Posts Tagged ‘Rufus Norris’

Review – Mosquitoes, National Theatre

Tuesday 25 July 2017

In which the National explores the nature of the BOGOF offer.

Though in this instance it is a case of Buy Olivia Get Olivia Free. The Olivias Colman and Williams to be precise.

They star as sisters Alice and Jenny. O1 Williams is a scientist working in Switzerland on the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, O2 Colman is the less academically-gifted, more emotional (or “stupid” as she’s often referred to) sis residing in Luton. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 – Everyman, National Theatre

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Everyman_title-333x500Phil conducted an experiment last night.

He was wired up to a blood pressure monitor for 12 hours yesterday. It’s something they do when you get old. This meant he was wearing it throughout the full 1 hour and 40 minutes of Everyman last night.

He hadn’t realised the machine would make a slight noise. So he piled up coats over the cumbersome device to muffle the sound, which made a low whirring sound every half hour as it kicked into action. Phil’s companion for the evening said he didn’t hear it at all. Of course, despite a lot of noise on stage, it only seemed to go off during the quietest moments.

Not really recommended. Worrying about it probably raised Phil’s BP even higher.

But does going to the theatre raise or lower your blood pressure? The results aren’t in yet but Phil has speculated on how the play may have affected his results:
Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Behind the Beautiful Forevers / John, National Theatre

Saturday 22 November 2014

GE DIGITAL CAMERAMisery time at the National.

Just think, you could go and see a matinee of Behind the Beautiful Forevers and John in the evening and come out feeling thoroughly depressed. For that would be the better way round; the latter is shorter than the former’s Act 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Amen Corner, National Theatre

Tuesday 18 June 2013

3941-amencornersqNo sign of Simon Cowell around but anyway it wasn’t the eggs broken on stage at the National Theatre that stole the show. These eggs (Three. Phil counted), unlike those in Children of the Sun, were at least cracked into a bowl and whisked.

Nor was it the convincingly realised period carton from which the eggs were produced that most impressed, although the attention to detail was most agreeable (along with the C & H sugar packet in the kitchen cupboard – check it out if you’re sitting near the front), but it was a almost a photo-finish. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – London Road, National Theatre

Thursday 14 April 2011

You may well think this doesn’t sound very us. Just not, well, very ‘Whingers’ at all.

Picture it: a play built from recorded interviews with the residents of London Road in Ipswich where the five prostitutes who were murdered in 2006 plied their trade. It’s not about the murders but about how the locals were affected by the events, the ensuing media scrum that followed and the arrest and conviction of the murderer Steve Wright who lived in their road.

Those words are delivered by actors verbatim, seemingly with every stumble, every umm and every err preserved.

Then, just to be brave or thoroughly reckless, music is set to those words, turning it into a musical of sorts. It couldn’t possibly work could it?

The icing on the cake is that it’s staged in the National Theatre‘s Cottesloe. Yes the Cottesloe!

That will have the Whingers rushing to see it, won’t it?

On the other hand, it did open with a tea urn…

Would you think we’d lost our minds completely if we said we thought it was really rather superb? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Death and the King’s Horseman, National Theatre

Wednesday 8 April 2009
death-and-the-kings-horsemanTo: nhytner@nationaltheatre.org.uk
From: genuinebusinessman@nigeriatel.com
Subject: Confidential Proposal

Dear Friend
I wish to approach you with a request
that would be of immense benefit to
both of us. 

I have the courage to Crave indulgence
for this important business believing
that you will never let me down either
now or in the future. Read the rest of this entry »