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Lloyd Evans rss

Darren Strange and Dan Copeland in Invincible at St. James Theatre

When Mr and Mrs Clever-Nasty-and-Rich met Mr and Mrs Thick-Sweet-and-Poor

26 July 2014
Invincible St James
This Was A Man Finborough

Torben Betts, head boy at Alan Ayckbourn’s unofficial school of apprentices, has written at least a dozen plays I’ve never seen. Invincible, my first encounter with the heir apparent, is… Read more

Billie Piper as Paige Britain: gorgeous, stony-hearted news psycho

Richard Bean doesn’t believe in humans - just weasels, snakes, rats and vultures

19 July 2014
Great Britain Lyttelton
Perseverance Drive Bush

Mr Bean, one of our greatest comic exports, has an alter ego. The second Mr Bean, forename Richard, is the author of One Man, Two Guvnors, which thrilled audiences on… Read more

Excitement For The Olympic Games Continues Around London

Isn’t it time we asked the National Theatre to support itself?

12 July 2014

Two glorious playhouses grace the south bank of the Thames. Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre stage the finest shows available anywhere in the world. Both are kept in business… Read more

Decent and enjoyable production: Tom McKay (Brutus) and Anthony Howell (Cassius)

The sweating, dust-glazed saints at the Hampstead Theatre tells us nothing new about the miners’ strike

12 July 2014
Wonderland Hampstead
Julius Caesar Globe

Hampstead’s new play about the 1984 miners’ strike was nearly defeated by technical glitches. Centre stage in Ed Hall’s production there’s a clanking great iron chute that stubbornly refused to… Read more

A couple of stuck-up superbrats: Isabella Calthorpe and Claire Forlani

Fashion Victim – the Musical!: daft camp with a warm heart

5 July 2014
Fashion Victim – the Musical! Cinema Museum
The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tricycle

Fashion Victim — the Musical!. There’s a title that’s been waiting to be used for ages. The Cinema Museum is a frumpy warehouse, tucked away in a Kennington backwater, crammed… Read more

Wine

Red wine... with a hint of Diet Coke

28 June 2014

A mixed case arrives from Corney & Barrow. My orders are to improvise so I pull out a bottle at random. Here it is. El Campesino, a 2013 Chardonnay (£7.13),… Read more

Hobson's Choice, Regents Park

Mark Benton’s Hobson spares us nothing in his journey from rooftop to gutter

28 June 2014
Hobson’s Choice Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park
Enduring Song Southwark Playhouse

Nice one, Roy. Across the West End secret toasts are being drunk to the England supremo for his exquisitely crafted belly flop in Brazil. A decent run by our boys… Read more

Alex Jennings: still experimenting with the Wonka character

Alex Jennings interview: the new Willy Wonka on Roald Dahl’s ‘child killer’

21 June 2014

‘Oompa Loompa juice,’ says the actor Alex Jennings when I ask if he takes any supplements to preserve his looks. He’s 57 but could pass for a decade younger. We… Read more

Idealists and chums: Joshua James (Arkady) and Seth Numrich (Bazarov)

Did Turgenev foresee Russia’s Stalinist future?

21 June 2014
Fathers and Sons Donmar

Fans of Chekhov have to endure both feast and famine. Feast because his works are revived everywhere. Famine because he concentrated all his riches in just four great plays that… Read more

Between Us, Arcola.

The Globe's larf-a-minute Antony and Cleopatra

14 June 2014
Antony and Cleopatra Globe
Between Us Arcola

It’s hilarious. It’s also annoying that it’s so hilarious. Jonathan Munby’s earthy and glamorous production of Antony and Cleopatra goes almost too far to please the Globe’s fidgety, giggly crowds.… Read more

Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid in Bakersfield Mist

When the big-boobed whisky monster met the upper-class snoot

7 June 2014
Bakersfield Mist Duchess
A Human Being Died That Night Hampstead

Lionel is a king of the New York art scene. An internationally renowned connoisseur, he travels the world creating and destroying fortunes. He anoints a masterpiece, here. He defenestrates a… Read more

Bang on the money: Gary Kemp and Stefan Booth in ‘Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be’

Joan Littlewood has a lot to answer for – but Fings Ain't With They Used T'Be' makes up for it

31 May 2014
Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be Stratford East
Johnny Got His Gun Southwark Playhouse

Joan Littlewood’s greatest disservice to the theatre was to champion ‘the right to fail’, which encouraged writers and directors to inflict a thousand shades of bilge on play-goers for many… Read more

Polly Teale: ‘I often look back now and say how lucky was I!’

Polly Teale interview: Cuts are making the theatre ‘a place where you can only survive if you are from a privileged background’

24 May 2014

I spend an hour with the theatre director Polly Teale. She’s 50ish with a tall, willowy physique and strong, aquiline features. Her hair is arranged in a combed bob whose… Read more

Brian Protheroe (Nicholas) and Tristram Wymark (Mr Weaver) in This May Hurt a Bit Photo:  John Haynes

Memo to Nick Payne: filling your plays with cosmic chit-chat doesn’t make you intelligent

24 May 2014
Incognito Bush
This May Hurt a Bit St James

How do you write a play? Here’s one theory. Put a guy up a tree, throw rocks at him, get him down again. It’s a good working template. Nick Payne’s… Read more

Baroness Trumpington and Lord Harris of High Cross.  Defiant pipe and cigar smokers from both houses of Parliament light up to mark national no-smoking day. Photo: William Conran/PA Images

From Bletchley Park to Take Your Pick – this baroness’s memoir is a blast

17 May 2014
Coming Up Trumps: A Memoir Jean Trumpington

Macmillan, pp.236, £16.99, ISBN: 9781447256779

Jean Trumpington’s memoir, published as she closes in on her 92nd birthday, is an absolute blast from the opening page. She was born in 1922 to a posh but poor… Read more

De Profundis at the Leicester Square Theatre

The Silver Tassie: a lavish, experimental muddle that slithers into a coma

17 May 2014
The Silver Tassie Lyttelton
De Profundis Leicester Square Theatre

The Silver Tassie is the major opening at the Lyttelton this spring. Sean O’Casey’s rarely staged play introduces us to a group of Dublin sportsmen, and their womenfolk, as they… Read more

Debris at the Southwark Playhouse Photo: Richard Davenport

Everyone should see this pious anti-war monologue – seriously

10 May 2014
Grounded Gate
Debris Southwark Playhouse

Off to the Gate for a special treat: a pious anti-war monologue from the prize-winning American George Brant. Curtain up. And within seconds all my preachy prejudices have fallen apart.… Read more

Dazzling: Patricia Hodge, Caroline Quentin and Rory Bremner  in ‘Relative Values’

The Guardian didn’t much like Noel Coward’s Relative Values – but you will

3 May 2014
Relative Values Harold Pinter
Archimedes’ Principle Park

Cripes. How did I get that one wrong? A few issues back I blithely predicted that Harry Hill’s musical I Can’t Sing would run for three years. It closes this… Read more

Sally Mortemore and Claire Louise Amias in Women Of Twilight by Sylvia Rayman

The real original kitchen-sink drama

26 April 2014
Women of Twilight Pleasance
Oh My Sweet Land Young Vic

Rewrite the history books! Tradition tells us that kitchen-sink drama began in 1956 with Look Back in Anger. A season of lost classics at the White Bear Theatre has unearthed… Read more

Rob Callender in Another Country (Photo: Johan Persson)

Another Country could almost be a YouTube advert for Eton

19 April 2014
Another Country Trafalgar Studio
A Small Family Business Olivier

Another Country was an instant response to Anthony Blunt’s exposure in 1979 as a Marxist spy. Julian Mitchell set out to explain how gay public-school toffs, reared in a system… Read more

(Image: Barney Heywood/Paul Blakemore)

Beware of Banksy: his art can make you homeless

12 April 2014
Kingston 14 Theatre Royal, Stratford East
Banksy: The Room in the Elephant Arcola

You may not have heard of Goldie. He’s an actor and singer whose name refers to the bullion with which a cosmetic mason has decorated his incisors. A recent James… Read more

An upmarket panto with top-quality jokes and strong tunes: Jordy, Simon and Louis

Simon Cowell’s latest attempt at global domination

5 April 2014
I Can’t Sing! Palladium
Bitch Boxer Soho

I Can’t Sing! is a parody of The X Factor, which already parodies itself at every turn. Quite a tough call. The heroine is an oppressed no-hoper stuck in a… Read more

the-roaring-girle

Why are Shakespeare’s women so feeble?

29 March 2014

There’s a problem, as we all know, with female roles in the theatrical canon, and it reaches all the way back to the Bard. Shakespeare’s women lack the richness and… Read more

Ray Cooney's Two Into One Photo: Catherine Ashmore

Where’s a goofy, flat-chested shrew when you need one?

29 March 2014
Two Into One Menier
The Dead Dogs Print Room

Ray Cooney, the master of farce, is back. These days he’s in the modest Menier rather than the wonderful West End. His 1984 caper, Two Into One, opens with Richard,… Read more

The Husbands by Sharmila Chauhan Photo: Robert Day

A gaggle of husbands and a pair of piglets

22 March 2014
The Husbands Soho
I’d Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole Gate

Here’s a great idea for a play. Turn the polygamy principle upside-down and you get a female egoist presiding over a harem of warring husbands. Sharmila Chauhan’s drama, The Husbands,… Read more