Willy Loman is to 20th century drama what Lear is to classical theatre. A titanic figure, he’s one of Arthur Miller’s greatest tragic creations. An achingly desolate symbol of the American dream gone sour, he stands, like Lear, as one of the summits of an actor’s career.
Matchbox Theatre – An Evening of Short Entertainments (Hampstead Theatre, London) – review by Carole Woddis.
In his own elegant way, Michael Frayn has gone about his career questioning, pilloring and turning the chattering classes, the intelligentsia and middle class mores generally on their heads whilst celebrating them and theatre itself with rare, witty intelligence.
I Wish To Die Singing – Voices from the Armenian Genocide (Finborough Theatre, London) – review by Carole Woddis.
It must be an irony lost on few immediately involved that along with the panoply of remembrances around the Gallipoli centenary at the weekend, April 24, 2015 also marked the `anniversary’ of the slaughter of innocents that has come to be known as the Armenian genocide.
Clarion is nothing if not the darkest of satires, the dark night of a very grubby soul – the soul in question being what passes for our free tabloid press.
To attempt to put on stage the events of 9/11 you might feel, is an act either of supreme folly or chutzpah. In Davies, Drake and Warner’s hands however, it is neither, only artistry, seamless precision and the worst of imagined personal moments recharged with fresh meaning. Lives literally held in suspension between worlds made transcendent. Quite wonderful.
A rare play by prize winning author, Doris Lessing who died in 2014. Each His Own Wilderness had a staged reading at the Royal Court in 1958 but Paul Miller now running the Orange Tree has provided Lessing’s extraordinary play with its first full production.
Bliss it was and very heaven to be in Switzerland in 2010 to bid for the right to hold the Football World Cup in 2018. Or was it?! William Gaminara’s new comedy takes us to the heart of the process. And it’s an absolute corker.
Everyone has heard of Robert Capa and his Spanish Civil War photos. Less if nothing is known except to the cognoscenti – and maybe not even they until a few years ago – about the woman alongside him, who helped his break into photojournalism and joined him in Spain.
Two plays about the black community, one a revival set in Trinidad in the 1950s, one even earlier, set in the US in the early part of the 20th century. Both have plenty to tell us about the communities from which they’ve sprung.
John Ford (1586-c1640) doesn’t make it easy. A play, set in Sparta (in Elizabethan costume) about jealousy, love and revenge, his language and construction not to mention names of characters – Orgilus, Amyclas, Nearchus, Prophilus, Ithocles etc – stretch comprehension not to say pronunciation to an actor’s and audience’s limit.
Stevie `Peggy’ Florence Margaret Smith was north London’s singular Palmers Green poet of suburbia. If John Betjeman was sometimes able to cast a rosy glow over suburban life, `Stevie’ Smith is the one who consistently bursts its bubble with a keen eye and acerbic tongue.
Greek tragedies have a way of speaking to us in ways that constantly surprise by their apparent contemporary relevance – none more so than Antigone, the sister who is driven to follow her instinctive desire to bury a dead brother despite an interdict declaring him a traitor and therefore unworthy of a proper burial.