Showing posts from November, 2017

Uncle Vanya – Home Theatre, Manchester

I’ve recently written a post about Chekhov and Uncle Vanya after I saw it performed “in the round” at Theatr Clwyd, so I’m not going to go into the history of the play again. Instead, this is just a quick review of the show. I’ve not seen a “modern” interpretation of Chekhov before. I would argue that this was actually a timeless interpretation of Chekhov. It is hard to place this version in a specific decade because the themes that Chekhov wrote about 120 years ago are still relevant today, and will still be relevant in another 120 years. The costumes are also generic; simple casual clothing for the country workers, and an elegant red jumpsuit for the beautiful younger wife of the Professor, whose arrival torments all the men’s hearts. As  the generations before us have passed the buck, our latently idle species (however hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise) will continue to pass that buck

Not About Heroes – Theatr Clwyd - Mold

At 11am on the 11 th November, we will remember them.  Britain declared war on Germany on 4 th August 1914. Germany had ignored Britain’s request to stop violating Belgium’s neutrality in its attack against France. The bloodiest battle in history was about to commence. The casualties of WWI far surpassed those of WWII. It wiped out generations of young men, men who had everything to live for, many of whom had such bright futures ahead of them. No-one could prepare themselves for what was about to become. No-one could envisage the horrors of “modern” warfare. Britain was living in the glorious Georgian age of poetry, a soft and meditative state of romanticism. Their perception of war was still one of cavalry charges and heroics for the greater good. How innocent they all were. The brutality of trench warfare was an unknown quantity, but the poets who were prepared to speak out about their experiences would soon change all of that. Even the likes of Edward Thomas who waxed lyri

Romantics Anonymous – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at The Globe

I keep telling people, myself included, that I’m not a fan of musicals, I prefer a good ole fashioned play…and then I list some notable exceptions; The King & I, Cats, Showboat, Phantom of the Opera, Carousel, The Rocky Horror Show! I then realise that I do like musicals, I just don’t like the modern trend of taking some famous songs and then bunging them on stage with a thinly veiled storyline tying them all together. So when I was asked if I wanted a ticket to see Romantics Anonymous, I was a bit, well, meh! I didn’t know much about it, but I still said yes to a ticket! Press reports show the public has had a love hate relationship with Emma Rice since she was appointed Artistic Director at Shakespeare’s Globe. I’ve seen a few plays at the Sam Wanamaker whilst she has been in situ, and I have enjoyed them all, but reports on how some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays have been toyed with at The Globe have left me relieved that I’ve not borne witness to them. I found it int

Schillerfest – William Tell at The Bunker Theatre - London

Theatre is the gift that just keeps giving. It informs you, it educates you and it entertains you. Friedrich Schiller – 10 th November 1759 – 9 th May 1805, was a famous German playwright, poet and philosopher. He was of great importance and influence in European theatres; however, he has never become mainstream, and still remains relatively unknown in the UK. He had a grammar school education until the age of 13, when he was commanded to go to the Military Academy, an institution founded by Duke Karl Eugen. Schiller learnt in his formative years what it was like to grow up under the rule of a petty tyrant who used and abused his power, and this theme echoes through many of Schiller’s plays. Robert David MacDonald (David) 1929 – 2004 was fluent in eight languages (and it is noted could ‘get by’ in 22!) He was a Scottish musician, playwright, actor, director, and he translated five of Schiller’s plays, introducing this influential writer to a new wave of actors and aud