American abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko didn’t just paint in red. He painted in delicate golds, cobalt, tangerine and shades of greens, pinks, blues, and dazzling yellows. He produced abstract paintings five to six feet tall, often fuelled by high intensity and historical commentary of socio-political events – the atom bomb, WWII and death camps. He believed that a painting had to measure up the tragic trajectory of human history.
Returning back to the West End – after a successful run at the Donmar Warehouse in 2009 and winning six Tony Awards at Broadway – is John Logan’s Red, with director Michael Grandage and legendary actor Alfred Molina. There’s real bite in this 90-minute play – a splash of witty, delicately woven dialogue between the ‘serious’ artist and his young, bright-eyed assistant, Ken (tremendously performed by Alfred Enoch). Red spills the truth on Rothko’s chilling occupation with the art world during a crucial period of the 20th century, while musing, unapologetically, against his assistant on deep ontological questions, such as ‘what is art?’
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.
The Other Palace Theatre has transformed its stage to the cosmic and intergalactic new production Eugenius!, which sends audiences back into the dreamy 80’s. For the oldies, like myself, it’s as if I never left. For anyone who wants to celebrate their childhood love of Thunder Cats, HeMan or 80’s movies, with the likes of Star Wars, Freddie Krueger or E.T., Eugenius! is the one to watch, but be prepared for heaps of cheese, 80’s fashion and cringe.
The Other Palace Theatre has just turned one year’s old and Eugenius! kick-starts its 2018 with an all-round inspiring and feel-good musical, directed by Sir Ian Talbot. Ben Adams (songwriter and producer for artists including Craig David and Alexander Burke) and Chris Wilkins (songwriter and voiceover artist) wrote Eugenius!, which was first showcased in the UK in 2016 at the London Palladium. Multi-talented actor and singer Liam Forde is the show’s comic book geek Eugene and Laura Baldwin performs as Eugene’s friend zoned pal Janey who is just as nerdy as he is but glows with extra sassiness. While Daniel Buckley truly impresses the audience with his moonwalking, rapping, vocal harmony and charm, putting the cool kids to shame with his courage and freaky naughtiness.
I saw The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre for the first time in 2014 (read my LDNCARD review here). I have some unforgettable memories laughing and giggling, so hard my facial muscles hurt, and that doesn’t happen often. It was so good I preferred it more than that musical that won multiple Tony Awards – The Book of Mormon – (believe it or not) and came back to see it again after a year or so.
The Mischief Theatre team are the creative geniuses behind the comedy, and they’re an energetic bunch. They’re crafty and bonkers, all, at the same time. Don’t believe me? Then go see them in action for yourself. Their show, The Play That Goes Wrong is still going strong at the Duchess Theatre. They also have a new play, which was released in 2017, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery showing now at the Criterion Theatre.
I met Christian Slater last night. Let me say that again, ‘I met Christian Slater last night’. It was one of those chance occasions where one minute you’re doing what you usually do (for someone like me that’s going to the theatre) and then, all the sudden, the moment becomes an event – one that you’ll never forget. Yes, I was completely star struck and I have no shame in telling anyone that, why? Guess what? It’s not always about looks. I admit Slater, who is now 48 years old, is still ‘hot’, but given his rip-roaring performance last night, I am convinced he is as great a stage actor as he is a film actor.
The Playhouse theatre is currently showing David Mamet’s 1984 Pulitzer price-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross. It describes the lives of four real estate salesmen in Chicago, hustling hard and shoving their egos at anyone who likes the sound of a juicy deal. Glengarry Glen Ross was transformed into a Hollywood blockbuster in 1992. Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris were the few to headline the movie. It became one of the most highly-recommended films for sales training.
Welcome! Here’s a roundup of news, posts, bits and pieces I’ve been sharing on Social Media since Day 1 of 2018.
The Globe has announced that they will be showing a new production of Othello this summer. Claire van Kampen shall direct the production with Andre Holland and Mark Rylance who take on the role of Othello and Iago. Tickets are on sale from January 29th, 2018, so get your index finger ready as they will definitely sell out fast. (Click here for the Globe website.)
Ever read a great review of a show and wanted to see the show for yourself, but didn’t know where the theatre was? No worries. Blogger and theatre writer Liz Dyer has pre-made a theatre map for your location needs. If you are a theatre that isn’t listed on the map, let Liz know and she will update the map for you. (Check out the map on her blog.)
Happy News from Alice Jones on Twitter, reporting from Soho Theatre:
Well that’s a first. Someone just proposed to their girlfriend on stage at Soho Theatre! (she said yes)
— Alice Jones (@alicevjones) January 5, 2018