Openings: Rocks, Daisy, Frozen & Unstated

June 30, 2008

Amongst the openings in London Off-West End and Fringe venues this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 1 July 2008 (previews from 26 June), Ed Stoppard and Tracy-Ann Oberman star in the world premiere of Amy Rosenthal’s new comedy On the Rocks at Hampstead Theatre, where it runs for a limited season until 26 July 2008. Read more


June 29, 2008

24 June to 02 August 2008

“Does love have a colour?”

This complex question, underlying the play’s main subject of the prejudices existing in the black community between those of African and West Indian origin, is tackled beautifully by an astonishing cast in Femi Oguns’ Torn. Read more

Announcements: Shakespeare’s Globe, The Space & More

June 27, 2008

Amongst the shows and seasons announced at Fringe and Off-West End theatres across London over the past week are:

Shakespeare’s Globe

This week, Shakespeare’s Globe announced that they would stage their first new play set in modern London. The world premiere of The Frontline, by Che Walker (previous winner of George Devine award), will feature a cast of 23 and continues artistic director Dominic Dromgoole’s commitment to new writing. It appears at the Globe 6 July until 17 August. Read more

Hampstead Premieres Brecht’s Last Play Turandot

June 26, 2008

Hampstead Theatre will launch its newly announced autumn season with the UK premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s (pictured) last play Turandot, which will be followed by new plays by Alexis Zegerman and Polly Teale and, for Christmas, a musical version of the classic children’s book The Little Prince.

Turandot, which will run from 8 September to 4 October 2008 (previews from 4 September) was written just before Brecht’s death in 1956 and has not previously been staged in Britain though the story, inspired by a Chinese fairytale, has been presented in other forms, not least Puccini’s popular opera. Read more

Le Mariage

June 26, 2008

Arcola theatre
23 June to 19 July 2008Karim Saleh & Miriam Heard in Le Mariage, Photo by Katy Routh


Art meets Green Card down in Dalston. David Lescot’s episodic two-hander is French chic with a social conscience: diverting, thought-provoking and fashionably concise in its 70-minute running time.

For all its brevity, the elliptical drama of Le Mariage demands substantial concentration on the part of the audience. It starts simply enough: a French woman marries an Arab man as a gesture of political defiance Read more

The Diver

June 24, 2008

Kathryn Hunter in The Diver (photo: Sheila Burnett)Soho theatre
19 June – 19 July 2008


The Barbican has the legend “do something different” enshrined in its logo, but the same job description could be as easily applied to the Soho Theatre, where the unexpected so often crops up in the name of the new. The Diver by the Japanese actor/director Hideki Noda and the Irish playwright Colin Teevan is nothing if not weird, a strange dream-like mix of interrogation, psychological case study and shifting narrative. Read more

Openings: Diver, Grand Slam, Mariage, Black Watch

June 23, 2008

Kathryn Hunter & Hideki Noda in The DiverAmongst the Off-West End and Fringe shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 23 June 2008 (previews from 19 June), Soho Theatre presents The Diver, a new collaboration from Japanese director Hideki Noda, writer Colin Teevan and actress Kathryn Hunter. The play combines the 1,000-year-old Japanese Tales of Genji, traditional Noh theatre and a real-life murder case in which a woman killed her lover and his family. In the cast, Kathryn Hunter is joined by Glyn Pritchard and Harry Gostelow. It runs at the Soho for a limited season until 12 July 2008. Read more

Five Reasons to See… Grand Slam

June 23, 2008

Sam Spruell & Rachel Pickup in Grand SlamWriter Lloyd Evans gives us five reasons to see his new play Grand Slam which opens tomorrow at the King’s Head, Islington, running until 27 July 2008.

1. I last worked with director Tamara Harvey on Who’s The Daddy? (co-written with Toby Young) which offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at the Spectator during the David Blunkett sex scandal. Read more


June 20, 2008

Danny Worters, Syrus Lowe & Paul StockerChurchill Theatre, Bromley
18 – 22 June (as part of a double-bill)


Firstly, a confession. This was supposed to be a review of Overspill and its co-winner of the Metamorphosis 08 new writing competition, Ben Hales’ (in parenthesis), but due to a tube network meltdown I could only make the second half.

However, I’m glad I did. Ali Taylor, whose recent Cotton Wool at Theatre 503 received strong critical acclaim, is undoubtedly a writer to watch. Read more

The Comedy of Errors

June 20, 2008

The Comedy of Errors (photo: Mike Eddowes)Guildford Castle Grounds
19 June – 5 July 2008


There’s something so deeply stoical about the British character that when June arrives, so too do the t-shirts and shorts, the light summer frocks and the disposable barbeque. The wind may be blowing from Siberia but it’s Summer, dammit, and we’re going to make the most of it. The director of any of the open-air Shakespeares that proliferate among the prettier nooks of this sceptered isle must therefore present something capable of holding an audience’s attention even as it slips into a hypothermic coma. Read more

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