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.
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.
Ghost Light, National Theatre of Scotland film. A theatre never goes completely dark, even in lockdown: a single light bulb, known as a ghost light, carries on glowing like a sanctuary lamp.
Money and heroic self-sacrifice have been considered throughout history the rational motivations for risking life. In pandemic lockdown, we’re more aware of that than ever as governments weigh economic damage and national health, while workers battling on the frontline make the ultimate sacrifice.
Brontë’s angry classic, which has for decades fired up rebellious, ambitious girls and women, has found new resonance in our self-isolating times as the National Theatre at Home allows another frustrated generation to ponder its lot.
The theatrical brilliance of Endgame is thrown into relief by Jones’ decision to precede it with the rarely performed Rough for Theatre II, which Beckett is believed to have written around the same time as Endgame in the late 50s.