Sunday, February 25

Tag: Malcolm Sinclair

Dear Octopus – National Theatre
London

Dear Octopus – National Theatre

This was a tender play about family dynamics which takes its title from a speech in the second act that praises the family unit as a ‘dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape’. On the eve of World War Two, we bear witness to the reunion of the Randolph family, which forces them and their servants to confront the elements of romance, hatred, jealousy and shame that underscore their interactions. I enjoyed the wit that laced through the piece, as is characteristic of Dodie Smith’s writing. This was present in the conversation of the family quarrels, but also in repeated motifs, i.e. the fact that each character is aware of Fenny’s love for Nicholas, which added a comical touch to the action. A primary issue was the play’s dated narrative; for instance, the reason for Cynth...
My Fair Lady – London Coliseum
London

My Fair Lady – London Coliseum

It’s hard to believe that ‘My Fair Lady’ is rapidly approaching its 60th anniversary.  The classic tale, based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play ‘Pygmalion’, hasn’t been seen in London since the National Theatre’s Oliver-winning production in the early 2000s.  Director Bartlett Sher’s 2018 Broadway production has now taken up residence at London’s Coliseum, where it plays until late summer.  But is the story of plucky Eliza Doolittle’s transformation from common flower girl to sophisticated socialite at the teachings of Professor Henry Higgins still as “loverly” as it once was? The world has changed massively in the decades since the play and subsequent musical were written, in terms of attitudes towards women and gender equality, and in this regard “My Fair Lady” does ...