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Review: RSC’s The Taming of the Shrew (2019)

Out of all of William Shakespeare’s plays, Taming of the Shrew is one of the trickiest plays to perform from the perspective of the whole creative team. The play, which at the time of writing was seen as a lighthearted comedy, could now be described as ‘problematic’ at best. The premise of the play, a ‘shrewish’ young woman, Katherine, being ‘tamed’, or more accurately, abused, by her husband into submission, would now make any modern viewer shift uncomfortably in their seat. Continue reading Review: RSC’s The Taming of the Shrew (2019)

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Review: Uncle Vanya

Anton Checkhov’s 1899 play Uncle Vanya resonates with modern audiences differently when compared to the play’s intended audience, and this is epitomised by the latest production. The cast is filled with well-known faces, although these actors are more familiar swinging a metal detector or flying an aeroplane they adapt to the heightened tone, creating an exaggerated realism that does not permit the audience a moment … Continue reading Review: Uncle Vanya

RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

On Sunday night, I put on my make-up and dusted off a dress to go to the theatre. The unusual aspect was that it was a virtual one, where Zoom became the stage, but still a theatre nonetheless. It was the first reveal of Theatre with Teeth’s witty comedy, Hair, and with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a full, in-person performance on hold for the foreseeable future, the talented members of the society decided to virtually showcase extracts from their upcoming production. Written and directed by Leila Lockley, Hair tells the story of a young, aspiring Black actress, Ali (Marion Ojua) in her pursuit to break into the industry. However, Ali quickly discovers that the people around her, particularly casting agents, are far too concerned with appearances and stereotypes, as she faces multiple microaggressions and instances of discrimination. Following the performance, I had the privilege of chatting with the cast and crew of Hair to discuss the rehearsal process and the inspiration behind this moving play. Continue reading RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

Review: Out of the Blue Theatre’s IMAGINARIUM

Confined to the safe and cosy space of my bedroom, Out of the Blue Theatre pierced my heart with their wonderful production, IMAGINARIUM. Out of the Blue has beautifully transformed theatre into a progressive, interactive, audio-immersive journey of the self. With no visual aids to help bring the production to life, you are dependent upon your own imagination. And so, the production establishes a collaborative process between listener and actor. This revolutionary creative form, which I can only describe as an amalgamation of theatre watching, meditating, and podcast listening, has cultivated a profoundly personal exploration of the unknown, which makes the impossible imaginable. Continue reading Review: Out of the Blue Theatre’s IMAGINARIUM

Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Katie Wood is a fourth-year Drama student at the University of Exeter who has a particular interest in creating sustainable theatre at the production level. In this interview, we discuss barriers to sustainable theatre, as well as what steps have been made within the university to mitigate student theatre’s impact upon the environment. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello

Iqbal Khan’s Othello is a haunting rendition of psychological unravelling. With a stage bathed in blue light, a set reminiscent of a gothic church, and songs performed like elegies, Shakespeare’s controversial tragedy undergoes a thematic dismantling. Khan’s Othello recontextualises the play’s depictions of brutality and injustice. Costumes wander in a realm between modern and timeless, and additional dialogue involves the multi-racial community exchanging racist insults using current language. Most notably, the dynamic between Othello and the manipulative Iago shifts, with the compelling casting choice of a black actor as Iago. Continue reading Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello

Review: NT Live: Amadeus

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is, to most, synonymous with classical music. The composer is widely adored, and his music is often played by students to help them concentrate when pulling an all-nighter or cramming some revision. The play Amadeus, perhaps contrary to what the title may suggest,does not focus entirely on this complicated individual, but rather on Antonio Salieri, the composer creating at the same time as Mozart. This heavily dramatised account acts as part confession and part swan song of the dying artist in his last few hours on earth. The plot is full of activity, though rather simple to follow, as Salieri invites the audience to listen to his tale, the character imagining us as ghosts of the future judging his supposed actions. What we witness is a hard-working and deeply religious man making a name for himself on the Viennese court and whose outputs are minimised when compared with the works of Mozart. Continue reading Review: NT Live: Amadeus

Theatres in the Dark: Here’s How You Can Support Your Local Playhouse

When theatres fell dark on Monday 16 March 2020, few could have imagined that nearly four months later their doors would remain closed. Their auditoriums decidedly empty and their stages eerily quiet. While lockdown has meant we’ve been able to enjoy award-winning productions streamed directly to our homes, performers, technicians and audiences alike are now eagerly anticipating a return to normality, itching for theatres to raise their curtains once more. Continue reading Theatres in the Dark: Here’s How You Can Support Your Local Playhouse

Review: Sea Wall

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Simon Stephens’ Sea Wall is raw and devastating. This one-man play begins lightly, Alex (Andrew Scott) chatting amiably about his father-in-law, holidays in the South of France, and his deep affection for his wife and daughter. Yet, strung through this narrative is a tension that tightens as the story unfolds. The audience are constantly on edge, watching as Alex circles closer and closer to the painful story aching at the play’s centre. Continue reading Review: Sea Wall

Review: National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein

A collection of 3,500 light bulbs hang above the audience, flashing all at once, as electronic static buzzes persistently. A spherical, beige screen – veiny, alien, womb-like – stands alone on the stage, until suddenly a hand bursts through it. Even for a virtual viewer, there is a sensory overload of light and sound as the Creature falls hard on the floor. It convulses and squirms, wet and barely conscious, twitching like a fish out of water. In silence, we watch it attempt to move, adjusting to its limbs as if paralysed. Continue reading Review: National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein