Saturday, November 26

Tag: Sophie Melville

The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare’s Globe
London

The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare’s Globe

The current rise of antisemitism around the world gives extra resonance and relevance to Shakespeare's 16th Century play on usury, religious conflict, revenge and the manipulation of justice. Abigail Graham's direction packs a serious punch, with a stellar cast who draw out every nuance of the text. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is brilliantly heightened in this beautiful candlelit production set in the present day, but which could relate to any era. Young Bassanio is a spendthrift and hedonist, partying with his buddies and going through money as though there's no tomorrow.  Needing cash to pursue his wooing of the rich heiress, Portia, he turns to his friend, the merchant, Antonio, who has bailed him out previously. Antonio agrees and asks Shylock,...
Mum – Soho Theatre
London

Mum – Soho Theatre

“I’ve just read the synopsis of the play we’re seeing. Bloody hell mate.” “I told you it sounded harrowing. Do you want to give it a miss and we can catch up later?” “No, I’ve picked an outfit now. I’m committed.” Thus was the exchange I had with the friend who agreed to accompany me to Mum, 20 minutes before we were due to meet. We reflected afterwards how glad we were that we’d seen it together and Mum was made all the poignant for me having experienced it with another strong woman that I’m lucky enough to be able to share my secrets and fears with. Mum moves quickly – we meet Nina (Sophie Melville – who I will say up front is exquisite), a new mum who is preparing for her first night off in three months with her friend, Jackie, while her mother-in-law, Pearl, prepares to re...
Masks and Faces or, Before and Behind the Curtain – Finborough Theatre
REVIEWS

Masks and Faces or, Before and Behind the Curtain – Finborough Theatre

Masks and Faces or, Before and Behind the Curtain is a comedy of errors and mistaken identities, written by Charles Reade and Tom Taylor in the 19th century. This version, directed by Matthew Iliffe, assisted by Myles O’Gorman, is an online performance, filmed by each of the actors individually in a table read style. The play tells the story of Ernest Vane (Will Kerr), a country gentleman in London who has been frequenting a theatre and become charmed by actress Peg Woffington (Amy McAllister). When his wife, Mabel (Sophie Melville) suddenly arrives in London, she and Ernest are dragged into the farcical world of the theatre as hearts are broken, identities swapped, and small mistakes lead to big problems. The play opens with actors, Kitty Clive (Madison Clare) and Quin (Robyn Holda...
Herding Cats – Soho Theatre
London

Herding Cats – Soho Theatre

As I was not able to make the live performance, this review was conducted virtually.  Even though I was not in attendance at Soho Theatre, it was thrilling to hear the buzz of the audience as they found their seats, with a feeling that live theatre is once again possible.  To enhance this experience, Soho Theatre have used new technology to deliver the first of its kind, a transatlantic theatre experience with two actors performing live on Soho Theatre’s stage, while a US based actor performs live in a studio in LA.   To prepare us for this modern age experience, the staging has a backdrop of a large screen which will be used to beam actor Greg Germann (Saddo), virtually onto the stage.  The play begins with Justine (Sophie Melville) unpacking her shopping, ont...
Missing Julie – Theatr Clywd
Wales

Missing Julie – Theatr Clywd

August Strindberg’s naturalistic play, Miss Julie, written in 1888, tackles a number of themes sparked by the author’s interest in psychology, including female degeneracy, class and gender conflict, idealisation and degradation, and hypnotism. Whilst considered a classic of modern theatre, the author’s own misogyny which pervades the work often presents a challenge to a successful production in these more enlightened times so it was with some interest that I turned to Theatr Clywd’s live-streamed reading of Kaite O’Reilly’s new version, introduced by Artistic Director Tamara Harvey, which has been freely adapted from Strindberg’s original to give it a twentieth century twist. Miss Julie (Sophie Melville), the heiress of a Welsh stately home, finds herself in a world radically change...