“You have one body and one life to live and you only get this one shot – and that reality can drive you crazy.” Ottessa Moshfegh
Theatre
In praise of evanescence

In praise of evanescence

A sense of bemused confusion and intrigued curiosity is the audience’s first impression of David Zinn’s set for Annie Baker’s The Flick, currently at the National Theatre following a strong and successful season in New York, where it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. There are seats on either side of the space that ought...
About a girl

About a girl

Annie Ryan’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Eimear McBride’s 2014 Baileys Prize winning novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing has begun its sold-out run at the Young Vic. The 80-minute multi-voiced monologue performed by Aoife Duffin reveals the thoughts and experiences of a physically and psychologically damaged young woman. It’s a triumphant and devastatingly intimate...
A small wonder

A small wonder

They say that good things come in small packages, and W11 Opera’s current production of Eliza and the Swans, a sparkling retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans, is certainly a glorious thing on the small stage of the POSK Theatre in Hammersmith, which for two nights transforms into the great world of fairy...
Not a girl, alas

Not a girl, alas

Our times are times of tremendous change, maturation and unique creative vibrancy for the theatre. Productions have multidimensionality, a plurality of voices and of centres of balance which enthrals us, inspires us, truly lures us to share in the dramatic experience, be more and more an integral, engaged part of a stage that is no...
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...