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

Review: NT Live ‘Present Laughter’

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Present Laughter follows a few days in the life of Garry Essendine, an esteemed stage actor, just before he embarks on a tour of Africa. As the play progresses, it delves into Garry’s ego, penchant for one-night stands with bright young things, and precarious relationships with his nearest and dearest – an ex-wife, a beleaguered secretary, and friends and business partners Morris and Henry – all explored with equally humorous and heart-breaking results. The play debuted in 1942 and was one of Noel Coward’s best-known plays, earning great praise from critics and the public alike. Many have said that the character of Garry Essendine is a self-portrait – Coward was known as ‘the original pop star’ and had to navigate the highs and lows of celebrity life himself.  The 2019 revival’s director, Andy Warchus, chose to stay true to Coward’s script, apart from two key gender swaps: ‘Henry’ becomes ‘Helen’, and his wife becomes a husband. This is key in the way that the relationships between characters play out, and, arguably, more accurately reflects Coward’s character and original intention for the script, as he himself was closeted during his lifetime.   Continue reading Review: NT Live ‘Present Laughter’

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ National Theatre Live

“I have had a most rare vision.” This line, spoken by Bottom at the beginning of Act 4 of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, goes a long way in describing the experience of viewing the Bridge Theatre’s production of the famous play. Rare because I’ve never before seen Puck crowd-surf; a vision because the whole theatre seemed to transform into a forest in which fairies dangled from the trees, imbuing the space with the feeling of real magic occurring.
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Review: Fleabag @ The National Theatre Live

There’s a little bit of Fleabag in everyone. It was this, as well as an increased obsession with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s written genius that I took away from the NT production of “Fleabag” on 12 September. Being a student, I couldn’t afford the £70 train down to London, as much as I wanted to; instead I watched the live streaming at my local cinema. The experience was nothing short of captivating. It was in Phoebe’s use of minimalistic visuals, a single chair encapsulated in darkness with one interrogative yet feeble light above her, that Fleabag’s garish anecdotes invited almost a safe space, for the audience to laugh both at her, and in reflection, at their own selves, with the comfort of knowing that being a ‘greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist’ is okay. Continue reading Review: Fleabag @ The National Theatre Live