It would be unfair to review Lipstick: A fairy tale in Modern Iran, after all, it is a scratch performance based on the experiences of Sarah Chew and her visit to Tehran during the Green Uprising in 2009. At the Omnibus Theatre, people got to see a theatrical work in its development stages. With script in hand, Laura Dos Santos read Sarah Chew’s words and reenacted a heavy and serious topic, which was up for discussion later on in the evening. Mark, bravely performed by Nathan Kiley, added cabaret and drag aesthetic to the episodic work. Together they ruled over my attention for the evening, and I was genuinely locked in and engaged.
Dublin-born actor Rory Keenan has entertained audiences on TV, film and theatre, from the BBC’s War & Peace, Peaky Blinders and Donmar Warehouse’s Saint Joan to the National Theatre’s production of Liola. Currently performing the role of James (Jamie) Tyrone Jr. in Richard Eyre’s revived production of Eugene O’Neill’s Tony award-winning play, Long Day’s Journey into Night, alongside Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, Rory tells me what it is like to perform the inebriate and enigmatic role of Jamie – son of a dysfunctional family. He also tells me how he manages to remember all his lines and his fondness for south London and sport — all kinds of sport!
Piggy: do you recognise the name? He is one of the main characters in William Golding’s widely-known allegorical novel Lord of the Flies, published in 1954. Beginning shows this week at Greenwich Theatre is Lazarus Theatre’s adapted production of Nigel Williams’ interpretation of the novel: a thrilling and atmospheric production. I went to the preview night on Wednesday and was thoroughly blown away. Continue reading
Showing from the 13 and 25 March at the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, is The Beyond Borders season, which focuses on Britain and the Middle East. The mini season includes a part theatre and part drag cabaret show, Lipstick: a fairy tale of modern Iran, written and directed by Sarah Chew. In the middle of rehearsals, Chew spoke to me about the challenges she faced writing Lipstick, how cabaret and vaudeville fed into the work and the discourse of telling a story that has political, legal and religious implications.
Dark and Chilly
(195 words) (1.5 minutes reading time)
Hermetic Arts new intriguing work, Unburied delves deep into the mysteries of a cultural past. It explores traces of a six-part children’s Folk Horror TV series that went missing, presumably destroyed. Folklore enthusiast, Carrie Marx pieces together theoretical and alternative explanations of its disappearance through her own personal investigation; from consulting the British Museum, historical archives, penny dreadfuls, search engines and even the dark web.
From the creators of BADD : Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons (Highly Commended at VAULT 2017), comes Hermetic Arts new project, UNBURIED, which is now showing at the Vault Festival. The creators behind Unburied, performer/co-writer Carrie Marx and director Chris Lincé discuss their new work, Unburied, their fascination with 1970s folk horror, the notion of memory and nostalgia as well as their interest in the TV hit series, Doctor Who.
The news just came in. Alexandra Burke and Elaine Paige hosted this year’s nominations this afternoon [March 6, 2018]. It was announced that Catherine Tate will host the 42nd annual awards on Sunday April 8 at the Royal Albert Hall. (It will be broadcasted on ITV on the evening of the Oliviers Awards from 10.20 pm.)
Looking at the long list of Olivier nominees, I’m pleased to see that a large majority of these shows are shows I’ve already seen. Some are still my to-do list. However, other shows (plays, operas, musicals, comedies) which I’ve originally put on the sideline are getting a second look now that their on the nominations list. If the Laurence Olivier judges are nominating them, it must mean something, right?
Remember last year when theatres in America were receiving hate mail for producing shows written by Shakespeare? It was from the backlash of audience reactions to New York Public Theatre’s production of Julius Caesar. Their depiction of Caesar, based on the Roman emperor who was murdered in 44 BCE, looked very similar to the current US president. Those who had voted for Trump, including those who hadn’t seen the show, felt compelled to protest and demand the production be shut down in fear it would encourage the idea of making the play a reality – the assassination of the president and a civil war to brew.
Liam Forde is a musical theatre performer and cabaret artist from Connecticut, now based in New York. He is performing the lead role of Eugene in the tour de force musical Eugenius!, all about superheroes, the ’80s and comic books, at The Other Palace Theatre. (My four-star review here.) I caught up with him to discuss his role as Eugene as it comes towards the end of the run. He also talked to me about his journey to becoming a musical theatre star, advice he’d give to aspiring theatre performers and his love for Noël Coward, and polenta.
(Reading time: 11 minutes.)
(Header photo by Billy Bustamante.)
When I saw Dennis Kelly’s name on the poster for the Royal Court’s production of Girls & Boys I knew it was going to be a macabre type of show. It was my theatre friend who saw Carey Mulligan’s name to headline the show first, which was mentioned on Twitter last year. Thank God she booked the tickets back then. After three months of advance booking, I found myself sitting three rows away from The Great Gatsby (2013) and Suffragette (2015) female star.