Review: Replay

✮✮✮ In the first 10 minutes, I became terribly worried that I would be unable to write a review. I knew Replay was the product of an intelligent, albeit wacky, mind, but it felt incomprehensible. Therein lies its fault and wonder. In the shortest and simplest terms, Replay is about a peculiar relationship between Freya, […]

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Big Brass, big laughs

✮✮✮✮ The cast of Big Brass initially makes a big joke about being amateur. The set of their Pilch studio show vaguely resembles a collection of washing lines; their entrance is a farce based around technical incompetence; a couple of sketches become parodies of their own form. Clearly the trio (clad in mismatched stripy t-shirts) […]

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‘A Night to Remember’ isn’t a lie

✮✮✮✮ Chutney and Chips came to reinvent the canon, to shake up Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a cocktail of Bollywood dance and Oxford allusions – and then pour the whole thing out into a riotous combination of good humour, touching emotion, and communal festivity. It felt like the Indian community of Oxford was […]

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Almost a great Gatsby

✮✮✮ Set in the height of the roaring twenties, The Great Gatsby has always been a favourite for adaptations in spite of it being a notoriously hard novel to put on stage or screen. However, Dominic Pollard’s slick, fun production combats this problem with intelligent directorial choices. The story follows the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby’s […]

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Not an absurdly good night

✮✮✮ ‘A Night of the Absurd’ may not be the most comforting way to spend an evening but the experience is nevertheless very thought provoking. The evening, put on by Pembroke College Music and Drama Society, consists of two short absurdist plays: ‘The Misunderstanding’ by Albert Camus and ‘No Exit’ by Jean-Paul Sartre. ‘The Misunderstanding’ […]

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6th week: Winging It

GODS Recently interviewed in this section, Michael Grandage’s West End season has just picked up 4 WhatsOnStage awards, including ‘Best Director’ for Grandage himself. Coincidence? I think not. So, who’s next? CIRCLE The Royal Academy of Dance’s journal Dance Gazette this week published a survey in which ballet company directors revealed the full extent of their (and the […]

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Review: Chess at St John’s

✮✮✮ It’s the late 1980s, Cold War tensions are running high, and chess grandmasters “The American” in all-white and “The Russian” in all-black are meeting head-to-head across a chessboard. Two proud, bright flags adorn either side of the stage, the Stars and Stripes and Hammer and Sickle, facing off across the checkered monochrome between them. […]

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Sir Gawain pulls our strings

✮✮✮✮ Cardboard Menagerie present Simon Corble’s much revised adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight at the Keble O’Reilly this week, featuring a fantastic set of specially designed puppets. The audience travels to medieval England to follow the adventures of one of King Arthur’s young knights – Sir Gawain, in an adventure that brings […]

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Winging It: 2nd week

Gods This column (again) whose deep critical insights have attracted coverage on a national scale. This week’s Guardian online theatre editorial is ‘In Praise of… Winging It’. That’s right, in praise of me. Circle Dame Angela Lansbury, aged 88, returns to the stage this week in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Having debuted back in 1944, […]

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