But where’s the dinosaur?


Is there a tougher crowd in the world than a roomful of toddlers on a Sunday morning? So, this happened. A shipwrecked girl has crawled from the waves, and nervously approaches the cave of a weird, rabbitty scavenging creature. It’s a tense moment. My nephew has a question. ‘Will she have a dinosaur with her?’ he asks. He seems disappointed when his mother whispers that, no, there’s no … [Read more...]

Little hawks

Malcontent main

Polite. Agreeable. Well-behaved. These are not terms that should come to mind when you evoke the seamy edges of Jacobean drama, but they were the impression left by The Malcontent, John Martson’s swingeing tragic-comedy, originally written for a company of child actors, and now revived by Shakespeare’s Globe Young Players. Marston was 26 at the play’s premiere. He was enmeshed in the combative, … [Read more...]

Get real

Michaela Coel in Home Photo: Ellie Kurttz

  From your mouth to the director’s ear – that has been one idea of verbatim theatre. Using the words, experiences and sometimes the very inflections of interviewees as the basis for a production, verbatim has often seem to offer theatre a bracing hit of ‘pure’ reality, a window into authentic documentary material. But like all theatrical forms, verbatim is a shape-shifting beast. Last … [Read more...]

Silence by Shakespeare

Wheeldon in rehearsal

The challenge with basing a ballet on Shakespeare isn’t, oddly, watching the words fall away. That’s a given. It’s how you mine the silences, the telling moments in which ambiguities cluster and on which the story turns. Christopher Wheeldon’s fascinating new ballet (for the Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada) of The Winter’s Tale – the first recorded of that brilliantly strange late … [Read more...]

*sorry face*


An actor looking to real life to research their next apology face might be disconcerted by Maria Miller. On Thursday, the UK government Culture Secretary was forced to make a public apology in the House of Commons for having (technical term) diddled her expenses. She could have wept with sorrow for misdeeds rightly punished; blushed because she’d been censored for having obstructed the inquiry; … [Read more...]

What did you do in the war, mummy?


How do you stage warfare? In a year commemorating the centenary of the First World War, the conflict resists direct dramatisation. Naturalism struggles to capture the scale, and bathos might demean the dead. Dance embodied yet abstract vocabulary, a wordless form offers an opportunity to articulate the unspeakable. The choreographers in Lest We Forget, English National Ballet’s profoundly wrought … [Read more...]