Hansard – Who wouldn’t like to watch a domestic for 90 minutes?

We’ve just come back from watching actor and playwright Simon Woods’ Hansard at the National Theatre, which is directed by 41-year old, Washington, D.C.-based, Cambridge graduate Simon Godwin. Woods’ debut as a playwright had its premiere on this stage two months ago and is only showing until 25th November, with all except tomorrow’s show sold out. 39-year old Old Etonian Woods is clearly not lacking good connections to get his first attempt featured on the nation’s most prestigious stage. While reading English at Magdalen College, Oxford, in the early Noughties, he was in a relationship with Rosamund Pike for two years. A few years later the two would play lovers Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley in Pride & Prejudice. For the past ten years, Woods has been in a relationship with Christopher Bailey CBE, aged 48, the chief executive of Burberry, the British fashion empire. We weren’t initially planning on […]

Continue Reading

You may also like

Exit The King with Rhys Ifans at the National – Soso..

I’m a huge fan of Eugène Ionesco and the Theatre of the Absurd in general. I had been looking forward to the performance of Oscar-nominated former stand-up comedian Patrick Marber’s adaptation of Ionesco’s play Exit the King at the National (until 6th October) with very high, perhaps overly high expectations. It’s the first time the National does Ionesco!! The 1h40m performance (no intermission) was decent by most accounts and, as usual for every London stage performance, received many 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 reviews (3 out of 5 by the Guardian). Without any doubt Rhys Ifans’ stage presence is super-intense and riveting, the performance of all the other actors, such as Indira Varma, also excellent. All photos (c) Simon Annand. The initial play is a manic mediation on death, which follows King Berenger, who is 483 years old, on his last day, while he is being […]

Continue Reading

You may also like

Andrew Scott in Sea Wall, celebrating 200 years at the Old Vic

We’ve just returned from our visit to the Old Vic to watch Sea Wall, a monologue performed by Andrew Scott. It was written specifically for him more than ten years ago by Simon Stephens. This time around, it was staged again to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the theatre. Scott’s character Alex tells the audience about his life with his loving family. How he made friends with his wife’s father, an ex-soldier, how their young daughter brings joy to their life, how he’s happy with his job and where he lives.    Photo of Andrew Scott (c) Kevin Cummins; rest (c) BSqB Gradually the monologue steers towards the revelation of perhaps the most horrible event that can happen to man. As you would expect from an actor of Scott’s calibre, his performance is smooth and precise. The audience is laughing out loud one second and holding back tears the next […]

Continue Reading

You may also like

Magic Moments: The Jungle at the Playhouse Theatre

A few days ago, Ms B asked me if I wanted to see the preview of a play about the migrant crisis for £25 at the Playhouse Theatre. Little did I know what a truly magical theatre experience lay ahead of us. In hindsight, I can’t believe we hadn’t heard about the sell-out run this play had had at the Young Vic last year. The play is set in a ramshackle Afghan café in the Calais migrant camp. The set merges with the audience, with theatre-goers sharing the table with thespians, actors walking through the aisles of the auditorium. The play starts with an ending: another eviction notice has been served to the residents of ‘The Jungle’, leading to a chaotic frenzy where everyone tries to figure out how to deal with the threat of losing their temporary home. The end of the play has been well-documented in the media: […]

Continue Reading

You may also like

Jack Thorne’s Woyzeck, Old Vic

In Germany, where I grew up, we love Büchner. Our Booker Prize equivalent is called Georg Büchner Prize, and seen as a clear early indicator of the next German speaker who will win the Nobel Prize in literature. This young playwright, novelist, poet, physician, revolutionary, founder of a secret society, university lecturer, and natural scientist died at the age of 23 of typhoid fever in 1837, before being able to finish Woyzeck. His last and most famous work merely exists in fragments, was published only 40 years later and first performed in 1913, just to become the most influential and most performed play in the German language. All photos (c) Manuel Harlan, except Old Vic building front and actors bowing to audience. Heavily influenced by Shakespeare, Büchner was decades ahead of his time with his writing style using short sentences and simple, at times colloquial language, and with Woyzeck being […]

Continue Reading

You may also like