SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Leticia Ochoa Adams
February 09, 2017
Roland Schimmelpfennig, one of Germany’s most prolific playwrights, wrote Winter Solstice in 2013 in response to the resurgence of the far-Right in some European countries and the backlash against the liberal elite. Ramin Gray’s production, a joint one between the Actors Touring Company and the Orange Tree Theatre, is its English premiere. What with Brexit
January 26, 2017
Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler works best in its correct period, the 1890s. But it is still interesting to see Ivo van Hove’s radical updating and deconstruction. The play is no longer the familiar social drama Ibsenites know. At the National Theatre there is a new translation by Patrick Marber and the production is existential. The
January 12, 2017
Friedrich Schiller wrote Mary Stuart, his first-class political thriller, in 1800. Robert Icke’s urgent modern dress production at the Almeida Theatre, on a circular revolving stage, feels very modern. The drama is totally gripping. Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams alternate as Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots; it doesn’t matter which you see. The
December 22, 2016
James Graham’s docudrama, This House, was first seen at the National Theatre in 2012, and Jeremy Herrin’s fast-moving and exhilarating production is now at the Garrick Theatre. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. The play will appeal to anybody who wants to know what goes on behind closed doors at Westminster:
December 08, 2016
Sheppey, Somerset Maugham’s sardonic comedy, a modern morality play rooted in the 1929 slump and addressing the suffering of the poor, is successfully revived at Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond. When he was writing it in 1933, Maugham knew that it wouldn’t be popular with West End audiences, and he was right. The Christian message –
December 02, 2016
School of Rock, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s exuberant new musical at New London Theatre, is based on the popular 2003 American musical-comedy movie starring Jack Black. The lyrics are by Glenn Slater; the book is by Julian Fellowes. A wannabe rock star, out of work, takes a teaching job at an elite primary school, introduces the
November 24, 2016
Glenda Jackson at 80 has returned to the stage after a 25-year absence to play King Lear, one of the most exhausting roles in the theatrical canon. Deborah Warner’s modern dress production at the Old Vic lasts three-and-a-half hours including a 20-minute interval. Jackson has the stamina. She makes no attempt to be a man.
November 10, 2016
Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus at the National Theatre is based on the legend that Antonio Salieri, composer to the court of Emperor Joseph II of Austria, murdered Mozart. This legend was created by Salieri himself on his death-bed in 1825. Deeply jealous that God should have chosen to speak through “the voice of an obscene child”,