – Sheffield Lyceum
Yorkshire & Humber

Home, I’m Darling! – Sheffield Lyceum

Clever, humorous, warm – Laura Wade’s Olivier-award winning comedy Home, I’m Darling! appropriately leans into the mythologised tonal tropes of the 1950’s. Jessica Ransom, Neil McDermott, Matthew Douglas, Cassie Bradley and Shanez Pattni all excel in this fun and fresh text.Despite its comedic sensibilities, oftentimes Wade’s piece translates better as a drama than a comedy. Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive, but Wade’s commentary is at its best and most biting when it’s polemical and astute. Feminism is often framed expertly against the backdrops of 1950’s nostalgic delusion, #MeToo, gender roles and even against itself when the validity of feminism is questioned (if feminism is about making choices, is the choice to play a role that supports patriarchy still feminism as it i...
The Multiverse is Gay – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Multiverse is Gay – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

The Multiverse is Gay is a brand-new play performed by Lyceum Young Company. You can only imagine the nerves and courage it took to pull this off for the teens and young adults on stage. It was my pleasure to attend their opening night at the 100-seater Lyceum small theatre, a ‘black box’ cube space with seating set up in L-shape formation for this performance. A surprisingly moving piece which undoubtedly brought a tear to many an eye at the conclusion of the opening night this evening. At the heart of ‘The Multiverse is Gay’, is the common thread of ‘otherness’ which binds the raggle-taggle group of friends on stage. Others may have branded them as the outsiders, the geeks, the queer kids or the school dropouts, but they know they are a community, a family. This is certainly an am...
Habeas Corpus – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham
North West

Habeas Corpus – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham

“I’ve never seen anything like it since I was a locum in Liverpool.” So declares the diminutive Sir Percy Shorter in Alan Bennett’s 1973 farcical exploration of the randy side of Little England, named after the Latin legal phrase that roughly translates to ‘have the body’. Set in the residence of a Brighton and Hove GP, Arthur Wicksteed, the play is a saucy seaside postcard collection of characters and carry ons, each loaded with carnal frustrations and foibles. There’s Wicksteed’s wife, the frustrated Muriel who, neglected by her husband, longs to rekindle a past dalliance with Sir Percy. Her sister, the flat-chested Constance, buys fake breasts in the hope of literally boosting her chance of romance. The Wicksteed’s wimpish son Dennis is convinced he’s dying until his head i...
Red Ellen – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Red Ellen – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

The author (Caroline Bird) admitted that ‘this play is one interpretation… there are so many Ellens to choose from’ and in this respect the show lost pace and momentum towards the end, lingering too long on Ellen’s disappointments, professional and personal, as she stumbled, a rattling, over-worked medicine cabinet, towards death; the air of exhaustion at the conclusion of the Second World War was captured well by the blazing row between Ellen (Bettrys Jones) and Herbert Morrison (Kevin Lennon), both true and tragic, but overlooked were her incredible feats and achievements as one of less than a handful of women involved in the government and politics of the era. Scant attention was paid to her involvement with the Women’s Suffrage organisation, hardly mentioned was her first position as ...
Hindle Wakes – Lyceum Theatre Oldham
North West

Hindle Wakes – Lyceum Theatre Oldham

There are a lot of people who would shiver significantly at the thought of a dash up to Oldham (or Owdham to us natives) on a soggy cold Monday night. As a daughter of that fair mill town, I was more than happy to abandon my South Manchester residence and head up t’ th’ills to see the Lyceum’s current production of Stanley Houghton’s Hindle Wakes. Written in the first decade of the 20th Century and just prior to the First World War, this beautifully comic play, which presented one of the first powerful working- class female protagonists, was controversial, shocking and highly contentious amongst both audiences and academics when first produced. Fanny Hawthorn, spirited mill worker and a lass who knows her own mind, spends an illicit weekend away with the boss’s son, who happens to b...
Private Lives – Lyceum Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Private Lives – Lyceum Theatre

Private Lives is one of Noël Coward’s best-known and most-produced plays, and it is easy to see why. This two-hour production is absolutely full of snappy one-liners and delightfully stormy relationships. As the play opens, we meet Amanda and Elyot, who have been divorced for five years. Now recently remarried, we find them on the first night of their honeymoons as they discover that they have coincidentally booked adjacent rooms at the same hotel in the south of France... If you want to know what happens next, well, you’ll have to book tickets for the play! Originally starring Coward himself and Gertrude Lawrence, the leading parts are performed here by Nigel Havers, whose theatre company is also co-producing the tour, and Patricia Hodge, supported by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Victo...