First published in The Times, Friday December 1 2017
A dramatic reimagining of The Arabian Nights is an intriguing departure from the usual seasonal theatrical fare, even if several of the tales featured in Suhayla El-Bushra’s witty, intricate adaptation – including those of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Aladdin and the tales of Sinbad the Sailor – are often discovered by young audiences in the form of Christmas shows.
First published in The Times, Tuesday December 6 2016
Anthony Neilson is an inspired choice to create and direct a new version of Lewis Carroll’s dreamlike fantasy. His most celebrated play, The Wonderful World of Dissocia, which depicts a journey through the mind of a woman with a mental illness, is, in outline, a hybrid of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, shot-through with humour but edged in desolation and horror.
First published in The Times, Thursday March 17 2016
Over the past decade the comedy performers Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott have developed a hugely successful partnership as mainstays of the annual pantomime at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre. The trio’s infectious performing chemistry is once again on display in this “straight” comedy, written by Ed Curtis in collaboration with Stewart and currently on tour.
First published in The Times, Thursday January 21 2016
Show don’t tell – that’s the standard advice given to aspiring playwrights. Yet, Conor McPherson’s masterpiece, which premiered at the Royal Court in 1997, famously never shows us the ghosts that populate his characters’ bar room yarns and confessions. This poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes melancholy play goes back to the very basics of storytelling, requiring its audience to listen hard to a series of evocative exchanges and monologues that illuminate the characters and haunt the imagination.