Review: The Crucible

✮✮✮✮ Director Helgi Clayton’s production of Arthur Miller’s much-celebrated play depicts a harrowing ‘crucible’ of lust, jealousy, superstition, and moral corruption. The audience finds themselves immediately plunged into a world of screaming teenage girls, scandalous dancing and séance to allure the men they fancy. The use of the lighting and music was particularly effective, as […]

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Preview: Ridley’s Choice

Director Jack Saville and writer James P Mannion, the duo behind last year’s Surprise, return with another seemingly familiar tale which plays fast and loose with the rules of reality. Cemented by impressive lead performances, Ridley’s Choice is a multi-layered experiment with the play’s format and is certain to challenge any preconceptions one might have […]

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Review: Henry V

  ✮✮✮✮✮ When the one-man Chorus of Henry V asks at the beginning of the play “Can this cockpit [i.e. the theatre] hold / The vasty fields of France?,” he is addressing a genuine, pragmatic conundrum for the staging of plays in Elizabethan England. How can an audience conjure up the bloody fields of Agincourt with the […]

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Review: Johnny Got His Gun

  ✮✮✮✮ That moment of realisation when it becomes apparent that a play is going to be a one-man show is always slightly nerve-wracking. Your entire evening is invested in the performance of one person and one person alone. Luckily, in this case, that was more than enough. The entire play consisted of one man, […]

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Review: Old Times

  ✮✮✮✮ As I amble into the dark little studio of the Burton Taylor theatre, I am greeted with a grand drawing room vision, a table festooned with After-Eights, bottles of whiskey and a book of Picasso, and serenaded by the sweet melodies of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. I feel like I […]

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Review: The Pillowman

✮✮✮✮✮   You would be hard pressed to find a comedy blacker than Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman. It is a world in which brutal police interrogation precedes talk of itchy arses. Police interrogators squabble over whether or not to put the electrodes on. Extremes of innocence are pushed to extremes. The main character of the […]

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Review: Bouncers

  ✮✮✮ A small space, pounding music, flashing lights. Sound familiar? At the Burton Taylor the cast of John Godber’s Bouncers unapologetically conjures up a night out in a Northern town. From the ritual of getting ready, to the unsteady taxi ride home, snapshots of the night are punctuated by the condescending glare of the […]

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Review: Wingman

✮✮✮ Fresh from the Fringe, Wingman calls itself a ‘new father-son comedy’. It’s a moving piece detailing complicated family dynamics and the potential for forgiveness: the awkward son (Richard Marsh) finds that his mother has passed away, only to be left with his estranged father (Jerome Wright) who hopes to use the funeral and general […]

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Review: Medea

  ✮✮✮✮✮ When confronted with a production of this calibre – so absorbingly relevant, so in tune with our society’s downward-spiralling patterns of destruction – it can come as a shock to remember that Medea was written by a man, Euripides, in the 5th century BC, to be performed by men for an exclusively male […]

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