Posts Tagged ‘Haydn Gwynne’

Review – The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre

Friday 27 May 2016

CcsbDaMXEAAsGf5Wasn’t expecting the Drum Revolve.

Phil saw a preview of The Threepenny Opera on the very day he’d received a begging letter from the National’s Artistic Director, Rufus Norris asking for contributions to the £350, 000 he’s trying to raise to revitalise the Olivier Theatre’s 40-year-old stage machinery which was then “cutting-edge technology” but is now “literally grinding to a halt”.

He assumed this was irony. Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s tale, in a new adaptation by Simon Stephens, has placed the story in pre-coronation London and features a raggle-taggle of beggars. One of the beggars, Rufus Norris, was not on stage, he was seated at the back of the stalls overseeing his production with NT ex-AD Sir Nicholas of Hytner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Musical

Saturday 17 January 2015

women-on-the-vergeLast week Phil was due to see Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown but it seemed the show itself was having a breakdown of its own.

He’s already reported about turning up at the Playhouse theatre a week last Monday to find it cancelled as three, yes, three of the leads were off sick. A friend who had been the Saturday before reported that apparently the director had come on stage before the performance to apologise for the cast feeling ‘tired and under the weather’. Surely not a wise move. If you’ve forked out for a ticket you don’t really want to know this. What were they hoping for a sympathy vote?

All were present on Tuesday, though they’d had the official opening and an after-show party the night before yet no one appeared tired. With the frenetic goings on in this musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar‘s farcical 1988 film tiredness would not sit too happily with the madness they have to contend with. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Audience, Gielgud Theatre

Friday 22 February 2013

posterWe should probably put SPOILER ALERT in here and have done with it, but judging by the papers in the last week it seems the press were in at its first preview; the spoiling has already been done.

This is not just a play, it’s a news item; so eagerly anticipated that disappointment might almost seem inevitable.

If it initially seemed surprising that Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Helen Mirren would revisit playing HMQ (the part she famously won an Oscar for in The Queen by Peter Morgan of Frost/Nixon etc fame) the reasons soon become evident.

The Audience comes from the pen of that film’s writer with Stephen Daldry returning to directing for the stage after 4 films (“together received 19 Academy Award nominations and 2 wins” according to the programme) and a slew of well-known theatre names portraying British Prime Ministers over the last 61 years on board too. It’s enough to bring back the ticket tout. Read the rest of this entry »