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Review: A Taste of Honey @ Trafalgar Studios

A Taste of Honey, Shelagh Delaney’s debut play (written when she was just 19 years old), proves that being a product of its time does not stop art from being important to contemporary audiences. Bijan Sheibani’s current touring production, for the National Theatre and showing at Trafalgar Studios in London this holiday season, only serves to reiterate this point. When the play premiered at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1958, it was considered part of the post-war ‘kitchen sink’ genre because of how it revolutionised British theatre by questioning class, race, gender and sexuality in mid-20th century Britain. Continue reading Review: A Taste of Honey @ Trafalgar Studios

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Review: EUTCO’s The Great Gatsby

Gatsby: the name is synonymous with glamour, the roaring ‘20s, extravagant excess, wealth, parties, hedonism, flowing alcohol, the power to turn dreams into reality, and the sense of a lost time. It also signifies a story of dashed ambition and tragedy. EUTCO’s production of The Great Gatsby at the Northcott, adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic, drew out these tensions thoughtfully and impressively. Published in 1925, Fitzgerald’s novel has undergone a whole new revival with the onset of the 2020s. Mimi Templar Gay’s direction produced a play which encouraged its audience to reflect on its relevance to our present time, particularly in light of its pervasive concerns with money, success and what it means to be fortunate. Continue reading Review: EUTCO’s The Great Gatsby

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Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Sweeney Todd

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The tale of Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett carries a loaded reputation; from Broadway to Burton, the tale of the “Demon barber of Fleet Street” and his pie-making partner-in-crime has become a household horror story, making it often difficult to revitalise. Shotgun Theatre’s production, however, did not disappoint in its thrilling and refreshing adaptation, boasting an extraordinarily talented band, an impressively crafted set, and a cast that could be straight from the West End. Directed by Jessa Thompson, the murderous tale has been modified with exciting twists, and her feminist reworkings of certain characters are invigorating to an otherwise predictable plot. Continue reading Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Sweeney Todd

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Review: Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits @ The Royal Academy of Arts

This winter the Royal Academy of Arts has exhibited Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits. The collection of portraits ranges from his early career in 1940, to his most recent work in 2001. This masterfully curated exhibition focuses on the self and demonstrates how Freud’s painting style has changed and matured over time. The exhibition progresses from his early surrealist painting, to his later brutally realist work, exposing the frailty of his aged body. The style of his portraits is striking and contradictory as Freud resists being exposed and “known”, he hides in his paintings, yet also maintains intrigue as the subject of the portrait. Continue reading Review: Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits @ The Royal Academy of Arts

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Review: Dear Evan Hansen @ Noël Coward Theatre, West End

“Dear Evan Hansen,

Today is going to be a good day and here’s why…”

After winning six Tony Awards in 2017, a West End run for Dear Evan Hansen became a highly anticipated inevitability – even more so because it’s a creation of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the minds behind La La Land and The Greatest Showman. The show grapples with teen suicide and mental health by following Evan Hansen, a lonely high-schooler with (nearly) crippling social anxiety, whose bully, Connor Murphy, kills himself. Through unfortunate coincidence, Evan is caught up in the aftermath when Murphy’s parents are convinced he was their son’s best friend. He falls into perpetuating and expanding this fabrication of friendship as he grows closer to the family, goes viral online, and his dreams start to come true. But with everything built on the world wide web of lies, can Evan handle it? Continue reading Review: Dear Evan Hansen @ Noël Coward Theatre, West End

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Review: The Rise of Skywalker

“A confusing combination of giddy childhood excitement and disappointed resignation” is how I described The Rise of Skywalker as we left the theatre at 2.30 AM. I had decided that an eight-hour triple bill would be the only worthy cinematic environment in which to conclude my lifelong journey with the Skywalkers, and honestly I did have a great time. As a Star Wars purist, the new trilogy had never really been my cup of tea, but the final instalment was an enjoyable, exciting film to watch. The film was as beautiful as ever, with interesting character developments and a well-navigated farewell to Carrie Fisher. I really enjoyed the continued exploration of Kylo Ren, and this final film has cemented him as one of the most intriguing, multi-faceted characters of the Star Wars universe. Not only this, but the dynamic between Kylo Ren and Rey which was so interesting in The Last Jedi is further explored with emotional depth and maturity, although ending on a rather strange note. Continue reading Review: The Rise of Skywalker