the other bridge project
Review: Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, presented by Headlong, at the Royal Court Theate Downstairs

Review: Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, presented by @HeadlongTheatre, at the @royalcourt #TheNether

Amanda Hale as Morris and Stanley Townsend as Sims. Photo Johan Persson

Amanda Hale as Morris and Stanley Townsend as Sims. Photo Johan Persson

- Don’t you feel pain?
- Only as much as I want to.
- And how much pain is that?
- That’s rather personal, don’t you think?

Words that are brazen, suspicious, suggestive. Even worse, this is the conversation between an adult and a child. Even worse, this is not quite true.

Jennifer Haley’s play assumes a world where we can go…

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Review: A Streetcar Named Desire (with Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster), Young Vic Theatre

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire (with Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster), Young Vic Theatre

Ben Foster as Stanley and Gillian Anderson as Blanche. Photo Johan Persson

Ben Foster as Stanley and Gillian Anderson as Blanche. Photo Johan Persson

I was going to start the review in some flippant way – Old Vic versus Young Vic, mine is bigger than yours, the fear of the theatre goer before the 3.5 hours production – but Benedict Andrews and company put a stop to all that. A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic has such a strong grip on the senses I could feel its…

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Review: The Roaring Girl by Middleton and Dekker, starring Lisa Dillon, at the Swan Theatre, RSC

Review: The Roaring Girl by Middleton and Dekker, starring Lisa Dillon, at the Swan Theatre, RSC

LIsa Dillon as Moll. Photo Helen Maybanks

LIsa Dillon as Moll. Photo Helen Maybanks

In a sly and underappreciated tradition, many RSC cross dressing girls look like K.D. Lang. In that distinguished line up, Lisa Dillon’s Moll Cutpurse has a special place. For one, she is a 17th century girl who cross dresses unapologetically. None of this fleeing through the forest in disguise for her. Secondly she plays the double bass. And sings. And…

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Review: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Royal Shakespeare Company, RST – Stratford upon Avon

The Two Gentlemen of Verona posterI was to start the review a different way and then I thought “screw it, let’s not faff about”: what I really liked about The Two Gentlemen of Verona – a Shakespeare play I hadn’t seen before and knew little about – was its unexpected feminist angle. Nominally, it’s a comedy about the vagaries of romantic love but it’s the other kinds of love that are well and truly tested: friendship, loyalty,…

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Review: Medea (starring Helen McCrory), at the National theatre, Olivier stage

Review: Medea (starring Helen McCrory), at the National theatre, Olivier stage

Dominic Rowan and Helen McCrory in rehearsal. Photo Richard Hubert Smith

Dominic Rowan and Helen McCrory in rehearsal. Photo Richard Hubert Smith

Plainingly speaking, there are two reasons why the National theatre production of Medea* is all shades of brilliant: The first reason is Helen McCrory. The second reason is everything else. With a play like Medea, it’s prim and proper that a star dominates the story. In McCrory’s credit she does it open-heartedly, and to the…

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Review: The Boss of It All, by Lars Von Triers, at the Soho theatre
rom left: James Rigby, Tom McHugh, Gerry Howell, Ross Armstrong. Photo Pamela Raith

From left: James Rigby, Tom McHugh, Gerry Howell, Ross Armstrong. Photo Pamela Raith

The IT crowd isn’t unfamiliar with comedy. I am not referring to the Channel 4 sitcom but all the IT people who labour on things nobody understands. You need to have a sense of humour. I should know. I work on IT.

Now we have a danish comedy (originally a film written and directed by Lars Von Triers, now a play by

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Review: August Strindberg’s Miss Julie and Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy, Minerva theatre, Chichester

Review: August Strindberg’s Miss Julie and Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy, Minerva theatre, Chichester

Rosalie Craig and Shaun Evans in Miss Julie. Photo Manuel Harlan

Rosalie Craig and Shaun Evans in Miss Julie. Photo Manuel Harlan

It’s well-known Black Comedy starts in complete darkness but in the double bill at the Minerva theatre in Chichester, so does August Strindberg‘s Miss Julie. A couple of seconds of pitch black until a match strikes and an oil lamp is lit. The Minerva stage has been transformed to an airy and welcoming kitchen of a 19th century…

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Review: The Anorak by Adam Kelly Morton, at the Hope theatre
Felix Brunger in The Anorak. Photo Robert Clough

Felix Brunger in The Anorak. Photo Robert Clough

The Anorak, Adam Kelly Morton’s one man play, is an audacious difficult-to-ignore proposition: On December 6th 1989 Marc Lepine – armed with an automatic weapon and a knife – arrived at the Ecole Polytechnic of The University of Montreal and started a killing spree. Women were his particular target but his victims were a more diverse group. The…

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Review: Fathers and Sons by Brian Friel, at the Donmar Warehouse

Review: Fathers and Sons by Brian Friel, at the Donmar Warehouse

Anthony Calf as Nikolai, Joshua James as Arkady. Photo Johan Persson

Anthony Calf as Nikolai, Joshua James as Arkady. Photo Johan Persson

In a cunning piece of programming, the Donmar follows James Graham’s Privacy – the most un-Donmar of productions – with Brian Friel’s Fathers and Sons (adapted from the novel of Ivan Turgenev). If Privacy was brilliant in unexpected ways, Fathers and Sons has the emotional richness and acute lyricism that characterise Donmar…

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Review: Richard III (starring Martin Freeman), at Trafalgar Transformed
Jamie Lloyd and Martin Freeman in rehearsal. Photo Marc Brenner

Jamie Lloyd and Martin Freeman in rehearsal. Photo Marc Brenner

There is much to like about Richard III. He is an one-man slaughter house, although he is more the senior executive than the cleaver. He is manipulative but he confides in us. In that respect, he is a bit like Hannibal. We spent so much time in his head we might as well like him. Or even trust him. And here is the great truth about…

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