Tag Archives: farce

No laughing matter: The challenges of reviewing comedy

BroadwayWorld reviewers share their thoughts. Read the full article here Advertisements

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Young Marx, Bridge Theatre

Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr’s enterprise is certainly an historic one: The Bridge is London’s first new wholly commercial theatre in 80 years. If its opening play isn’t the same landmark work, it’s nevertheless an auspicious start to a promising … Continue reading

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The Painkiller, Garrick Theatre

The fourth production in Branagh’s Garrick season is the revival of an odd-couple romp he brought to the Lyric, Belfast in 2011. Sean Foley (best known for his superlative Branagh-directed Morecambe and Wise tribute The Play What I Wrote) adapts … Continue reading

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Hand to God, Vaudeville Theatre

There will be blood. And expletives. And puppet sex that makes Avenue Q look positively monastic. But perhaps most shocking of all is that beneath the eye-wateringly explicit surface of Robert Askins’ provocative farce, which began life Off-Off-Broadway in 2011, lies … Continue reading

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Hangmen, Wyndham’s Theatre

Just what constitutes reasonable behaviour in an enlightened society? Not long ago, the death penalty fell under that umbrella in Britain, and state-sanctioned killing as punishment for the crime of, well, killing is just the kind of twisted irony that … Continue reading

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Ben Hur, Tricycle Theatre

Hollywood took 365 speaking parts, 50,000 extras and 78 horses to tell this epic tale in 1959; here at the Tricycle, it’s a cast of four and some enterprising puppet work. Playwright Patrick Barlow, following up global hit The 39 Steps, … Continue reading

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Unsubtle Tartuffe update misses target

Last year, American poet/playwright Marcus Gardley scored a hit at the Tricycle by transporting Lorca to 19th-century New Orleans, and his loose adaptation of Molière’s 1664 Tartuffe seemed equally promising – the hypocritical religious devotee becoming a Deep South charlatan preacher. … Continue reading

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A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Tricycle Theatre

Molière’s 1664 comedy Tartuffe transplanted to present-day Atlanta, Georgia: it sounds like an inspired idea. The hypocritical religious devotee becomes a charlatan preacher fleecing his flock, offering salvation in exchange for hard cash and a distinctly unpriestly grope. But Marcus … Continue reading

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Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe

“Comedy, love and a bit with a dog,” counselled Henslowe in Stoppard’s Shakespeare in Love, and his populist advice is taken to heart in this broad, bawdy, big-hearted farce untroubled by nuanced characterisation or context. Jessica Swale’s modern-language Restoration romp ensures a … Continue reading

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Ten great plays within plays

To coincide with the opening of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good at the National Theatre, here are 10 great examples of the play-within-a-play, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy to groundbreaking work from Stoppard, Pirandello, Weiss and Brecht. Read my full National Theatre article here

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