Friday, January 27

Tag: National Theatre

Death of England: Delroy – National Theatre Live
London

Death of England: Delroy – National Theatre Live

The sequel to the play that went out earlier this year where Raef Spall played Michael, friend of Delroy. Death of England: Delroy is a new play that premiered and closed on 4th November this year and subsequently is now being streamed live on YouTube in order to give it the airing it deserves. And of course, adjusting to the social distancing measures that have rocked the foundations of theatre this year. A refreshing new play written by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams is at least getting to reach a wider audience tonight who may not be able to visit the Olivier Theatre in London or not think to watch it so there’s some positivity to be gleaned from this. The writer Dyer tells us that out of adversity, things happen, and enthuses there has been a shift in consciousness this year due...
Amadeus – National Theatre
London

Amadeus – National Theatre

Director Michael Longhurst’s 2016 production of Peter Shaffer’s iconic play is a stunning piece of theatre starring Lucian Msamati as Salieri alongside Adam Gillen as Mozart with the musicians of Southbank Sinfonia cleverly weaved into the action providing live accompaniment to the story. We begin at Salieri’s end as he recalls the almost Faustian bargain he made with God at the age of sixteen: to become a fêted and famous composer in exchange for living a virtuous life and honouring God at every turn. Fast forward to 1881 Vienna and all Salieri’s dreams have come true in the court of Emperor Joseph II (Tom Edden). But nobody expected Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A rowdy young prodigy who arrives with his wife to be, Constanze (Karla Crome), determined to leave his mark  Wh...
The Deep Blue Sea – National Theatre
London

The Deep Blue Sea – National Theatre

Terence Rattigan was one of the finest playwrights of his generation and over the course of many years he wrote some outstanding pieces of work for the theatre. The Deep Blue Sea is probably the best play from his repertoire, an absolute masterpiece set in post-war Britain and centred around a woman caught between worlds and realising that passion can sometimes suffocate and harm. Rattigan’s beautifully constructed play explores many issues including those of mental health, self-worth and self-esteem. The play is set over one day in a flat in West London, it’s 1952 where  we first meet Hester Collyer (Helen McCrory) trying to “end it all” but through the intervention of other people who also live in the building, she thankfully fails. Hester just needs to be heard, to be loved and...
Theatre Cash Injection – A Wise Investment?
Blogs

Theatre Cash Injection – A Wise Investment?

Given we made two appeals for government support for theatres to survive beyond the pandemic it would be churlish not to welcome the government’s £1.57 billion cash injection to protect our world leading cultural sector. Now it’s true that money has to go a long way across theatres, museums and live venues, but considering yesterday we had no support this is a significant acknowledgement that many big and small theatres were on the brink of going under. And, make no mistake, once they went dark the reality was they would never come back like the Nuffield in Southampton. You can’t help but think the National Theatre’s decision to lay off its front of house staff, or the announcement by regional powerhouse the Royal Exchange of potential redundancies must have focused the government’s...
Les Blancs – National Theatre at Home
London

Les Blancs – National Theatre at Home

Writer Lorraine Hansberry was a remarkable woman who, despite her early death at age 34, conquered Broadway as the first black writer to see her play ‘Raisin in the Sun’ performed on stage in 1959.  She followed her father into activism and wrote for the newspaper ‘Freedom’, working alongside Africans and African Americans.  This work; and seeing a production called ‘Les Negres’ (The Blacks), inspired Hansberry to write ‘Les Blancs’, which she began writing in 1960 and completed it just before her death.   After her death the play was adapted by her ex-husband Robert Nemiroff.  The 1970 Broadway production was staged at the Longacre Theatre and the National Theatre’s production took place in 2016. The play follows the visit of journalist Charlie Morris (Elliot ...
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bridge Theatre
London

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bridge Theatre

Gwendoline Christie (Titania), Oliver Chris (Oberon), David Moorst (Puck) and Hammed Animashaun (Bottom) lead an ensemble cast of actors, acrobats, singers and dancers in The Bridge Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, currently streaming on YouTube as part of the National Theatre's online programme. The production's advertising calls it “Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy”. Even in a sentence in which every word is necessary (no one could call it Shakespeare's most famous play, or his most famous romance) it is a bit of an over-statement, not just because of other, possibly more famous ones such as Much Ado About Nothing, but also due to the play itself: the romance is the least interesting thing about it. Even the “comedy” aspect isn't its main feature as, like happens with mo...
Small Island – National Theatre Live
London

Small Island – National Theatre Live

Andrea Levy’s Small Island is one of those novels which drags you in and doesn’t let you go and Helen Edmundson’s theatrical adaptation has perfectly captured its spirit. Directed by Rufus Norris, this is a vibrant piece of drama which beautifully tells the story of Hortense, Queenie, Bernard and Gilbert and their lives in 1940s Jamaica and Britain. Opening with a vintage film about the Caribbean, the play has an immersive atmosphere from the start as the actors step out of the film onto the stage. A revolving stage and exits and entrances through the stage floor create a sense of space as the projected scenery beautifully creates the various places the characters inhabit, from the busy streets of Kingston to the bombed out landscape of London’s post-war streets. The first character...
The Madness of George III – National Theatre
London

The Madness of George III – National Theatre

Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III, directed by Adam Penford, tells the story of one of the first periods of George III’s illness which plagued the later years of his life and eventually led to the Regency of his son George IV. Wryly amusing and horrifying for its exposition of tortuous Georgian treatments of mental illness, this is a wonderful play which juxtaposes the appearances of royalty and the regular lives hidden beneath. The play has a very grand opening which emphasises the importance of show for the Royal Family from the start. An assassination attempt is made on George III’s (Mark Gatiss) life and the Court points out how lucky the failed murderer is as England has asylums for her to go to whereas in France she would be executed, the veiled point being that for ma...