Tag Archives: ham and high

Pericles, National Theatre

It’s a people’s revolution. For the very first time, a community cast takes the Olivier stage: around 200 non-professionals, led by a few actors, representing national diversity. And that’s no anaemic buzzword here, but real inclusion – assorted ages, sizes, … Continue reading

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Follies, National Theatre

Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s 1971 musical finally gets the outing it deserves in Dominic Cooke’s blockbuster revival – with a 37-strong cast and full orchestra. Follies isn’t just “still here”, it’s thrilling, heartrending, spectacular. Read my full Ham & High review … Continue reading

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Spellbinding story of Selassie

Colin Teevan has created an extraordinary showcase for the chameleonic Kathryn Hunter in this adaptation of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski’s book about the fall of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, in 1974. Hunter embodies a dozen of Selassie’s loyal flunkeys, … Continue reading

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A financial thriller to get blood pumping

Beth Steel, returning to the Hampstead after 2014’s Wonderland, dips back into history for a resonant financial drama. It’s 1978, and Wall Street is lending staggering sums to developing Latin American countries for infrastructure projects that are never completed – … Continue reading

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Branagh is assured but lacks true desperation

Brexit-ish rants, generational divide, tax dodging and Middle East chaos: the contemporary resonance of John Osborne’s 1957 state-of-the-nation play The Entertainer is almost eerie. Paired with an effective metaphor – the dying days of music hall – it’s a strong closing … Continue reading

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Sunset at the Villa Thalia, National Theatre

A new play about Greek political turmoil should feel thoroughly topical, but Alexi Kaye Campbell both illuminates and regrettably sidesteps the current European crisis by setting his in the mid 20th century. Part morality tale, part history lesson and part … Continue reading

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Style over substance but Lily shines

For his latest Shakespearean venture, Kenneth Branagh has produced a panting paean to Fellini, with all the cultural nuance of a Simpsons episode. While ravishing, his transposition of the action to Fifties Italy is notable more for the fabulous fashions … Continue reading

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Show Boat, New London Theatre

Racial politics, addiction, violence and economic hardship. The subject matter of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical, based on Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel, shocked on its 1927 premiere, as did its integrated story and score and revolutionary dramatic heft. … Continue reading

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The Man in the Woman’s Shoes, Tricycle Theatre

Where else can you find a spot-on impression of a dog who thinks she’s a cockerel? That’s just one member of the menagerie conjured by the extraordinary Mikel Murfi, who also summons chickens, bees, seagulls, pigs, sheep and a dying … Continue reading

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Calculating Kindness, Camden People’s Theatre

Nepotistic altruism: it sounds like a contradiction in terms. But American scientist George Price produced a mathematical formula – supporting evolutionary biologist WD Hamilton’s theory – which proved we’re more likely to help close relatives, in order to ensure the … Continue reading

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