Had a free week last week, so I tasked myself with getting out of the house and get my steps in. I’m off to Disneyland Paris in May and, although this is my first trip, I know there’ll be lots of walking involved. I think I may have bit off more than I can chew because I spent my weekend sitting down trying to recover. But alas, I did manage to see a few cool things in the last week.
So I started my week at Dancing at Lughnasa at the National Theatre. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this, but I do love the Olivier space and this production had a cracking cast, helmed by one of my favourite directors Josie Rourke. But truth be told, I found this super boring. It just wasn’t for me. I did feel the same about Brian Friel’s Translations which was in the same space a few years back. But I couldn’t get on board with the lack of plot nor was it interesting enough for me to hold my attention. I will say though, Siobhan McSweeney was fantastic and she stole every scene she was in. Also want to mention how great Alison Oliver was as well. But this just wasn’t for me.
One of my favourite things I got to see this week was Wagatha Christie at the Ambassador’s Theatre. Seeing this on the day that Rebekah Vardy trademarked the term was a low key iconic coincidence. Liv Hennessy has managed to adapt a whirlwind into a very funny, comedic play about the power of social media, particularly in the eyes of the law. This play may feel a bit too soon after the initial storm of Vardy v Rooney, but by using Rebekah and Coleen’s own words, she puts the power back into their hands. Lucy May Barker and Laura Dos Santos are absolutely brilliant as Rebekah and Coleen and their performances really drive the whole piece. I did think maybe the piece overdid it on the football analogies, but this was a really fascinating insight into the trial itself. And it’s maybe a reminder to not piss off Coleen Rooney.
Next up was Dixon and Daughters at the National Theatre, which I don’t think has officially opened yet so won’t dive too much into this. But this was a fantastic, brutal, gut wrenching piece. It’s only 90 minutes long which I’m glad about cause I think this would’ve been a struggle to get through if it was any longer. But such a fantastic ensemble and a powerful script by Deborah Bruce. I also was gifted a ticket to see Animal at the Park Theatre on its press night at the end of last week. I felt a bit of a mixed bag with this one. This is a great opportunity for more representation for those who are gay and disabled, as I certainly can’t remember the last time I saw a play of a similar nature. Jon Bradfield’s script is very funny at times, but I feel it was perhaps a bit too long. There were a few scenes that happened that felt a bit out of place, because they’re never brought up again (there is quite a graphic sexual assault scene which is the main example of this). There were also times when the main character was just an arsehole, which made him feel a bit harder to route for. But I did think the cast were great and this really did have some hilarious moments at times.
On Saturday, I took myself out for a two show day. First stop was to Splintered at the Soho Theatre, which was FANTASTIC. This was an absolute riot. Part cabaret, part play, part history lesson, this wonderful piece highlights what it means to be queer women from/in the Caribbean through humour and being authentic. The play tears apart standard structures, allowing all 3 performers to shine. This was really great and I hope to see this return in the future. Then I caught the very short run of Giles Terera’s brilliant play The Meaning of Zong at the Barbican Theatre. In a production that Giles wrote, co-directed and stars in. The play follows Olaudah who teams up with anti slavery campaigner Granville Sharp to find out what happened to the 132 African people who were thrown overboard off a slave ship called the Zong. This was really brilliant, such an engaging and moving story to tell. This was a piece of history I knew nothing about. This was only a very short run and so hope this will return to the London stage soon.
Until next time
Categories: On Stage
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