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Lloyd Evans rss

Soloman and Marion

Norman Mailer’s wife comes out of the shadows

22 November 2014
Go See King’s Head Theatre
Solomon and Marion Print Room at the Coronet

‘It’s not as bad as I thought it would be,’ said Norman Mailer to his wife, Norris Church, after reading the first chapters of a novel she wrote in the… Read more

Gemma Arterton leads the way in Made in Dagenham Photo: Alex James

Yanks buy stacks of tickets in the West End. Why is Made in Dagenham so rude to them?

15 November 2014
Made in Dagenham: the Musical Adelphi Theatre
‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Go slow at Dagenham. The musical based on the film about a pay dispute in the 1960s starts as a sluggish mire of twee simplicities. We’re in Essex. Grumbling Cockney… Read more

Jonah and Otto Photo: Jack Sain

An inept dud penetrates the Park Theatre’s dross-filters - and I blame Beckett

8 November 2014
Jonah and Otto Park Theatre
Coolatully Finborough Theatre

Jonah and Otto is a lost-soul melodrama that keeps its audience guessing. Where are we? The Channel coast somewhere. Indoors or out? Not sure. Near a church maybe? Violence barges… Read more

Oppressed by the set in ‘Neville’s Island’

Neville's Island: a play from the era of Men Behaving Badly - when women were seen as exotic excrescences

1 November 2014
Neville’s Island Duke of York’s Theatre
Spine Soho Theatre

Start with a joke. Neville’s Island. Get it? Laughing yet? Are your ribs splitting into pieces? It’s a cracker, isn’t it? Well it’s a pun, at least, on Devil’s Island.… Read more

Jane Horrocks as the slovenly matriarch still fond of her bullying husband George (‘East is East’ playwright Ayub Khan Din, left)

Is London's West End Jewish enough for David Baddiel’s musical The Infidel?

25 October 2014
The Infidel — The Musical Theatre Royal Stratford East
East is East Trafalgar Studios

David Baddiel has turned his movie, The Infidel, into a musical. The set-up is so contrived and clumsy that it has a sweetness all its own. A golden-hearted London cabbie,… Read more

Harriet Walter as King Henry

Donmar's Henry IV: Phyllida Lloyd has nothing but contempt for her audience

18 October 2014
Henry IV Donmar Warehouse
Notes from Underground Print Room

The age of ‘ladies first’ is back. Phyllida Lloyd reserves all the roles for the weaker sex, as I imagine she thinks of them, in this hybrid play assembled from… Read more

Stage rage: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra

Were the cast of the Old Vic’s Electra clothed by Oxfam?

11 October 2014
Electra Old Vic
Next Fall Southwark Playhouse

First, a bit of background. Conquering Agamemnon slew his daughter, Iphigenia, in return for a fair wind to Troy. This rather miffed his wife, Clytemnestra, who bashed his head in… Read more

Evita at the Dominion Photo: Darren Bell

Will Marti Pellow attract enough tipsy hen parties to Evita to flog all 18,000 seats?

4 October 2014
Evita Dominion Theatre
The Vertical Hour Park Theatre

Tim and Andy are back. Their monster hit Evita opens the fully refurbed and re-primped Dominion Theatre, which is built on the scale of an airport terminal and needs a… Read more

Doctor Scroggy’s War (Photo: Mark Douet)

Charles III is made for numbskulls by numbskulls

27 September 2014
King Charles III Wyndham’s Theatre
Doctor Scroggy’s War Shakespeare’s Globe

Suppose Charles were to reign as a meddlesome, self-pitying, indecisive plonker. It’s a thought. It’s now a play, too, by Mike Bartlett. In his opening scene he bumps off Lilibet,… Read more

The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Alastair Muir

If you have teenage boys who loathe the very idea of theatre, send them to The Play That Goes Wrong

20 September 2014
The Play That Goes Wrong Duchess
Land of Our Fathers Trafalgar 2

It’s taken a while but here it is. The Play That Goes Wrong is like Noises Off, but simpler. Michael Frayn’s cumbersome backstage farce asked us to follow the actors’… Read more

Gabriel Quigley (Fiona) in Spoiling by John McCann.

Can the Scots really be as small-minded, mistrustful and chippy as Spoiling suggests?

13 September 2014
Spoiling Theatre Royal, Stratford East
The Flouers o’Edinburgh Finborough Theatre

Referendum fever reaches Stratford East. Spoiling, by John McCann, takes us into the corridors of power in Holyrood shortly after a triumphant Yes vote. We meet a foul-mouthed bruiser named… Read more

A wizened Victor Mature: Matthew Kelly in Toast

Bent bureaucrats, ‘fake dykes’ and bad bakers — this week’s theatre

6 September 2014
Eye of a Needle Southwark Playhouse
Toast Park Theatre

Eye of a Needle, by newcomer Chris MacDonald, looks at homosexuality and asylum. Gays from the Third World, who’ve suppressed all evidence of their orientation at home, find they have… Read more

Crazy love, Dogfight

Dolts, Doormats and FGM: theatre to make you physically sick

30 August 2014
Dogfight Southwark Playhouse
Little Stitches Theatre 503

Wow. What an experience. A 1991 movie named Dogfight has spawned a romantic musical. We’re in San Francisco in 1963. Eddie is a swaggering, shaven-headed Marine and Rose is a… Read more

edinburghfinal-copy

Alex Salmond has already lost — if the Edinburgh Festival is anything to go by

23 August 2014

Scotland’s on a knife-edge. Like all referendum-watchers at the Edinburgh Festival I grabbed a ticket for The Pitiless Storm, a drama about independence, which attracts big crowds every lunchtime at… Read more

Pushing 70, but not very hard: Anne Archer as Jane Fonda

An innocent graduate of Operation Yewtree, Jim Davidson, dazzles in Edinburgh

23 August 2014

Let’s start with a nightmare. Wendy Wason, an Edinburgh comedienne, travelled to LA last year accompanied by her husband, who promptly succumbed to a fainting fit. Wason called an ambulance,… Read more

Natasia Demetriou

The best of the Edinburgh Fringe

16 August 2014

Rain whimpers from Edinburgh’s skies. The sodden tourists look like aliens in their steamed-up ponchos as they scurry and rustle across the gleaming cobblestones. Performers touting for business chirrup their… Read more

Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar named Desire

Sorry, Gillian Anderson, but you've caught the wrong Streetcar

9 August 2014
A Streetcar Named Desire Young Vic
A Bright Room Called Day Southwark Playhouse

Streetcar. One word is enough to conjure an icon. Tennessee Williams’s finest play, written in the 1940s, is about a fallen woman trying to salvage her reputation before madness overwhelms… Read more

edinburgh

3,000 acts and no quality control – why the Edinburgh Fringe is the greatest (and patchiest) arts festival in the world

9 August 2014

And they’re off. The mighty caravan of romantic desperadoes, radical egoists, stadium wannabes, struggling superstars and vanity crackheads is on its way to Edinburgh. This year’s Fringe sponsor is Virgin… Read more

Terribly, terribly English: Helen McCrory as Medea

Let’s face it, Greek tragedy is often earnest, obscure or boring. Not this Medea

2 August 2014
Medea Olivier
Holes Arcola Tent

Carrie Cracknell’s new version of Medea strikes with overwhelming and rather puzzling force. The royal palace has been done up to resemble a clapped-out Spanish villa that seems to date… Read more

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