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Recent Reviews

Wildefire / Roy Williams (London 2014)
Neville's Island. The Scottsboro Boys. The Cherry Orchard. Our Town.
East is East .
Electra. Henry IV. n14html">Great Britain.
The Play That Goes Wrong .
The Curious Incident. . ..
King Charles III--moving to Wyndhams in September.
The Book of Mormon.
. . .Past reviews and features are archived in two master indexes: Master Index of Reviews . . .Master Index of Features

New and Noteworthy
Mark Strong will lead the cast as Eddie Carbone in the West End transfer of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. Public booking opens 17 November 2014 for Ivo Van Hove's five star Young Vic production. It will open at the Wyndham's Theatre on 16 February 2015 with previews from 11 February 2015 and play for a strictly limited eight week season to 11 April 2015. Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, A View from the Bridge opened at the Young Vic in April where the production enjoyed an extended sell-out run.

Actor Adebayo Bolaji has written a play In Bed which he has also directed and is one of the two actors. I was impressed by this interesting production which looks at the shifting implications and maybe sexual expectations of an evening together. Away on tour, Sean (Ade Bolaji) has promised to help Nina (Allyson Ava Brown) learn her lines but she may have another agenda. Sean and Nina have known each since they were children but always as friends, not as lovers.

While Sean is the all-round decent guy, challenging Nina's comments about the size of someone they knew at school, we start to feel some of Nina's insecurities about men as she talks about her father and her current boyfriend and another man she is attracted to. They contrast nicely: Nina's ebullient personality is almost hyper, and Sean's quiet contemplative approach. He tells her something which is provocative and confusing.

The play cleverly switches between rehearsal and actuality so we sometimes wonder whether this is their characters in their play speaking or Nina and Sean. In Bed is well crafted, tantalisingly constructed and directed leaving us plenty to debate, identify with and think about from a young playwright showing promise and insightful plotting.

I also loved the beautiful, spacious theatre above a newly renovated pub. Called the Theatre Workshop, it is above The Eel Brook at 65 New Kings Road. Sadly the show is on too short a time for us to publish a full review but I fully expect to see more of this playwright/director and of course actor. Lizzie Loveridge In Bed seen on 17th September 2014

Nicholas Hytner's production of Richard Bean's Great Britain will transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket following its National Theatre run, with performances beginning 10 September 2014. Bean's fast and furious new play is an anarchic and foul-mouthed satire about the press, the police and the political establishment> is designed by Tim Hatley, with video design by 59 Productions, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Grant Olding and sound by Paul Arditti.

Amanda Drew, Jack Lowden, Diana Quick, Golda Rosheuvel, Thalissa Teixeira andPeter Wight join Kristin Scott Thomas in Sophocles' tragedy Electra. Frank McGuinness' charged adaptation of the classic drama of Electra and Orestes' revenge on their father's murderers opens at The Old Vic in the round on Wednesday 1 October with previews from Monday 22 September.

Olivier-Award winner Tamsin Greig makes her musical theatre debut in the UK premiere of David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane's new musical adaptation of Pedro Almodavar's Oscar-nominated film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, and following two full-scale development workshops with actors, musicians and the creative team, the production will open in a limited run for 20 weeks only at The Playhouse Theatre on 12 January 2015, with previews from 20 December 2014.

Rufus Norris is the surprise, but very welcome appointment, as Artistic Director of the National Theatre. Besides being a very likeable and modest bloke, he has a history of exciting artistic projects and he is prepared to take risks which is exactly what the National Theatre needs. I remember his early production in his time at the Young Vic translated by his wife Tanya Ronder of Peribanez review and of course Vernon God Little go here. More recently there was the fabulous production of Cabaret reviews and at the ENO an adventurous and very sexual Don Giovanni go here.
Shakespeare's Globe unveiled the official name of their new indoor theatre as The Sam Wanamaker Theatre. named after the organisation's founder, pioneering American actor and director. In the late 1960s a book was taken from a shelf in Worcester College Oxford, and a series of drawings fell from it. These are the earliest set of design drawings for an English theatre in existence.



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©2014 Elyse Sommer.
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