Poetry review – PERFORMANCE RITES: James Roderick Burns admires Barry Smith’s exploration of the overlap between art and nature
Prom 20. Review by Julia Pascal. The night of the male Modernists opened with a tribute to Harrison Birtwistle’s Sonance Severance 2000, a three minute composition which is as huge in its effect as it is brief in its length.
My Fair Lady. English National Opera. Review by Julia Pascal. My Fair Lady, the musical version of George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion is staged at the English National Opera this summer.
The Excursions of Mr Broucek. Review by Barbara Lewis. The Excursions of Mr Broucek is an opera like no other – or as Wasfi Kani, the founder and power behind the bold, brave and never daunted Grange Park Opera, puts it: “Cosi fan Tutti it isn’t.”
Lillias White Sings Broadway. Review by Barbara Lewis. The pan-damn-demic, as Broadway singer Lillias White puts it, has abated sufficiently for her to bring her considerable presence to cosy, atmospheric venues, including London’s Crazy Coqs.
Anyone Can Whistle. Southwark Playhouse. Review by Barbara Lewis. Anyone Can Whistle opened on Broadway in April 1964 to mixed reviews and closed shortly afterwards. Nearly 60 years on, this Southwark revival deserves to run and run as Georgie Rankcom’s inspired direction does justice to Sondheim’s genius, even when in its early phase, to make musicals from the most unlikely material.
Truth to Power Café. Review by Barbara Lewis. Speaking Truth to Power has come to mean “saying something to those in a position of trust or authority who don’t want to hear it,” Jeremy Goldstein, the MC of the Truth to Power Café, tells us. It’s a non-violent means of conflict resolution whose origins lie in the anti-war movement.
An Earl’s Court Miscellany. FinboroughFrontier online content. Review by Barbara Lewis. The ever-inventive Finborough Theatre has combined its return to real-life drama with an enlightened decision to carry on delivering original online work for free that surely can only enhance one of the strongest off-West End brands.
Gianni Schicchi. Review by Barbara Lewis. Gianni Schicchi, the protagonist of Puccini’s only wholly comic opera, was a 13th-century Italian knight immortalised by Dante in the Circle of Impersonators for pretending to be the rich gentleman Buoso Donati and dictating a testament highly favourable to himself.
The Wife of Willesden. Adapted by Zadie Smith from Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’. Kiln Theatre, London. Until 18 December 2021. Review by Carla Scarano.
Zadie Smith’s brilliant adaptation of ‘The Wife of Bath’ from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales triggers a rethinking of women’s roles in society.
West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg In the new West Side Story Leonard Bernstein’s magnificent music and Stephen Sondheim’s incisive and witty lyrics have all been preserved and bring as much pleasure as before.