How do you like your Chekhov? Do you even like Chekhov? Like Shakespeare, debates range around his texts, none more so than the early plays of Platonov and Ivanov, the latter his first full length play.
Wars of the Roses/Pure Imagination (Rose Theatre, Kingston; St James Theatre, London) – reviews by Carole Woddis.
Peter Hall and John Barton’s The Wars of the Roses in 1963 was a defining moment, one of many for the RSC in the 1960s.
On a completely different note, award-winning writer/composer/songwriter Leslie Bricusse is being celebrated in a musical entitled Pure Imagination – a compilation of his best-known and other songs.
It’s hard to over-state the pleasure that is the Globe’s final production of their 2015 summer season and Dominic Dromgoole’s last as artistic director. Next year, Emma Rice, formerly of Kneehigh, takes over the reins.
Appropriately for a writer whose stock in trade is the darkest of gallows humours, Martin McDonagh, playwright and screen-writer/director (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) has returned to the London stage after a decade’s absence with a play about hangmen.
Lela & Co stands for not only the injuries perpetrated on the central character, Lela, of Cordelia Lynn’s extraordinary imagination, but all those young girls whose abuse has hit the headlines in Bradford, High Wycombe and indeed, worldwide where women have been violated.
Ivo van Hove is just about the hottest international director around at the moment. Now comes the UK première of his Toneelgroep production, first seen in Sao Paulo, of British writer, Simon Stephens’ Song From Far Away.
In the world of Sam Shepard, on the border with Mexico where the boundaries of objective fact and subjective story-telling blur, the fiercest fight is not over possessions, but over memories in a quest for the truth of the relationships between parents and siblings.
Helen Edmundson’s The Heresy of Love is a reminder – as would a play about the 12th century mystic and composer, Hildegard of Bingen – that women of independent spirit have existed for a long, long time.
As if an addendum to all the WW1 remembrances of last year, Chichester Festival Theatre’s shrewd revival of W Somerset Maugham’s For Services Rendered not only adds a rider to those war years but sounds a remarkably apt note for our own times.
Set in a Berlin hotel, just before The Third Reich, the guests are an ageing ballerina, a penniless baron, a dying Jew and a typist who dreams of a Hollywood career. Everyone is desperate and the stakes are high. Thom Southerland’s stylish production, on a traverse stage, is fast moving and theatrical.
Victor Hugo at Villers-la-Ville until August 16 and Le Malade Imaginaire at Villers-la-Ville until August 8.
The 12th-century abbey of Villers-la-Ville in Belgium has a tradition of open air summer theatre that dates back more than a hundred years – but the tradition is not quite unbroken.
Silent tells the tale of street hobo, Tino, named in honour of his gran’s devotion to the movie star and his father’s singalong to a gramophone recording of how `when one [star] falls [Valentino died young, at 31], God always calls a star to take its place…’