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Posts tagged ‘Frankenstein’

15
Mar

Two LONDON plays – Mogadishu and Frankenstein

Currently playing at the Lyric, Hammersmith is an excellent first play by former teacher Vivienne Franzmann,  called Mogadishu.

MogadishuSet in a sink school, it is fast moving, witty and poignant.  The central character is a liberal teacher (always write about what you know!) who is wrongly charged with assault and racial abuse.  A group of excellent young actors play the schoolkids in whose hands her fate lies.  Unlike other reviews I’ve read of this play, I’m not about to give away the plot – if it were a book it would be a real page turner.  This is certainly one to catch

http://www.lyric.co.uk/whats-on/production/mogadishu/

The National’s Frankenstein has to be one of the most written about productions of the year so far and has the added twist of the two leads alternating in the roles of Dr Victor Frankenstein, the mad scientist, and his creation, often in B horror movies referred to as the monster, but here, in a text more in keeping with Mary Shelley’s novel, simply called the creature.

Everything you may have read about Benedict Cumberbatch or Jonny Lee Miller is true – they are truly superb in the lead roles.

The lighting is electrifying, as is the set and the production, directed by Danny Boyle.  My quibble is that the adaptation of the text by Nick Dear is a little clunky and some of the acting of the rest of a cast somewhat wooden.  But nothing can really take away from the power of the piece.

Not surprisingly it has sold out, even for the next set of performances, but will be shown as a one-off in selected cinemas as now happens quite frequently with National Theatre productions.

Worth trying to catch, it really is some experience

Jeannette Nelson, Theatre Critic

Jeannette NelsonJeannette is a bit of a culture vulture who enjoys art exhibitions, cinema and classical music, but her main interest is the theatre. For several years she ran theatre discussion groups for which her MA in Modern Drama together with teaching skills stood her in good stead. She prefers to concentrate on the many off West End and fringe productions as well as that real treasure of the London theatre scene, the National.


9
Feb

Theatre Tips for 2011

Another new year, another feast for London theatre goers.  For the lovers of musicals there is no shortage.  The old favourites like Les Miserables, The Lion King and Billy Elliot are still around (and may well be for many years more), but newcomers to the block include The Wizard of Oz with Michael Crawford, and Ghost based on the Hollywood film.
The National’s first blockbuster could be a version of Frankenstein, or Twelfth Night directed by Peter Hall to mark his 80th birthday and starring his daughter Rebecca.
As now has become the custom, many of the Off West End theatre productions transfer to the West End, including the well-acclaimed Clybourne Park which arrives at the Wyndhams Theatre via the Royal Court.
The year of Sondheim’s 80th birthday may have passed, but revivals of his excellent work still continue with a production of Company at the rather draughty Southwark Playhouse near London Bridge.
Let’s hope for a nice summer as the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre has in its repertoire The Beggars’ Opera, though for the first time in its history is not putting on a full Shakespeare play; it will be staging a version of Pericles for youngsters though.
The Arcola Theatre in Dalston is about to move to new premises and always puts on exciting productions.  Fringe theatre just seems to move from strength to strength.  And of course you’re rarely disappointed by anything the Almeida, the Donmar or the Tricycle presents; here’s hoping that the Hampstead Theatre, now under the artistic direction of Peter Hall’s son Edward, manages to find its feet.
Out of London, the big event of the year must be the re-opening after refurbishment of the RSC Theatre and the Swan Theatre in Stratford. The new season runs from April to November.
So there you have it – a smattering of the joys to come in theatreland.  Don’t forget the half-price ticket booth at Leicester Square (with another outlet now at Brent Cross) and look for bargains at www.lastminute.com/theatre or www.whatsonstage.com .  Keep a sharp eye out for reviews, and if they’re good, don’t tarry before booking.  There may be a recession, but now as in previous ones, theatres continue to do well.  Everyone needs a bit of culture after all!

Jeanette Nelson, Arts Critic

Jeannette is a bit of a culture vulture who enjoys art exhibitions, cinema and classical music, but her main interest is the theatre. For several years she ran theatre discussion groups for which her MA in Modern Drama together with teaching skills stood her in good stead. She prefers to concentrate on the many off West End and fringe productions as well as that real treasure of the London theatre scene, the National.
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