First published in The Times, Wednesday August 31 2022
The Comedy of Errors is widely considered to be the Bard’s first comedy but we find in this early work the qualities the world would come to identify as quintessentially Shakespearean. While it may lack the thematic depth of The Tempest, his swansong, it is interesting to note that both plays feature a shipwreck that leads to much reversal and mistaken identity when the survivors are washed ashore.
Continue reading “Theatre review: The Comedy of Errors – Live at No 40, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Friday December 10 2021
Among the seasonal traditions that people are once again enjoying this year, a return visit to the Citizens Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol will be high on many people’s lists. Dominic Hill’s production, based on the lyrical adaption by Neil Bartlett, dates all the way back to 2014, but, like a trip to the St Enoch Christmas Market, is well worth a repeat experience.
Continue reading “Review: A Christmas Carol – Tramway, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Wednesday October 6 2021
With his new production of Samuel Beckett’s one-act play, Dominic Hill’s tenure as artistic director of the Citizens Theatre has come full circle. A declared Beckett aficionado, Hill chose Krapp’s Last Tape to round off his first season in charge, back in 2012, with the late Gerard Murphy in the title role.
Continue reading “Theatre review: Krapp’s Last Tape / Go On – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Thursday March 5 2020
On paper this gender-swapped version of Bertolt Brecht’s 1940 comedy looks intriguing. The novelist Denise Mina adapts, with the redoubtable Elaine C Smith in the lead and the award-winning Turkish director Murat Daltaban at the helm. Yet while the production features some fine flourishes, there is no escaping the overall sense of a messy and incoherent assemblage.
Continue reading “Review: Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh”
First published in The Times, Friday December 13 2019
“A sad tale’s best for winter,” Shakespeare once wrote, and it doesn’t get much more melancholy than Carlo Collodi’s fable about the misadventures of a puppet boy who longs to become a real human. Put all thoughts of the cutesy Walt Disney version out of your mind: Dominic Hill’s production, based around the punchy adaptation by Robert Alan Evans, is a deliciously dark vision.
Continue reading “Review: Pinocchio – Tramway, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Thursday May 23 2019
John Webster’s 1614 tragedy is a bold, provocative choice of play for inclusion in the Citizens Women season. The Jacobean dramatist was astonishingly ahead of his time in addressing the patriarchy’s horror of female agency. This new version by Zinnie Harris, which relocates the action to a world disturbingly close to the present, is similarly unflinching. The pared-down intensity of her update feels acutely right for our times.
Continue reading “Review: The Duchess (of Malfi) – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh”
First published in The Times, Monday March 25 2019
A Doll’s House by Ibsen is one of those theatrical gifts that keep on giving. The play about a middle-class woman, Nora Helmer, who comes to realise that her seemingly perfect marriage is a pretty cage, has been endlessly updated since its premiere in 1879. Lucas Hnath’s sequel, A Doll’s House, Part 2, which speculates on what happened to Nora after she closed the door on her old life, opened on Broadway in 2017.
Continue reading “Review: Nora: A Doll’s House – Tramway, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Monday September 10 2018
The autumn theatre season has rolled around again, but for Dominic Hill and the Citizens Theatre it is far from business as usual. Cyrano de Bergerac is the company’s first production since taking up residence at nearby Tramway while its Gorbals HQ undergoes renovations. Hill’s take on Edmond Rostand’s 1897 verse drama, based on the celebrated 1992 Scots translation by Edwin Morgan, is an ambitious team effort, co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Lyceum, that will tour stages around the country.
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First published in The Times, Saturday April 21 2018
“Enough is not as good as a feast!” cries Edmund Tyrone (Lorn Macdonald), tossing back the latest in a long line of whisky shots. In an age of rapid-fire 90-minute plays with no interval, a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece at the Citizens certainly feels like a good old-fashioned theatrical banquet, albeit a well-oiled one.
Continue reading “Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Wednesday January 31 2018
Rona Munro’s Bold Girls, first staged in 1990, is one of those disquieting works that lures its audience in gently before gradually exposing them to the sadness and desperation at its core. The play is set in Belfast at the height of the Troubles, but in the opening ten minutes of this revival at the Citizens – as Marie (Lucianne McEvoy) entertains her best friend, Cassie (Scarlett Mack), and Cassie’s mother, Nora (Deirdre Davis), in her cramped front room – we might just as easily be in sitcom-land. The women light-heartedly discuss their planned night out, diets and Saturday evening telly. Neil Haynes’s design is so detailed that you can almost feel the warm glow from Marie’s grill pan.
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