Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: White Rose

When you hear the rousing tune of the State Anthem of the Russian Federation, you know you’ve stepped into a play about the Russian contribution to Germany’s defeat in the Second World War. However, rather than focus on the ground conflict, ‘White Rose’ tells the story of the female fighter pilots, including ‘Double Ace’ Lily Litvak. Continue reading “Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: White Rose”

Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: Very Pleasant Sensations

‘Screw Maximilian!’ Michael York exclaims, playing the novelist Christopher Isherwood in the 1972 film adaptation of the musical ‘Cabaret’.  ‘I do’ Liza Minnelli (as Sally Bowles) retorts with honesty and venom. ‘So do I’ is Isherwood’s brutal and brilliant reply. ‘Very Pleasant Sensations’ is a play secured around these terribly witty homoerotic exchanges. Continue reading “Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: Very Pleasant Sensations”

Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: The Freedom of the City by Brian Friel

Brian Friel said, in an interview in 1973, ‘Very often an accident in history will bring about a meeting point, a kind of fusion for you. And this is what happened. This is a play about poverty.’ As we pass into the second week of Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season, we see another politically driven play focusing around a small number of individuals. Continue reading “Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: The Freedom of the City by Brian Friel”

Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: A Butcher of Distinction

‘A Butcher of Distinction’ is a play you won’t be forgetting in a hurry. The second week of Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Showcase has a much more violent feel about it than the shows of the first. There’s an intense intimacy with the stage and actors that borders on the uncomfortable. You may know ‘A Butcher of Distinction’ from its original run at the Cock Tavern in 2011, from where it transferred to the King’s Head. Continue reading “Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: A Butcher of Distinction”

Pop Up Opera’s Rita/La Serva Padrona at The Sun Tavern

For their latest production, Pop Up Opera has really pushed the boat out. The company, who already perform in boats, barns and garlic farms, aren’t doing two operas back to back; instead, they have intertwined Donizetti’s ‘Rita’ with Pergolesi’s ‘La Serva Padrona’ or ‘The servant turned mistress’. Continue reading “Pop Up Opera’s Rita/La Serva Padrona at The Sun Tavern”

Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: Master Harold… and the Boys at The Cockpit

When Athol Fugard’s play ‘Master Harold…and the Boys’ was first produced in the early 1980s it was greeted with critical acclaim, a Tony Award nomination and, naturally, instant blacklisting in South Africa. Fugard, a South Africa playwright, was made ‘keenly aware of the injustices of the apartheid’ when working as a clerk in the native Commissioners Court, yet what’s interesting about this play is that it doesn’t concentrate on court proceedings or political exchanges. Continue reading “Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: Master Harold… and the Boys at The Cockpit”

Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: Café Nation

Instantaneous and hopeless infatuations. Everyone’s had one at some point. Whether it’s in a coffee shop, a bar, a supermarket or even a library, there will be a point (or several) in life at which the false charm and winning smile of the person behind the counter takes you off guard and you find yourself swimming in a pool of puppy eyed rapture. Continue reading “Mountview Postgraduate Director’s Season: Café Nation”

RADA Festival: Fishskin Trousers by Elizabeth Kuti

Whilst West End musicals and high profile productions are relying on increasingly more developed technology to bring shocks and wonders to an audience with an ever shortening attention span, it is a relief and a pleasure to view some simple storytelling. Elizabeth Kuti’s new play ‘Fishskin Trousers’ follows three interwoven tales taken from different eras in the history of Orford, Suffolk. Continue reading “RADA Festival: Fishskin Trousers by Elizabeth Kuti”

M. Butterfly at RADA Director’s Showcase

There are few plays written about the concept of deception that call into question the role of the  imagination in sustaining an illusion so vigorously as ‘M. Butterfly’. Written by David Henry Hwang in 1988, it inevitably draws parallels with Puccini’s opera, whilst recreating the story of disgraced French diplomat Bernard Bouriscot (here under the name Rene Gallimard). Continue reading “M. Butterfly at RADA Director’s Showcase”