Sunday, December 4

Tag: Southwark Playhouse

<strong>Noor – Southwark Playhouse</strong>
London

Noor – Southwark Playhouse

A British spy of Indian Muslim heritage, Noor was an inspirational woman during World War II. Her story, with its political and moral complexities has been craftily worded by Azma Dar in this production. Dar undertook extensive research into the life of Noor over a decade ago and in 2018, Kali Theatre presented a reading of an earlier version of the play as part of its War Plays season. Now fully realised by a fabulous creative team, Noor is presented as a 105-minute play at Southwark Playhouse, outlining the values and mission of this daring woman. The play takes the audience on a journey from Noor’s aspirations as a writer to her training to become the first British woman to be a wireless operator on an international mission to her encounters in Paris, fighting for her country and fo...
The Canterville Ghost – Southwark Playhouse
London

The Canterville Ghost – Southwark Playhouse

Coming up in the lift from the underground on my way to the Southwark Playhouse (fast becoming one of my favourite theatre venues - lovely space, absolutely delightful staff, reasonably priced wine) I saw a poster advertising The Canterville Ghost which proclaimed the warning “Contains puppet profanity”. I found this a very pleasing prospect - who doesn’t like a sweary puppet - and so I went into the performance hoping for some silly, joyful giggles. Which is, happily, exactly what I got; a charming, hugely entertaining evening of slick theatre and performances delivered by a talented cast. While the show is based on the Oscar Wilde short story of the same name, the setup is very different - a play within a play if you will. A theatre group consisting of a musician/compere, a ventriloq...
Ruckus – Southwark Playhouse
London

Ruckus – Southwark Playhouse

Written and performed by Jenna Fincken, Ruckus is a single-act, one-woman performance that narrates the aging of a toxic relationship. The play brings to life the experience of being with a coercive partner and interrogates the subjectivity of consent in a relationship. There are many parallels between ‘Ruckus’ and the iconic ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen. Just as Torvald creates a Doll house for Nora Helmer, in Ruckus the protagonist moves in with her partner in a beachouse that she had always dreamt of. Just as A doll’s House contemplates the fracture of this house by Nora’s departure, Ruckus explores the fracture in the architecture of a house built on shallow foundations. The protagonist continues to pity and continues to live through the thicks of her relationship. Bu...
Doctor Faustus – Southwark Playhouse
London

Doctor Faustus – Southwark Playhouse

The plot of Doctorr Faustus is well trodden in the arts – character thinks s/he is getting everything they’ve ever wanted, turns out the small print doesn’t exactly chime with that. Spoiler alert - your heart’s desire may not be all it’s cracked up to be and/or comes with some undesirable side effects. But Faustus really should have known better – he knows he is quite literally making a deal with the devil and even back in the Elizabethan era should probably have known that might come back to bite him. The stage set up at the Southwark Playhouse (never been, would definitely return – front of house staff charming, drinks reasonably priced, delightfully air-conditioned space) is a little confusing. The setting is very 80s with a dial-up telephone and recording apparatus, yet the backdro...
The Lesson – Southwark Playhouse
London

The Lesson – Southwark Playhouse

A zealous pupil comes over a professor’s house to study for her total doctorate, an educational certificate in all subjects of life. The excessively polite and timid professor grows restless and domineering as his ignorant student struggles to level up with his academic demands. The pupil develops a painful toothache which renders her incapable of listening to the professor’s teachings. Their mutual pains turn lethal when in an orgasmic climax, the professor murders the young girl. The maid comes in and reprimands the professor - this is his 40th kill of the day… Fortunately she knows how to get him out of trouble and cleans it all up before another student comes to the front door, starting the play all over again. The Lesson is a seminal text in the Theatre of the Absurd, a short-live...
Evelyn – Southwark Playhouse
London

Evelyn – Southwark Playhouse

In a small Northern beach town, an accomplice to the murder of her own child has moved under police protection after serving 3 years in prison. Escaping her abusive relationship, her grief and horrific past she begins to start life anew with a new relationship and friends. Only until the power of social media, the mob isn’t far behind on a hunt to find out where Evelyn Mills escaped to with an obsessive mission to make sure she knows she doesn’t belong. Focusing on the concept of internet mobs taking justice into their own hands and questioning when forgiveness is actually accepted by the community allowing the rehabilitation of criminals into our society. Evelyn played by Nicola Harrison was a dark, quiet presence on stage who controlled how much she was seen as a person desperately t...
Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep – Southwark Playhouse
London

Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep – Southwark Playhouse

Five characters reveal their subconscious minds as they grapple with their day-time angst and woes.  They sit in chairs, each in their individual homes but sharing a temporal space in a dream-like lilac and blue clouded set designed by Agnes Treplin. Devised by Mike Alfreds, Sonja Linden and ViSiBLE, it has the feel of verbatim as the stories are inspired by the actors’ own lives. All of the cast fully inhabit their characters so that from their first few lines, you immediately get a strong sense of their personalities. The triviality of their problems and their unextravagant, ordinary lives are endearing and poetic in their realism. This and the truthfulness with which these stories are told make it easy to become invested in and hang on their words. Sally Knyvette’s Helen...
I Know, I Know, I Know – Southwark Playhouse
London

I Know, I Know, I Know – Southwark Playhouse

I Know, I Know, I Know, at the Southwark Playhouse was originally in place for The Vaults festival however with this year’s cancellation has moved. Starring Ethan Moorhouse, Hannah Khalique-Brown and Martha Watson Allpress, we are split between two locations: one where friends drive to a wedding discussing the success of the band they created and the other we watch a young woman writing the article, expressing her experience with this band member from the age of 16. The two scenes run side by side, weaving through each other as we grasp on what is truth and who could be lying. The tragedy of this piece is its relevance and the violence against the victims who come forward. It can take some attention to keep up with the pace of this piece, the rhythm is very tight and so harmonious with...
Anyone Can Whistle – Southwark Playhouse
London

Anyone Can Whistle – Southwark Playhouse

What is a miracle? What is madness? What is normal? These are just some of the questions you’ll be thinking as you tap your foot to Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ 1964 musical. But this is a musical like no others – this is as surreal as it is subversive, an off-the wall political satire that’s hugely unconventional, but all the more clever for its presentation as a song and dance show with huge layers of meaning. ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ is the story of a corrupt Mayoress, Cora Hoover Hooper (Alex Young), who along with her crack team of adulating men (a greedy but brilliant businessman, the town treasurer and the chief of police) devise a plan to make their bankrupt town money. The plan is simple: fake a miracle, this will then result in people paying pilgrimage to see the said mi...
The Woods – Southwark Playhouse
London

The Woods – Southwark Playhouse

David Mamet’s ‘The Woods’ has always been a topic of conversation in its fantastical and mythical approach to the question of heterosexual relationships, and with Southwark Playhouse’s revival it’s likely to continue to be. However, since being written in 1977, I’m not sure of the play’s relevance to today/ what we are questioning since the rapid change of thought regarding our classic male and female stereotypes. Mamet’s original question was to ask why male and female’s fail to get along and where our differences to natural desire to ‘nesting’ lies- in that classically males may dream of it but fear once it becomes reality and female’s may feel most at ease when their nest has settled. When watching, it’s very frustrating to see that not once is this couple on the same page and can f...