Posts Tagged ‘drama’

an unmatched seam (rsc love’s labour’s lost and found): review

27 October 2014

The Royal Shakespeare Company have a genuine hit on their hands with Love’s Labour’s Lost. The acting is natural yet marvelous, with every scene-carrying performance balanced with a scene-stealing one. The musical interludes are delightful, with an unexpected edge of Sondheim. And then there is the extraordinary mechanics of the set, which slides around now in two dimensions like the 15 puzzle, now in three dimensions like a Rubik’s cube. This lesser-known play starts as a comedy and ends as something else, not quite a tragedy but a somber memento mori. Director Christopher Luscombe and the RSC have, like many others this year, used the World War I centenary as a hook, and the guns of August mesh well with the mordant turn.

Love’s Labour’s Won, or Much Ado About Nothing, which is paired with LLL in the company’s repertoire, does not fare as well, though same actors appear and the line delivery and staging still make it a fine performance. As always with this play, the problem is in the script and the problem is Claudio/Hero.


to tweet or not to tweet

11 July 2013


This flyer comes from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of¬†Hamlet. The quality of the production is not at issue here; Hamlet isn’t one of my favorite plays but I thought this was amazing and would see it again. I particularly enjoyed Jonathan Slinger’s performance – he starts out looking like a young banker who’s having a bad day on the markets, and then progressively goes nuts – as well as the masque at the end of the first act and the stormy supermarket lighting.

The point is the Twitter blurbs.


theater: pulse fringe report

30 May 2013

When I Was Old / When I Get Young, Lucy Ellinson: A dozen Ipswichers representing most of the healthy age groups presented monologues, all interesting enough and some brilliant. The staging looked easy, reproducible Рin a word, franchisable Рand at 30 minutes of variety, suitable for children, of whom there were some in the audience. The themes were universal and age-typical: a husband told his Harry-met-Sally story, a schoolboy raved about his Pokémon, a white-haired woman found comfort in her rosary in the night, listing the holy presences that she felt were there with her much as the younger generation review their friends lists. This genericity is perhaps inevitable since not everyone in a representative group will have the same sensitivity to place, but it would be interesting to see a more site-specific version as well.

The Bullet and the Bass Trombone, Sleepdogs: The story of a touring orchestra caught in a banana republic coup is told inventively with copious use of recorded segments and sound effects. It starts as a young depressive’s guide to the symphony which modulates into a post-9/11 chaos narrative, and that’s just the first movement. The details of the setting, including a misnamed city and a presidential assassination, satirize stereotypical European views of the post-colonial, but lightly. Timothy X Atack’s acting is worth seeing, though he’s restricted himself here to mostly minor keys, and the musical score aptly dramatizes the heteroglossia and approach-avoidance of the narrative.