Tuesday, May 28

Tag: Paule Constable

The Handmaid’s Tale – London Coliseum
London

The Handmaid’s Tale – London Coliseum

How well do you remember the beginning of the end? Make sure to do your homework before attending this production of The Handmaid’s Tale where the London Coliseum transforms into the venue of a future-set historical conference where a stunning and severe white-pantsuited Professor Piexoto (Juliet Stevenson) directly addresses audience members in her introduction to the overtaped cassettes which comprise the narrative bulk of The Handmaid’s Tale. Eliciting a few laughs in her pithy introduction but primarily conveying static gravitas and the restrained sensitivity of an academic among peers, Stevenson commands the stage at the opera’s bookends. However, her forceful presence is at times an unfortunate distraction as she every so often, ever so covertly interrupts the action to change the t...
Rusalka – Royal Opera House
London

Rusalka – Royal Opera House

Created and directed by Natalie Abrahami and Ann Yee, who is also the choreographer, the contemporary whilst still traditional new staging of this lyrical fairy tale captures nature’s impassioned plea to humanity whilst musically only Dvořák can break your heart so beautifully. From an exquisite aerial ballet reflecting the delicate balance between nature and humanity at the start, three wood spirits (Vuvu Mpofu, Gabriele Kupšyte and Anne Marie Stanley) playfully tease Vodník (Alexei Isaev), an immortal water spirit. All seems to be perfect but his daughter, Rusalka (Asmik Grigorian) longs to be united with the Prince (David Butt Philip) with whom she fell in love when he swam in the lake. Despite being warned about the seductive dangers of humanity that promises much whilst deliver...
Opera North: La rondine – The Lowry
North West

Opera North: La rondine – The Lowry

The curtains opens to 1920’s Paris in director James Hurley’s take on Puccini’s take of the La Traviata tale and with the backdrop of Leslie Travers rich and glamorous set, suitably illuminated by Paule Constable and Ben Pickersgill, we meet Magda (Galina Averina), the mistress of a wealthy banker, Rambaldo (Philip Smith), but when the poet Prunier (Elgan Llŷr Thomas) reads her palm and predicts that like la rondine – the swallow – she will travel south in her pursuit of happiness, the die is cast for what is to come. When she meets the young Ruggero (Sebastien Guèze), glamour soon turns to decadence as she follows him to the nightclub Bulliers where they fall in love and decide to run away to the south of France, and with Prunier equally smitten with Magda’s maid, Lisette (Claire Lees), ...
Opera North: Masque of Might – The Lowry
North West

Opera North: Masque of Might – The Lowry

Sir David Pountney’s exuberant production is billed as ‘eco-entertainment’ and it certainly takes re-purposing to a whole new level with its glorified collage of Purcell’s semi-operatic musical form of the 17th Century masque lyrically enhanced to explore a range of contemporary themes including the rise of strongman leaders and the devastation of climate change, and how these may be rightly overcome. By its very nature and whilst sung, the piece is narrative in form and whilst merging various disparate musical moods, by and large it holds together quite well with the assistance of side panel surtitles in English of an English libretto. Although its success can be very much attributed to the genius fusion of the original composer and the adapted libretto by its director, it is also unf...
Opera North: Falstaff – The Lowry
North West

Opera North: Falstaff – The Lowry

The rainbow-striped curtain rises on Opera North’s sustainable take on Verdi’s final masterpiece, a comic opera drawn from Shakespeare in director Olivia Fuchs’ re-imagined riotous and rampant romp that serves up satire, slapstick, and stags along the way. Roguish knight Falstaff (Henry Waddington) is down on his luck, residing in the car park of the Garter Inn and reliant upon its Host (Gordon D. Shaw) to keep him in good spirits of any kind! When he informs Bardolph (Colin Judson) and Pistol (Dean Robinson) that he intends to seduce Alice Ford (Kate Royal) and Meg Page (Helen Évora) they refuse to deliver his letters, so he throws them out, turning to his assistant Robin (Robert Gardiner) instead. When the letters are eventually received, Mistress Quigley (Louise Winter), Meg, Alice,...
The Marriage of Figaro – Royal Opera House
London

The Marriage of Figaro – Royal Opera House

Mozart’s classic four-act comic opera, an adaptation with Da Ponte of Beaumarchais’ banned 1778 play about warring masters and servants, is delightfully brought to life in director David McVicar’s own revival of his 2006 production, again conducted by Antonio Pappano, of this satirical and deeply human drama. As the day of Figaro (Riccardo Fassi) and Susanna’s (Giulia Semenzato) wedding arrives, it becomes clear that their master, Count Almaviva (Davide Luciano), is keen to exercise his ‘droit du seigneur’ – his right to bed a servant girl on her wedding night – and they conspire with the forsaken Countess (Federica Lombardi) to outwit her husband and teach him a lesson in fidelity. Plans however are thrown awry when Bartolo (Henry Waddington), seeking revenge against Figaro for thwart...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Leeds Grand Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Leeds Grand Theatre

Christopher is 15 years old, and someone killed his neighbour’s dog in the middle of the night. He is determined to find out who is to blame. However, Christopher’s life just isn’t that simple, and this play is an exploration of relationship, trust, personal growth and courage, told often through Christopher’s own words. As one of the relatively few people who haven’t read Mark Haddon’s book of the same name, I have been wanting to watch The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for a long time and it is a powerful production that was definitely worth waiting for. Adapted by Simon Stephens and originally produced by the National Theatre in 2012, this exceptional play shines a light on neurodiversity in a way that I have never seen before. The ingenious use of technology thro...
Les Misérables – The Lowry
North West

Les Misérables – The Lowry

Reviewing 'Les Misérables' is in some ways a useless task. The show is entering its thirty seventh (!) year in production and has been seen by well over seventy million (!!) people during that time. It was famously panned by the critics at the opening but has subsequently proved to be one of the most popular 'critic proof' musicals with sell out audiences all over the world, Now, Boublil and Schonberg's iconic show lands at The Lowry for six weeks having already sold virtually every ticket, once again those visitors will not be disappointed with this fresh staging of a spellbinding masterpiece. The titanic struggle between Javert (Nic Greenshields) and Jean Valjean (Dean Chisnall), set against the backdrop of post revolutionary France, culminating in the Paris Uprising of 1832, forms t...
COCK- Ambassadors Theatre
London

COCK- Ambassadors Theatre

Written by Mike Bartlett and directed by Marianne Elliott, Olivier-award winning COCK tells the story of one half of a gay couple, known as John, who unexpectedly falls in love with a woman and as tensions rise, he struggles to decide what he truly wants and who he is. Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey leads as the charming yet confused John, the only named character in the show, and stays on the stage for the entire performance (one hour and 45 minutes to be exact). Bailey is incredible to watch as we see John slowly unravel and his internal battle with himself was palpable. Bailey’s acting is stellar as he expertly switches between humorous outbursts and emotional turmoil. Golden Globe Award winner Taron Egerton plays John’s long-term partner M and is mesmerising in every scene he i...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Opera House
North West

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Opera House

Tenacious teen Christopher Boone is back sleuthing around the UK once again in this adaptation of ‘the nation’s favourite’, best-selling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. With guidance from his uniquely understanding teacher Siobhan (Rebecca Root) and accompanied by Toby, his pet rat, our fifteen-year-old protagonist (David Breeds) sets out to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbour’s dog, Wellington. This proves difficult for an outsider like Christopher, who faces obstacles in the form of strangers, metaphors, the yellow bits of Battenberg cake and secrets that threaten to throw his investigation into disarray. The Curious Incident offers a unique perspective on life that regularly shifts from encouraging laughs to moments of deep reflection. While Ch...