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”

RADA Festival: August Town by Claire Prempeh

To a modern viewer spoilt by productions seemingly intent on diminishing any need for the audience to suspend disbelief, Claire Prempeh’s new play ‘August Town’ might have first appeared as some sort of special Caribbean brew for disaster. However, although interwoven with spirits and demons, exorcisms and magic,  director Daniel Raggett’s production developed into a poignant and haunting exploration of lust, love and loyalties.

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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: Confessions of an Old Lady #2 with Joan Shepard

No medium could better deliver the autobiography of an actress other than a one woman show. This play encompasses and encounters the many wonders and anecdotes of Joan Shepard who is, in a simple and underestimated statement, a wonderful, talented and heroic actress. From the very beginning of the show, she captivates, commands, intrigues and shocks her audience by cutting short the applause soon after striding onto the stage with an authoritative “Let’s get one thing straight…”.  Continue reading “RADA Festival: Confessions of an Old Lady #2 with Joan Shepard”

RADA Festival: Alison Skilbeck in Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London

RADA Festival continues with a heartwarming yet rarely told story in Alison Skilbeck’s one-woman show, ‘Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London’. Skilbeck, an associate teacher at RADA, breathes new life into the heroine with her hugely entertaining monograph detailing the life of Eleanor Roosevelt.

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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”

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre: To Kill a Mockingbird

From the outset, it is clear that Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s adaptation of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is all about the ultimate comfort of storytelling. Having ventured into the park and up the winding paths leading into the theatre, there is a sense of settling down somewhere ‘otherworldly’.

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