Oleanna, by David Mamet. Arts Theatre. Review by Graham Buchan. David Mamet has had a substantial forty-year plus career writing plays and films which drill into the deeper recesses of the American psyche with unrelenting precision.
An “absurdly normal” love story and it admits the appalling truth that all love stories, not just the high romance of Romeo and Juliet, are essentially tragic: they end in loss and when Alzheimer’s strikes, the cruelty is exaggerated because a once charismatic personality disintegrates.
At the start of 2020, Southwark Playhouse commissioned a group of playwrights to write short plays. The aim was for them to be performed on stage by the Elders Company, the playhouse’s drama group for anyone aged 65 and over, but then lockdown came along.
In a time of bitter, divisive politics, the positive, as well as the negative aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is truly global: people everywhere feel the same fear, sorrow and frustration at the same time.
Even more than an outpouring of passionate pacifism, Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave is a universal exploration of the heroic strength of character required to reject decades of blind allegiance to an unholy cause.
Grange Park Opera Interim Season. Simon Keenlyside: An Autumn Walk in Wales (available online). Review by Barbara Lewis: Context is all, says Simon Keenlyside, as for the second time this year he delivers a musical tour of his own personal context – the woods around his Welsh home.
Before lockdown, Bewley’s Café Theatre in the bustling heart of Dublin was the place to grab a short lunch-time play, a bowl of soup – and maybe even chat up a stranger. For now, those days are gone, but Bewley’s has joined forces with online events company The Lock Inn to open the tiny venue to a potentially limitless audience.
The Dirty 30 II: Electric pay-per-view. Review by Barbara Lewis. Instead of loud applause and cheers, “you were spectacularly fabulous,” pops up on the side of the screen from an online viewer, as the imaginary curtain goes down on the Degenerate Fox theatre’s online adaptation to the times we’re in.