Posts Tagged ‘Rae Smith’

Review – Girl from the North Country, Old Vic

Wednesday 12 July 2017

For a musical it wasn’t looking good.

Now in early previews at The Vic, Girl from the North Country has a pretty nondescript title and it plunders Bob Dylan’s back catalogue (ooo err, missus), an artist Phil has never truly embraced. Rae Smith’s set is of the minimal, deconstructed variety (musical instruments scattered around an empty stage with only a handful of backdrops popping in and out) and Mark Henderson’s lighting suggests someone has forgotten to put a shilling in the meter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – wonder.land, National Theatre

Friday 4 December 2015

Wonder.landIf you’re having turkey for Christmas this year remember not to over-stuff it.

This offering at the National may serve as a timely reminder.

wonder.land is Lewis Carroll‘s Alice for the internet age but it overdoes things by cramming too much in and desperately trying to tick too many PC boxes. What comes across is overcrowded and by attempting to be au courant ends up feeling slightly dated.

Aly (Lois Chimimba) is a mixed-race teenager from a broken home, bullied at school and on social media and insecure about her physical appearance until she discovers an online world where she can create a new life for herself as an avatar, Alice (Carly Bawden). Imagine The Matrix with a touch of The Nether burdened with a dressing of unremarkable music and songs.

As a member of the audience you may find yourself wishing to create your own avatar and disappear into another world entirely. We certainly did. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Light Princess, National Theatre

Monday 7 October 2013

light-princess” I don’t fly, I float” says Althea, The Light Princess of Tori Amos‘ new musical.

And indeed she does. Constantly.

You can’t say that Rosalie Craig‘s princess is barely off the stage as she’s barely on it. Wafting about all over the place, upright, horizontally, upside down and all points inbetween. And singing in those positions too. Impressive. She’s trussed and extremely trusting. Craig’s tightly harnessed up up to achieve these effects and must also have huge faith in those who ‘operate’ her. One also hopes there’s a good physio waiting backstage. The flying floating is brilliantly done, in all sorts of imaginative ways, but since it has been so cloaked in secrecy it would be churlish to reveal more.

And Rae Smith’s design, a happy clash of Moominland and silhouette illustrations is sumptuously pretty too. All stops have been pulled out here. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweet Bird of Youth, Old Vic

Monday 10 June 2013

sboy_tovweb_400x6001The Whingers have always celebrated the virtues of good theatrical wiggery, so we are disposed to discuss one particular wig before moving on. Do not be fooled by the production’s posters (right). The tin is very misleading.

Sweet Bird of Youth introduces us to Alexandra Del Lago (Kim Cattrall), a heavy-drinking, pill-popping faded Hollywood legend and self-professed “monster” (who’s just fled the calamitous premiere of her comeback movie), groaning face down in a hotel bed. She wakes up with a panic attack and screams for oxygen. Small wonder; it appears something rather frightful has crawled onto her head during the night. Now Phil’s has a mind of its own too first thing in the morning (his hair that is) and of course Del Lago’s hair’s meant to be a mess, yet there was something about it that wasn’t quite right. Or, as one of the Whingers’ entourage noted sagely, “it looks a bit nylony”. Perhaps that was the point.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Veil, National Theatre

Saturday 1 October 2011

Welcome to a world where cash flow problems are paramount. A world where danger and violence lurk outside the home. Where people are consumed by grief and spirits are caught between this world and the next. One woman seems able to make contact with them, especially through the power of music.

No it’s not Ghost the Musical, this is Conor (The Weir) McPhersons latest ghost-laden offering The Veil. Sadly though, there’s nary a potter’s wheel in sight. Read the rest of this entry »