My, what a lot can change in two months. Greg Doran has become the new RSC Artistic Director – the perfect choice in my opinion, Europe is on its way to hell in a hand cart, The Edinburgh Fringe has already begun to sell tickets (how has that come around so quick?), somehow Boris Johnson got re-elected (you know who you are!) and yours truly married his long time and long suffering girlfriend. As a result of the last of these events, I have done very little revolutionary with the site, finding that the font used for name places became much more time consuming than I could ever have imagined. We have however had our best few months in no small part due to Ricky Gervais retweeting our review of Derek to his 2.5 million followers – those 140 characters almost crashed the site but we’re obviously very very grateful.
We did have a bit of a run in this month, about what it is we are trying to do, and so I thought I would just clarify again for anyone who is doubting our motives. We do not provide good reviews to everything that is out there, otherwise when we say something is good you wouldn’t believe us. We simply only mention the good stuff, so we have seen many shows over the last year but only the ones we liked have a review which is available for you to read. We want to support artistic ideas and push new theatre makers forward. We want to help not hinder aspirations. Sorry if you knew this already but it is perhaps worth re-iterating to avoid confusion.
This month we welcome new reviewers Laura Wells who joins our London team and Mike and Dee Knowles who are now our Plymouth reviewing team. We also welcome new venues The Lowry, The Watermill, The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth and the Birmingham Rep, we’ve built some really exciting new links recently and we hope we can provide them all with wonderful reviews.
So Whats New This Month
I had the very great pleasure to interview Kristin Atherton who is playing the role of Mary Shelley in Shared Experience’s production of the same name and also Ciaran Owens who was starring in Philip Ridley’s Mercury Fur at the Old Red Lion theatre which has incredibly also secured a West End Transfer in the last couple of weeks and will be at the Trafalgar Studios in the coming weeks. Also we met up with Curran McKay and Kate Lamb who will be starring in Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke at the Southwark Playhouse. I also reviewed Matt Damon’s latest offering We Bought a Zoo (4*) and of course the aforementioned article on Derek (4*) Ricky Gervais’ surprising new TV show.
Peter Coe got to the Watermill Theatre twice over the last few months to see Love on the Tracks (4*) and Of Mice and Men (5*) both of which he found charming and exciting and both reviews are likewise, he also loved the Kings Speech (5*) at the Wyndhams theatre. Alison Staples had a tough time with both D.N.A (3*) and Miss Julie (4*) at the Manchester Royal Exchange but adored the hilarious Musical Avenue Q (5*) at the Lowry theatre. Dee Knowles was blown away by A History of Everything (4*) at the Drum theatre but struggled to respond as well to Propeller’s The Winter’s Tale (3*). Fellow Newby Laura Wells though found The Conquering Hero (4*) at the Richmond Orange Tree a thoroughly enjoyable experience though and Mike Knowles was particularly taken with Avengers Assemble (5*). Christina Folkard popped over the New Diorama Theatre to see Four Days of Grace (4*) which she really enjoyed and Vera Litvin adored One Man Two Guvnors (5*) at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. And there were contributions from Mat Hough who wrote an article on Headhunters (4*) Natasha Trevenna who saw Mustafa (4*) at Birmingham Rep and Sarah Lines who saw the Vocal Orchestra at the Udderbelly on the Southbank.
My article of the month is a toss up between either Laura Wells’ piece on The Conquering Hero or Peter Coe’s article on Of Mice and Men. I also love Mike Knowles’ adoration piece on Avengers Assemble which I also loved, great film. If pushed though I think Laura’s would win it by a nose.
Things you should make note of…
I really do suggest that you look out for Summer and Smoke at the Southwark Playhouse, it is an amazing production. Also make sure you catch the Greenhouse Theatre Company’s Production of Mercury Fur as it transfers to the Trafalgar Studio.