Author: Georgina Wilson

The Endurance of Monologues: ‘Heretic Voices’ at the Arcola Theatre

Seeing three monologues on the trot throws into sharp relief both the possibilities and the pitfalls of the genre. Heretic Voices at the Arcola Theatre combines three pieces selected from a national competition judged by Michael Billington, Lolita Chakrabarti, Mel Kenyon and Monica Dolan, and it saves the best until last. New writing remains the underfunded, understaged and unwelcome relative at the family gatherings of established drama and so initiatives such as Heretic Voices – with real tangible outcomes for successful new playwrights – are to be applauded. The three pieces between them cover an expanse of creative variations...

Read More

Drop the mic Jamael Westman: ‘Hamilton’ at the Victoria Palace Theatre

Hamilton audiences are split into two camps. Either you know the whole soundtrack word by word, and wait with baited breaths for your favourite part whilst mouthing along to the most rousing melodies, or you’ve sworn religiously not to listen to a single bar until you can see the whole thing put together on stage. The combination of the two creates one of the most electrifying audience experiences I’ve ever been a part of, as all 1550 people in the Victoria Palace theatre sit on the edge of their seat and wait for the curtain to rise. This is,...

Read More

(Tea) black or white?: “What Once Was Ours” at Pegasus Theatre

“You’re going to hear some things you agree with, and you’re going to hear some things you disagree with. Your job is to listen.” It might seem an obvious thing to say to a bunch of individuals about to transform into that harsh and untameable beast, a theatre audience, but on going into Zest Theatre and Half Moon Theatre’s co-production of What Once Was Ours, we were surprised and perhaps even a little alarmed to hear these words spoken before we entered the auditorium. What Once Was Ours is a tale of Brexit, racism, identity, family, class, and individuals...

Read More

Harold Pinter’s ‘Betrayal’ at the Salisbury Playhouse: “that old itch”

Nobody likes pauses. Especially pauses in conversation where, staring into the dregs of a drink for inspiration, all remnants of stimulating or even mundane conversation seem to flee irretrievably into a mental void. An understated yet effective production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Salisbury Playhouse opens with just one such awkward moment, and tests us increasingly as the first scene goes on. If we sit naively in the audience expecting comfortable, constant action and narrative flow, we are just as betrayed as the men and women who play out their dysfunctional marital relations before us. It’s hardly surprising...

Read More

‘Brexit the Musical’: The Rise of Political Musical Theatre

In among the delights of Buzz: A New Musical, (Fat Rascal Theatre), Trump’d (Two Thirds Comedy) and 2016 the Musical (Evolution Theatre), Brexit: The Musical is a member of the not-uncommon satirical-political-musical species at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017. Perhaps gentle political protesters of the creative sort are discovering the power of wrapping up their thoughts on the state of the world into rhyming couplets and delivering them through jazz-spread hands. Perhaps the wide-spread appeal of these musicals to the left-of-centre Fringe crowd (Brexit had a full house and a returns queue the night I was watching) encourages aspiring creatives...

Read More

“I am not my reproductive system”: ‘Yerma’ at the Young Vic

“Regret – not now, maybe later”, says the unnamed Her (Billie Piper). She thinks it might be a good idea to try for children because… because they’ve got three floors in their newly-purchased house, because she’s thrity-two, because why not? This is only chapter one, and we’ve got a lot of regret to go. Yerma (meaning barren) was originally a 1934 play by Spanish writer Ferderico Garcia Lorca. It’s about a woman unable to conceive in a particular culture at a particular time. It’s also a personal tragedy, rendered timelessly relevant and planted firmly in the twenty-first century by...

Read More

While We’re Here at the Salisbury Playhouse

“Would people recycle more, if there were bears?” Carol (Tessa Peake- Jones) asks her ex-lover Eddie (Andrew French). This flippant-sounding question contained within the opening scenes of Barney Norris’ nifty two-hander, While We’re Here comes in response to Eddie’s proposed plan of getting involved in “rewilding”: putting bears and wolves back into Scotland, or, in his words, pressing <undo> on all the havoc human nature has wreaked on the planet. Carol knows, and we soon suspect, that Eddie hasn’t seriously thought through how he might achieve this revival of lost natural habitats, just as he hasn’t seriously thought through...

Read More

Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’ on the London Stage: A Welcome Theatrical Adaptation

Emma Donoghue’s novel Room won the Booker Prize in 2010. Seven years later, the compelling story of five-year-old Jack and Ma who live in a single room with only objects and their own imaginations for company is going from strength to strength. A hugely successful film in 2015 starring Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson is now matched by a breath-taking stage production, currently showing at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, which takes the psychological intimacy of the novel and runs another mile with it. Room is based on the horrific story of Elisabeth Fritzl who was imprisoned and continually...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Join Our Mailing List