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Review: Good People

19th March 2014 | Theatre

Review: Good People

 

“So politically incorrect it's offensive enough for us to be able to laugh at...” - 4 Stars

 

Good People, playing at Hampstead theatre, is one of the only plays I've seen which would also work as a BBC3 sitcom. As unlikely as this may sound, that's not actually a slating. I believe the true impression was left not by the play, but by the actors. The play is riddled with juxtapositions (such as class, accents, motives etc) which start with the audience; amongst the middle aged, middle class Jewish grandparent figures were a few young, relatively cool looking people. Granted, us youngsters were not out in force yet I think as time passes, word will spread on the eternal, rather gossipy grape vine, and the kids of North London will colonize and fill the (immensely uncomfortable) seats of the Hampstead theatre.

The contrasts don't end there - this play covers class in the way Clynborne Park deals with race issues. Bluntly. You empathize with the poor and just want to buy Imelda Staunton a winning bingo card and a warm cup of coffee. Staunton is a fantastic actress and it takes about 10 mins of her waxing lyrical about a shitty story in a grimy alleyway for you to fall in love with her. It's partially her ability to bounce around the stage with an incredible amount of energy, and partly her use of profanities. The play is full of pardoning one's French and layered with brilliant 'banter' such as being asked how her the wine was and simply replying "how the fuck should I know?" As a foul-mouthed teen I felt as at home in the audience as I would have at a tourettes convention.

The play is so politically incorrect it's offensive enough…

Review : Ghost Stories

1st March 2014 | Theatre

Review : Ghost Stories


 

“Terrifically Terrifying.. Even the biggest horror fan will sleep with their lights on for many nights” - 4 Stars
 

Andy Nyman is a hugely talented actor, director and writer with some of his best known work being for Derren Brown. Most of Derren’s work has either been directed or written by Nyman, so knowing the high standard of that; it is no surprise that performances of Ghost Stories at the Arts Theatre are rapidly selling out.

As you enter the Arts Theatre on the corner of Covent Garden, you are unsure as to what the night will bring. You have heard rumours of people having nights with no sleep after Nyman and the production’s Co-Creator, Jeremy Dyson, have dealt with them, however it is very easy to over-exaggerate. One thing that is for sure, however, is that all 350 guests in the auditorium are frightened and tense.

The great ghost production is based around three, classic ghost plotlines that everybody has either seen or heard of. They are not necessarily based on specific films or books, but the storylines are recognisable, but not enough to be ‘average’. The downside of this is that elements of the production are fairly predictable; however the upside is that you actually feel as if you are watching a horror movie being filmed.

And it’s a pretty amazing horror film at that.

The set is extremely smart, allowing scenes to transform in front of your very eyes to provide the point-of-view of the characters on stage. The moments of scare and shock truly come when least expected, with ghosts and monsters appearing out every corner.

The special effects, which have been coordinated by magic legend Scott Penrose, are on a whole new level. From diapers flying across…

Review: Once The Musical

4th January 2014 | Theatre

Review: Once The Musical


 

“It is truly an unforgettable performance which will stick with you for a long time.” - 4 Stars
 

Adapting a Broadway musical which has won eight Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award and is based on a box-office smash, the soundtrack of which itself charted in many countries must be a huge responsibility. Well, Enda Walsh (Playwright), Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (Music and Lyrics), John Carney (Writer and Director of Film) and John Tiffany (Director) can feel rest assured that they have done an excellent job.

Once The Musical captivates audiences in a way that no other West End show manages to do. For example, the Creative Team behind Once have ensured that the stage at the Phoenix Theatre is more than a stage – but also an opportunity for the audience to become apart of this legendary story. In order to achieve that, the stage (which is set up as an Irish bar) acts as a real bar, serving real drinks to real people, before the production and during the interval.

It is some of the smaller aspects of the production, such as that, which makes Once stand out from the huge crowd of romantic musicals currently occupying the West End.

The story on stage is not much different from that of the much loved, irresistible Oscar-winning film. Set in Ireland, the production takes the audience on the heart-wrenching journey of what happens when a struggling Irish busker (Declan Bennet) and a Czech girl (Zrinka Cvitesic) meet through music, sparking a deep connection and lifelike romance.

The cast live onstage through-out the production; take up the role of actors, singers and instrumentalists when necessary.

Once is most definitely one of Theatreland’s darker productions – with moments during…