thu 15/04/2021

Royal Court

Pity, Royal Court review - whacked-out and wearing

The apocalypse arrives as a series of collegiate sketches in the aptly-named Pity, the Rory Mullarkey play that may well prompt sympathy for audiences who unwittingly find themselves in attendance. Less provocative by far than this same writer's...

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One for Sorrow, Royal Court review - imploding family drama

It’s the stuff of nightmares. There’s a massive explosion, the sound of smashing glass, falling debris and police sirens. Gunshots. Panic in the streets. It could be the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, in which the Bataclan venue was the scene...

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Notes From the Field, Royal Court review - sobering report from the frontline of race

Anna Deavere Smith contains multitudes. As the solo performance artist recounts the testimonies she has selected from the more than 250 people she interviewed for this portrait of inequality and the criminal justice system in America, it is as if...

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The Prudes, Royal Court review - hilarious but frustrating sex show

Playwright Anthony Neilson has always been fascinated by sex. I mean, who isn’t? But he has made it a central part of his career. In his bad-boy in-yer-face phase, from the early 1990s to about the mid-2000s, he pioneered a type of theatre that...

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Instructions for Correct Assembly, Royal Court review - Jane Horrocks in Middle England 'Westworld'

There’s a whole universe which British theatre has yet to explore properly – it’s called the sci-fi imagination. Although this place is familiar from countless films and television series, it is more or less a stranger to our stages. With notable...

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Black Men Walking, Royal Court review - inspiring and exhilarating

In the same week that saw the arrival of Arinzé Kene’s Misty, a play that passionately questions the clichés of plays about black Britons (you know, gun crime, knife crime and domestic abuse), Black Men Walking opens at the Royal Court. Having...

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Girls & Boys, Royal Court review - Carey Mulligan is stunningly brilliant

This is Carey Mulligan week. She appears, improbably enough, as a hard-nosed cop in David Hare’s BBC thriller Collateral, as well as onstage at the Royal Court in London’s Sloane Square (she’s much better live than on film). In a 90-minute monologue...

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Gundog, Royal Court review - tedious and inconsequential

First the goats, and now the sheep – has this venue become an urban farm? Rural life, which was once so central to our English pastoral culture, is now largely absent from metropolitan stages. And from our culture. Apart from The Archers or the...

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Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Royal Court review - iconic 1980s title makes a welcome return

The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start. For a while, it looked as if this fresh appraisal of a benchmark 1982 Court title would close on the road, a casualty of the...

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My Mum's a Twat, Royal Court review - Patsy Ferran shines in a solo play that looks back in anger

That ages-old dictum "write what you know" has given rise to the intriguingly titled My Mum's a Twat, in which the Royal Court's delightful head of press, Anoushka Warden, here turns first-time playwright, much as the Hampstead Theatre's then-press...

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Best of 2017: Theatre

Year-end wrap-ups function as both remembrances of things past and time capsules, attempts to preserve an experience to which audiences, for the most part, have said farewell. (It's different, of course, for films, which remain available to us...

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Goats, Royal Court review - unfocused and muddled

The civil war in Syria spawns image after image of hell on earth. Staging the stories of that conflict presents a challenge to playwrights: how do you write about horror in a way that is both accurate and entertaining? Goats, by Syrian playwright...

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