Jermyn street theatre

If only Caryl Churchill’s plays were as thrillingly macabre as her debut

The first play by the pioneering feminist Caryl Churchill has been revived at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Owners, originally staged in 1972, feels very different from Churchill’s later work and it recalls the apprentice efforts of Brecht who started out writing middle-class comedies tinged with satirical anger. Churchill sets her play in the cut-throat London property market where prices are soaring and tenants are apt to be evicted if they can’t cover sudden rent rises. Marion is an estate agent who secretly buys a house occupied by her former lover Alec who is married to Lisa. Their third child is on the way. Marion hatches an evil plan to kick

Kids will enjoy this new show at the West End’s newest theatre more than adults: Marvellous, @sohoplace, reviewed

London has a brand-new theatre – yet again. Last summer, a cabaret venue opened in the Haymarket for the first time. More recently, the Marylebone Theatre near Regent’s Park held its debut show. And now Nica Burns of Nimax Theatres has announced a new venture, @sohoplace, which she says is the first West End venue to open for 50 years. The playing area is a hoop-shaped enclosure with rising tiers of seats overlooking a deep oblong pit. Cage fighting and mud-wrestling could be staged here to great advantage. The poster for the debut show, MARVELLOUS, features the title in bright pastel letters with a yellow balloon, a pair of clown’s

A play for bureaucrats: David Hare’s Straight Line Crazy reviewed

It’s good of Nicholas Hytner to let Londoners see David Hare’s new play before it travels to Broadway where it belongs. Few Brits will know the subject, Robert Moses, an urban planner of the 1920s who built the roads and bridges that gave New Yorkers access to seaside resorts in Long Island. This is a play for bureaucrats. Nit-picking and box-ticking are the main points of interest. Squiggles on forms. Correct signatures at the bottom of proof-read documents. Hare is copying George Bernard Shaw and his script is a celebration of rhetoric above all other qualities. Dialogue-junkies will enjoy the screeds of quickfire chatter that keep the play motoring along.

Do theatres actually read scripts before agreeing to stage them?

Money is a new internet play about financial corruption starring Mel Giedroyc. She appears on-screen for less time than it takes to eat a Malteser. Giedroyc plays the boss of a palm-oil firm that wipes out orangutan habitats in Asia and wants to launder its reputation by donating cash to a London charity. A million quid is on the table. The charity staff meet via Zoom to discuss the gift. But first they brief each other about their latest activities which, predictably enough, consist of stoking grievances and spreading self-pity. Their charitable aims include ‘tackling local loneliness’, and ‘breaking down barriers based on age, race and gender’. The meeting then