Strictly Speaking: Week 2

After the electrifying opening show, a Strictly comedown was inevitable, but even so, Week 2 was quite the slump. A combination of overambitious routines, daft concepts, erratic judging and all the nerves so happily absent last week – the latter probably due to a looming elimination – made for a show, in Steps terminology, better best forgotten.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Pinter One and Pinter Two, Harold Pinter Theatre

Jamie Lloyd is marking the 10th anniversary of Harold Pinter’s death in remarkable style with his Pinter at the Pinter season, staging all the great man’s 20 short plays, plus some sketches and poetry – grouped into seven productions – at the theatre which now bears his name.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 1

Hello, new young people viewers to Strictly Come Dancing! Snapchat this on your Tide Pod slime, amiright? Yes, in Joe Sugg’s honour, the BBC has – I’m sorry to say – decided it must be totally hip to the kids of today. Please God let the try-hard shower of emojis that accompanied Joe’s dance never appear again, nor Auntie Tess yelp out “Trending! Likes! Am I doing it right? I hit the button but it took a picture of my ear!”.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Thomas Cole, The Lehman Trilogy, The Wife and Caitlin Moran

On my September MoveTo Town and Country Arts page:

  • Exhibition TheNational Gallery spotlights American landscape artist Thomas Cole
  • Film Glenn Close is riveting – and Oscar-tipped – in The Wife
  • Theatre An epic story told by a trio of actors in The Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre
  • Commuter corner Caitlin Moran revisits her Britpop past in How To Be Famous

Read the full page here

Read the latest edition of MoveTo Town and Country here

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Heathers The Musical, Theatre Royal Haymarket

This London premiere of Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe’s 2010 musical (based on Daniel Waters’ oh-so-Eighties cult classic movie, starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder) had a development period at The Other Palace – no critics allowed – before cruising into the West End with a cult following already in place. A winning strategy, as it turns out, resulting in adoring audiences cheering on a show that’s largely worthy of their adulation.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Holy Sh!t, Kiln Theatre

It’s all change at the Kiln (was Tricycle) Theatre, with a £5.5 million redevelopment resulting in a bright, light, spacious and welcoming new building – complete with a more obvious street presence, comfortable café/bar area, plentiful ladies’ loos, and a flexible auditorium with plush seats and improved sight lines.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Strictly Speaking: Launch Show

Hello again, Strictly fans! It’s Series 16! Woohoo! Series 16, AKA the one where Marianka continually squawks “A YouTuber?” at her screen in the manner of Lady Bracknell’s “A handbag?” and feels about 102 and begins to contemplate the yawning void of mortality, and then remembers the state of the world and kind of welcomes it. Series 16!

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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The Humans, Hampstead Theatre

Transatlantic theatrical traffic is busier than ever, and now here at the Hampstead is not just Stephen Karam’s Tony-winning play, first seen in 2015, but director Joe Mantello and his full Broadway cast. It seems fitting that they should travel together, since Karam’s work is so dependent upon a company – as they do here – capturing the intricate rhythms of family, until the rich naturalism begins to convey something profound.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Dance Nation, Almeida Theatre

Wild, raw, hilarious and tender, Clare Barron’s electrifying play – first seen in New York earlier this year – is a candid portrait of prepubescent girls, rare compared with the myriad male coming-of-age tales. But, like its warrior women, Barron’s piece fights for its space, and with a formal daring that teeters thrillingly on the edge of chaos.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Sylvia leads September’s Top 10 new London shows

From a new hip-hop history lesson to Pinter and Shakespeare.

Read my full BroadwayWorld article here

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