02
Dec
09

How bad a critic is Tim Walker, really?

Anyone who considers themselves remotely in-the-know theatre-wise will surely be aware of the ongoing spat between Sunday Telegraph theatre critic Tim walker and his Financial Times/Daily Express counterparts, Ian Shuttleworth and Mark Shenton. To clarify, this war of words began with Shuttleworth’s damning criticism of the inaccuracies in Walker’s reviews in Theatre Record (for which Shuttleworth is the editor)  and has now escalated into playground name-calling and even a Mexican stand-off in the bar of the National last week. How ridiculous, infantile, and yet somehow intriguing it is to see the elite of The Critic’s Circle (or not in Walker’s case, as he would hasten to point out) being reduced to such petty squabbling, calling the respectability of their whole profession into disrepute.However degrading this situation is to the British theatre industry, it does beg the question: Who is in the right? Continue reading ‘How bad a critic is Tim Walker, really?’

28
Oct
09

With Am-Dram, who needs the West End?

There’s something oddly comforting about amateur dramatics: it’s personal, it’s local, and it’s cheap. Now, granted, there is plenty of tosh out there; plenty of self-indulgent, self-congratulatory shows that bore audience’s into submission with poor acting/directing/design/what-have-you. The joy of it, though, is that most of the time, one expects a huge amount of amateurism, and thus opens oneself up to being pleasantly surprised. Continue reading ‘With Am-Dram, who needs the West End?’

22
Oct
09

Review – Our Class @ Cottesloe

Our ClassFew countries suffered as much turmoil at the hands of both the Soviets and the Nazis as Poland, and Tadeusz Slobodzianek’s Our Class attempts to paint a vivid picture of how one class of Catholic and Jewish students were affected by the events surrounding World War Two. Forced to début overseas due to protestations in Poland, Our Class reveals a people still trying to come to terms with their own role in this torrid chapter of human history. Yet one can’t escape the notion that this originally Polish play has lost something in translation. Continue reading ‘Review – Our Class @ Cottesloe’

21
Oct
09

Review – Avenue Q @ Gielgud

Avenue QHaving never seen the hit musical Avenue Q, my expectation as I took my seat in the Gielgud Theatre (the show’s new home since June of this year) was to see some Muppets up on stage singing some rather rude songs about taboo subject material. Quite simply, that is exactly what I got. Continue reading ‘Review – Avenue Q @ Gielgud’

15
Oct
09

Review – All’s Well That Ends Well @ Olivier

Marianne Elliott’s fairy-tale-themed production of Shakepeare’s ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ is a perfect example of modernising Shakespeare for the 21st century audience, in an attempt to cope with ever-changing tastes and ever-decreasing attention spans. It is bright, colourful, energetic, and surprisingly easy to follow – perhaps a little too easy. Continue reading ‘Review – All’s Well That Ends Well @ Olivier’