Monday, 21 March 2011

Brilliant Productions

Two productions I must mention:

Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland Tour)
This is my current evangelism show. As in, I bore everyone I meet by telling them they must see it. No, really, it's the best thing I've ever seen. You must go. No, really. Ad infinitum.

But, really. It ticked, for me, all the boxes - it was traverse staging, so no sight line problems. Tick. It incorporated singing, movement and straight acting. Tick. It used aerialism. Tick. It was extremely well written and performed with nuance and truth. Massive Ticks all round. It just. I have no words. In terms of using theatre to present an often untold story (from the soldier's perspective) of comraderie, politics, friendship, duty, this production nails it.

See it.

Richard II (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory)
This, for me, succeeded primarily because of one man: John Heffernan. He's been getting a lot of interest, and is a rising star of the RSC, and now I see why. Spell-binding, utterly truthful performance. The clarity of language and intention is always lauded in Hilton's productions (I was fortunate enough to work on the 2010 season), but in Heffernan it was supremely effortless. Fantastic supporting cast, but Heffernan stole the show.

This is no longer playing, but if you get the chance, check him out in the future.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

All Change

It seems to be an interesting and exciting change of management among some of our leading theatres just now.

Michael Grandage is exiting the Donmar to be replaced by his protege Josie Rourke - leaving a vacancy running The Bush in its new premeses, and now Ian Brown is set to step down from the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Also, in less than five years there will be another shake up at the Old Vic with the departure of Kevin Spacey.

All Change!