"Good writing, for me, usually comes from groping around in the dark." J. Robert Lennon
Theatre
Shakespeare's exiles

Shakespeare’s exiles

A tempestuous and disproportionate furore erupted in the media after Benedict Cumberbatch used stronger terms than usually expected to entreat the audience at a recent production of Hamlet at the Barbican to show support for the refugees arriving on Europe’s shores. The actor’s reaction, after being presented with a CBE by the Queen for his...
Opening night at Shakespeare’s Globe

Opening night at Shakespeare’s Globe

The Time Travel Handbook offers eighteen exceptional trips to the past, transporting you back to the greatest spectacles in history. You can join Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; march on Versailles with the revolutionary women of Paris; sail with Captain Cook to Tahiti and Australia; hang out at Xanadu with...
A fruitful distillation of old and new

A fruitful distillation of old and new

Patrick Marber’s Three Days in the Country at the National Theatre. “A ripe-soft pear” was Gustave Flaubert’s term of affection for his good friend Ivan Turgenev. Taken out of context, the term is hardly a compliment. Une poire molle is someone who lacks character, conviction, mettle; yet Flaubert must have meant something very different. According...
Diving into Wonderland

Diving into Wonderland

Something is stirring underground at London’s Waterloo, as two immersive shows share a lovingly created Wonderland to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. I sit down with co-directors Oliver Lansley and James Seager from theatre group Les Enfants Terribles and producer Emma Brünjes to peer down the rabbit-hole. Alice’s Adventures Underground, and its...
Making friends with Alice

Making friends with Alice

The children’s production of Alice in Wonderland at The Vaults Waterloo was Wonder-landiful. I loved every single second of it even though bits of it was scary, including the cheshire cat who had big green eyes. I loved it when you sit on the floor and look up at the cieling, it really felt like you falling!...
The world's pendulum is Antigone's heart

The world’s pendulum is Antigone’s heart

Ivo van Hove’s production of Antigone at the Barbican reminds us of what theatre is all about. Why tragedy and the Greeks are still crucial to our understanding of our humanity and inhumanity, why they still present us with a timeless meaning, an ethics of eternity. Ivo van Hove has given us a haunting, eerie...
Quality of mercy strain'd

Quality of mercy strain’d

The Merchant of Venice is one of the most poignantly tragic, most unassailably human literary works ever created. If it were to be lost or disappear, much of what makes life worth living would be lost with it. It vitally seeks to express what makes human existence and human society possible – and to expose...
One lady owner

One lady owner

A provocative and darkly comic look at marital relations, pregnancy, romance and fantasy, Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London in June 2011, and now comes to the MCC Theater in New York in a new production directed by Sam Gold and starring Greta Gerwig. Here’s how it begins…  ...