Tag Archives: writing

Sex with Strangers, Hampstead Theatre

This is pure titular titillation – a strategy that backfires with this dated, laboured and distinctly unsexy piece. “Serious” writer Olivia (Emilia Fox) at one point bemoans the fact that her failed first novel was falsely marketed as a chick-lit … Continue reading

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Listed: Precocious Writers

Once upon a time… Storytelling is an integral part of all human cultures, and a central pillar of an enlightened education. Some children get the hang of it quickly – they are, as the phrase has it, natural storytellers. This … Continue reading

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Bold Chekhov for our times

Art imitates life in Chekhov’s tale of parasitic creatives, and on opening night in Regent’s Park, the reverse also came to pass when a resident moorhen waddled over to greet the dead seagull. It’s a compliment to Matthew Dunster, who … Continue reading

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The Seagull, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Hamlet instructs his players to hold “the mirror up to nature”, advice taken literally in this arresting 120-year anniversary staging of Chekhov’s homage to the Bard. Jon Bausor’s set is dominated by a vast angled mirror, offering an appropriately bird’s-eye … Continue reading

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Stop! The Play, Trafalgar Studios

The play’s the thing, once again, in the latest backstage comedy, an affable if limited dig at luvvie pretensions. Noises Off still reigns supreme in this genre, with successors unable to match the bravura precision of Michael Frayn’s masterful multitasking … Continue reading

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Stevie, Hampstead Theatre

Writing about writers: exploring what you know, or the very definition of stifling egoism? Either way, it can be a terrible trap for the playwright, with craft becoming not just the subject of a work, but its defining feature. Hugh … Continue reading

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10 questions on Chekhov for playwright Simon Stephens

Fresh from global domination with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, currently garnering rapturous reviews on Broadway, inexhaustible playwright and adaptor Simon Stephens has swapped Mark Haddon for Anton Chekhov and a new version of The Cherry Orchard, … Continue reading

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School of hard knocks

Writing is not a spectator sport. Theresa Rebeck’s wryly cynical 2011 play sets out to disprove that fact by focussing on the hoopla surrounding the act of putting pen to paper, from battling personal demons to the grim pragmatism of … Continue reading

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Through the keyhole

Someone enters a strange house. Observes a family. Influences their actions. Toys with their emotions. Gathers their secrets and whispers them to the world. Voyeur? Stalker? Unfeeling sociopath? Or just a writer? This is the delicious premise of François Ozon’s … Continue reading

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Life after death

Sonali Deraniyagala’s Wave is not an easy read. I’ll say that again (it definitely bears repeating): Sonali Deraniyagala’s Wave is not an easy read. It is, however, an important one. An exceptional one. And a profoundly moving one. We often … Continue reading

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