Posts Tagged ‘Henrik Ibsen’

Review – Hedda Gabler, National Theatre

Friday 9 December 2016

nt-live-hedda-gabler-portrait-listings-image-uk-722x1024A few weeks ago, on the Nothern Line, while Phil was running his fingers along the lines of type in the Metro he noticed he was sitting next to a woman concentrating on a script with all the “Mrs Elvsted” parts underlined. Suspecting it might be for the National’s Hedda Gabler he went off and did a bit of internet stalking and discovered that it was Sinéad Matthews who takes that role in the this production.

Perhaps Phil should have torn her manuscript into pieces, scribbled notes all over it so that she could piece it back together again to get a better understanding of her role. To explain that would need a SPOILER ALERT. Of course if it had been Ruth Wilson (who plays this Hedda) next to him he’d have torched it for her. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hedda Gabler, Old Vic

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Mark Shenton must been wearing a turban and fingering his crystal ball when he wrote in his Stage blog on Monday “I always say there is no true objectivity in reviewing; we inevitably bring who we are to what we write and it is sometimes (though we try to make adjustments for personal circumstances) dictated by just how we are feeling that day. You’re not always in the mood for Chekhovian or Ibsenite misery.” Indeed.

Poor Mr Ibsen didn’t really stand much of a chance coming the night after the Whingers had been so overly-entertained at the Hackney Empire’s Golden Years of Variety.

As Andrew had mused “If only all theatre could be like this; I’d be there every night”.

What was not to like? Roy Hudd, Melvyn Hayes, Tony Hatch on the old joanna with his ‘Downtown’ and ‘Messing About on the River’ by way of his Crossroads/Neighbours/Emmerdale themes, Barry Cryer, Sharon D Clarke, Paul Zerdin’s brilliant vent act, Clive Rowe and a stage crammed with pantomime Dames, Rick Wakeman playing nursery rhymes in the style of classical composers (and Les Dawson), the hilarious – it’s a live thing, trust us on this – Joe Pasquale, 89 year-old bird song impersonating legend Ronnie Ronalde and plate-spinners Andy Van Buren and Allyson to name but a few. Yes, plate-spinning! Now that’s what we call entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Emperor and Galilean, National Theatre

Tuesday 14 June 2011

You’re a casting director. You’ve got Hitler’s favourite play sitting on your desk. Who you gonna call? Ian McDiarmid! Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Master Builder, Almeida

Thursday 18 November 2010

Call the Guinness Book of Records! Call Norris McWhirter! Call Roy Castle! Loudly!

Sometimes you wonder about a title of a play and think, how did they come up with that? Sometimes you find yourself waiting for the title  to appear. But there is no waiting or wondering here. Not in Ibsen‘s The Master Builder at the Almeida.

It must surely hold the record for the number of times the title of the play is name checked in the piece itself. It boasts its own redundant form of product placement. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hedda Gabler, Richmond Theatre

Tuesday 16 March 2010

“She’s not very nice, is she?” was Andrew’s considered verdict on the titular anti-heroine of Henrik Ibsen‘s classic play Hedda Gabler as he slurped a further mouthful of free wine* at the interval.

Andrew may or may not have been giving Hedda a first crack. He couldn’t really remember. He claims to have read it and thought he may have seen it at Stratford (upon Avon, obviously) many moons ago; certainly he has a Hedda in his head. But whatever the back-story, the Whingers were drawn back to the gorgeous Richmond Theatre (the interior really does look as though it’s carved from ivory) for a second night running, this time to see Rosamund Pike playing the role often posited as the female equivalent of Hamlet, presumably because the heroine’s actions and motivations are all over the place rich in ambiguity, lending themselves to a range of interpretations. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – A Doll’s House starring Gillian Anderson, Donmar Warehouse

Wednesday 20 May 2009

A Dolls House Donmar WarehouseWhat is it about the X-factor?

Put the X-Men in a production of Waiting for Godot at the Haymarket and it’s impossible to get a ticket. Put Scully from The X Files in A Doll’s House at the Donmar and up go the “queue here for returns” signs*. Perhaps a clever producer should put lippy X-Factor judge Simon Cowell in, well, lippie for La Cage Aux Folles and wait for a stampede to the box office**.

Anyway, Zinnie Harris has written a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen‘s timeless tale about a woman who leaves her husband and children, slamming the door behind her. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Mrs Affleck, National Theatre

Tuesday 27 January 2009

“I was wondering today,” said Andrew as the Whingers sat disconsolately at one of the two draughty tables which sit forlornly outside the soulless entrance to the Cottesloe foyer, “why we go to the theatre.”

A pause. Another sip of wine. Another pause.

“Simon Shepherd was on Loose Women today,” replied Phil brightly.

Andrew mused on the idea that theatre could serve the function of a mirror or perhaps a prism through which one might see aspects of one’s own life afresh.

For example, had Phil and he – like Mr and Mrs Affleck – inadvertently created a crippled child in the form of the so-called “West End Whingers”; a child for which neither much cares, much less loves and for whose death each sub-consciously wishes. But that child that is nonetheless theirs; it demands to be fed; it determines the pattern of their lives; it confronts them daily with guilt at their own revulsion with themselves.

The Cottesloe knell rang, calling the Whingers back to Act 2.

“Do you think that’s how it is?” asked Andrew.

“Apparently Lorna Luft has replaced Stefanie Powers in Pack of Lies,” said Phil, excitedly.

Read the rest of this entry »