Posts

Showing posts from May, 2020

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: A Doll's House ★★★★

A Doll’s House Lyric Hammersmith, London Friday 6th September - Saturday 5th October 2019 Streamed online for one day online, The Lyric Hammersmith’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 three-act play ‘A Doll’s House’, here adapted by Tanika Gupta, rises on the tackling themes of deceit, family betrayal and appearance in relationships, in a production which follows Niru’s (Anjana Vasan) side of the tale in this brave and stark feminist retelling, pieced together with a stunning concept and creative team along the way. With Niru hiding a secret from her family, and most importantly her husband Tom (Elliot Cowan), Vasan is rather remarkable in the lead role, and with the marketing trail for this show having Niru’s face plastered everywhere, Vasan commands the stage with such complexity, even with such a petite stature, that we cannot help to be drawn into her pain of betraying the ones who surround her close, and keep her cocooned in the life they wish for her to lead. Rachel O’Riordan p

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Electrolyte ★★★★

Electrolyte Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival Monday 18th - Sunday 24th May 2020 Originally staged at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018, Wildcard Theatre Company’s production of Electrolyte tells the story of Jessie (Olivia Sweeney), a girl who dreams of a bigger life with brand new friends. One night she meets up-and-coming singer songwriter Allie (Maimuna Memon), who simply takes her breath away, and it’s here where we follow Jessie’s journey for a new life in London, chasing down Allie’s new warehouse converted flat apartment, and dealing with her inner voices and anxieties along the way. As a piece of gig theatre, Memon not only provides the characterisation of Allie, put also provides the soulful and angelic acoustics to the music & lyrics, which sweep us off our feet and enter a world of flashing lights and feeling the intimacy and close friendship that is so radiant from the company on stage, who all play roles within Jessie’s story. Doubling as the Writer of Elec

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: The Encounter ★★★

The Encounter Complicité Theatre Company Friday 15th - Friday 22nd May 2020 Back in 2016, having been inspired by Petru Popescu’s book Amazing Beaming, Complicité performer and director Simon McBurney brought to the stage a unique, binaural experience entitled The Encounter, a production in which the audience were advised to wear headphones to produce the full effect of audibly having McBurney talk between the left and right hand side of your brain, though a binaural headpiece which was situated in the middle of a somewhat empty stage, with just a few materials scattered round such as plastic bottles, and huge pile of mylar, usually found in VHS tapes, dominating the playing space. Throughout The Encounter, which centres around the time of 1969, when National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre found himself lost in Brazil, amongst the remote village of the Javari Valley, McBurney sets out on a journey that leaves us with our eyes closed as we venture into the forest and become

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Midnight Your Time ★★★

Midnight Your Time A Donmar Warehouse Digital Production Wednesday 13th - Tuesday 19th May 2020 Whilst I have never owned an apple product in my lifetime, I became immediately sucked into Judy’s (Diana Quick) technological world of a desktop full of folders depicting different titles and initially building a background of a character we are letting into our lives for just over 30 minutes, as the running time details; from Family Photos to Old Projects, Labour Docs to Car Insurance, straight away we build this world, and as Judy is trying to get hold of her daughter Helen, who we do not hear and see throughout the whole film, we are treated to this completely realistic vision that has transported us from the first minute. Taking place just after the turn of 2010, we are drip fed little bits of information from the numerous messages Judy is sending to her daughter, with no response back; whilst we aren’t ever sure just how far each message is from the other in terms of days, weeks, o

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Wasted ★★★

Wasted The Southwark Playhouse Thursday 6th September - Saturday 6th October 2018 There's a certain sense of irony in Carl Miller and Joe Bunker's 2018 musical retelling the lives of the Brontë sisters; whilst the title of the piece very much conveys the pure talents from the sisters that were wasted due to their untimely deaths before they reached forty, it could also be a used as a statement for us as the audience, feeling like our time has indeed also been wasted listening to a musical that very much repeats itself within its patterned musical numbers and a numbing running time over 140 minutes, which could easily have been cut to a one act production. Whilst the history of the sisters and how they came to be known as some of literatures greatest writers is very much an empowering tale and one that shouldn't be undermined, turning this story into a rock ballad that bleeds through the eardrums from shouting instead of actually harmonising becomes tedious very quickly

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Sea Wall ★★★★★

Sea Wall Specially Filmed Production, 2012 It’s been three weeks since Alex (Andrew Scott) has returned from his holiday in the South of France with his Wife, Daughter, and Father-On-Law, and is back in his studio working as a photographer, whilst talking to us, the audience, through a camera set up in what looks like the corner of the room; of course, we are completely unaware who we actually represent in conjunction to the piece, but none of that really matters when Simon Stephens’ 30 minute script, written with Andrew Scott in mind, leaves you choked up in performance from the rather remarkable leading man, who would soon go on to become a BAFTA winner, and reprise this exact role six years later in 2018 at The Old Vic in London for a limited two week stint. Streaming online for one week only, going into this performance with as little pre-existing research is the only true advice I can give if you want the full impact of the tale; hardly ever leaving the frame, Scott catapultes

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Suzy Storck ★★★

Suzy Storck The Gate Theatre, London Thursday 26th October - Saturday 18th November 2017 Streaming until Tuesday 30th June, Caoilfhionn Dunne takes on the titular role of Suzy Storck, and once again, after watching The Hampstead’s archived production of Wild not too long ago, continues here to amaze with such a plethora of emotion that feels like a rapid switchboard that Dunne never lets up. Furthermore, Dunne’s abilities completely drive Chris Campell’s translated piece from Magali Mougel’s story of a woman feeling trapped in her marriage and the demons that live inside of her, to such subtlety. With themes of parenting neglect and alcoholism at play, Jean-Perre Baro’s direction is mostly conveyed through a naturalistic form, with Cécile Trémolières’ chaotic and crowded design of children’s toys flooded everything onto the settings floor soon indicating an intriguing scene change which got the whole audience up on their feet in the process to help clear the space, which is the sec

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Antony and Cleopatra ★★★★

Antony and Cleopatra The National Theatre, London Tuesday 18th September 2018 - Saturday 19th January 2019 Guest Review By Molly Clements. Starting 2019 off with a bang, Simon Godwin’s production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre has been a glamorous success for its velocity, presentation, polyphonic challenge of the text and not forgetting the titular shining protagonists portrayed by Sophie Okonedo and Ralph Fiennes, Backed by a well-tuned company in Fisayo Akinade and Gloria Obianyo, who held a lot of my attention, with our two lovers standing supported but heralded; Fiennes’ as Antony was a theatrical package deal, with devilish control, captivating power and a quick wit when permitted. It was Okonedo’s rawness though in the delivery of Cleopatra’s text that provided the fiery command of the play; at times they match each other perfectly, believable and unsurprising, but Okonedo led me to believe that the Queen of Egypt and her hoard had truly arrived

THEATTE AT HOME REVIEW: The Midnight Gang ★★★★★

The Midnight Gang Chichester Festival Theatre Saturday 13th October - Saturday 3rd November 2018 Children are renowned for being the hardest critic to please, and even more so when one of their favourite books are to be adapted onto stage, as they may feel a sense of belonging with the character’s that they have grown with, but I have a feeling that Bryony Lavery (The Lovely Bones) has in this instance brought David Walliams’ 2016 best-selling novel, The Midnight Gang, to life in such a staggering a beautiful way that will leave those of all ages with a brand new sense of belonging and imagination. The productions tells the story from the perspective of Tom (Cody Molko), a young boy who is put up in the children’s ward after a nasty bash to the head following a cricket game, and soon encounters The Midnight Gang; made up of George (Rafi Essex), Amber (Jasmine Sakyiama), and Robin (Felix Warren),  this group of child misfortunates who also occupy the ward sneak away every night from

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: The Unknown Island ★★★

The Unknown Island The Gate Theatre, London Tuesday 11th September - Sunday 7th October 2018 Based on Nobel prize-winning novelist Jose Saramago’s short story, The Tale of the Unknown Island, Clare Slater and Ellen McDougall’s 2018 adaption was staged within The Gate Theatre’s 75- seater intimate, to which was reconfigured to include it’s audience round all sides, mirroring the action later into the piece’s narrative when the ship’s crew, made of the productions collaborators Jon Foster, Hannah Ringham, Thalissa Teixeria, and Zubin Varia, set sail to search for ‘The Unknown Island’, a place which somehow must exist according to one of it’s crew, almost like the city of Atlantis. Slater’s writing stops at nothing to cram in as much detail into the story for a short running time of just 55 minutes, and even though the audience must get a kick out of being offered wine, olives, and bread at one point, which most certainly goes on a little bit longer than needed, especially when those

THEATRE AT HOME REVIEW: Mr Swallow Houdini ★★★★

Mr Swallow: Houdini Soho Theatre, London Tuesday 10th January - Saturday 18th February 2020 Currently streaming over on Soho Theatre’s On Demand Service, Mr Swallow is a comedy character like no other from the genius that is Nick Mohammed; having since appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats and Harry Hill’s Clubnite in more recent years, Houdini was the inaugural production that introduced Mr Swallow to the theatrical world when the show ran at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Alongside performers David Elms and Kieran Hodgson, who both provide hilarity throughout with squabbles and over dramatic emotion in trying to revert Swallow back to the present, this ‘self-proclaimed first-ever entirely true auto-biopic’ opens with Mr Swallow announcing to the audience that he will take on the role of the infamous magician Harry Houdini, and perform some his mind-boggling stunts, which in hindsight are all basically a way of stalling for time as he prepares to risk his life with the reowned Chinese