THE LEHMAN TRILOGY in “thrilling” North American premiere
Read More On: Candida Caldicot
This electrifying production, directed by Sam Mendes, serves as a parable of the shifting definition of the American dream. Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre, The Lehman Trilogy has transferred to New York’s Park Avenue Armory, where Candida Caldicot has reprised her role of Musical Director and Pianist.
“Genuinely epic... out of nothing there emerges such a heaving ferment of aspiration, energy, tenacity and audacity that you’re left reeling by the scope and vitality of it all.”
“Beale, Miles and Godley propel the story with a force that feels aerodynamic. The counterpoint is the lovely underscoring performed on a piano at the lip of the stage by Candida Caldicot: Call it a fugue for stocks and bonds.”
“This is theatrical storytelling at its most thrilling, a work of novelistic sweep and operatic crescendos, as rich in incisive character detail as it is in breathtaking visual coups.”
“The use of cinematic underscoring coming from music director Candida Caldicot on piano at the side of the stage is essential to the vitality of the piece”
“a masterful work… gripping narrative with a strong lyrical bent.”
“an astonishing theatrical event not to be missed.”
“the three-hour staging of the history of Lehman Brothers is such a staggering achievement… one of the finest plays I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s impossible to imagine a more spellbinding evening of theater, and the way the actors interact with one another — they are so frequently in motion that the play is practically a dance, to the tune of a near-constant piano score played live at the front of the stage — is precision itself.”
CREDITORS ★★★★★ “a superb staging of Strindberg’s tragicomedy”
Read More On: Tom Littler
In Howard Brenton’s new version of Strindberg’s classic, director Tom Littler masters the wickedly enjoyable black comedy of CREDITORS at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.
“The shifting rhythms and tones of Brenton’s text are superbly brought out by director Tom Littler.”
“Tom Littler’s direction builds up the intensity of this play… it is exhausting and fascinating to watch.”
“A brilliant opening to the spring season.”
BBC Radio Cumbria ★★★★
“Really captivating... nobody could take their eyes off the characters for the whole 90 minutes”
“Tom Littler’s subtly acted studio production… The actors play love and hate at the same time, as unsure of themselves as we are.”
“Carefully nuanced... acted with conviction and verisimilitude”
“One of the most emotional dramas I've seen on stage”
“A masterpiece before our eyes... Creditors is utterly mesmerising”
“Theatre at its best...each performance is faultless.”
★★★★★ STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE ‘A heartfelt exploration of home’
Standing At The Sky’s Edge, currently playing at the Sheffield Crucible, is playing to sold-out audiences and rapturous standing ovations. The new musical, based on the music of Richard Hawley, is a love-letter to Sheffield and it’s inhabitants. With Choreography by Lynne Page and Sound Design by Simon Baker.
‘This is a production that will be close to any Sheffielder’s heart, but will also move anyone regardless of origin. It’s a show that deserves to be seen far and wide, and watched again and again. Tonight, the streets are indeed ours.’
‘The full-cast set-pieces are truly spectacular - from the upbeat "Tonight the Streets Are Ours" (possibly Hawley's most well-known song) to the dramatic cacophony of "Standing at the Sky's Edge", which represents low points for all the characters, and the estate itself, as Act One comes to a climax.’
‘Lynne Page's choreography is dazzling, especially in the group performances, which make great use of the different levels of the set.’
‘Lynne Page’s choreography is imaginative and muted, as if everyone was gradually dancing out of their lives; in one sad, small scene, a couple break up without words, across a tea table – wrists and elbows flying apart from each other.’
In Lynne Page’s impressively choreographed group sequences, residents from across the decades bustle through the walkways around the flat and along the balcony perched above. There’s a sense of hidden histories, painting a chaotic portrait of the hundreds of individuals whose dramas have played out between these unforgiving walls.
‘How do you serenade a brutalist postwar housing estate in the heart of Sheffield? You could do a lot worse than this ambitious, far from flawless, but eventually irresistible musical that uses the bittersweet songs of the local-hero indie crooner Richard Hawley to help to tell the story of three sets of tenants of one flat on the real-life Park Hill estate from 1960 to now.’
‘Overall it's as a highly imaginative ensemble production, with cunning use of fine songs, plus an irresistible appeal to Sheffield patriotism. Standing at the Sky's Edge seems destined for a sell-out run at the Crucible.’
‘It stands on the edge of greatness.’
'Rather than present this sweep of history chronologically, director Robert Hastie and choreographer Lynne Page overlap stories in the same flat at the same time, highlighting that though the eras are different, the hopes, fears and indeed politics are just the same.'
‘The musical is animated by Lynne Page’s versatile choreography, taking it from ‘very good’ to something just short of sublime. Page’s work moves from fully balletic, stage-filling wonders to tender, zoomed-in moments.’
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF in ★★★★★ “intimate and resonant revival”
Read More On: Matt Cole
Trevor Nunn’s “definitive” production transfers to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End from the Menier Chocolate Factory, with Matt Cole’s “dazzling” and “thrilling” choreography centre stage.
“whirlingly energetic and achingly moving”
“love is expressed as movingly by the whole community as it is individually, and the joy running through Nunn’s staging of the Jewish wedding between Motel and Tzeitel, complete with bottle dance, is tangible.”
“the dazzling folk choreography of Matt Cole is definitive”
“This is a gorgeous production of a simply glorious musical.”
“choreography by Matt Cole, feels particularly thrilling in this small space; the scene in which the villagers end up in a whirling, wary, but eventually celebratory dance with the Russian cossacks is an energetic highlight.”
“Nunn’s production is rich and resonant”
“There are flashes of extravagant fun, not least in the scene where Russian men crash into Tevye's drinking den of choice and perform coccyx-threatening feats of cossack dancing. And the intimacy of this staging means it's rousing as well as solemn."
“This production is sensitive, confident, heartfelt and boisterous by turn, and equally convincing in every mood.”
Stef Smith’s 'Explosive' NORA opens Citizen’s Women Season in Glasgow ★★★★★
Stef Smith’s highly anticipated adaptation of Ibsen’s classic text, NORA: A Doll's House, opened at the Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow this week to standing ovations and high praise from both critics and audiences alike. NORA opens The Citizen’s Women season at the Citizen’s Theatre. NORA, written by Smith, also features the work of MLR Designer Tom Piper and Composition by MJ McCarthy.
‘On this dizzyingly brilliant two-hour journey through the arc of Ibsen’s story, driven by a subtly powerful musical score from Michael John McCarthy, the narrative passes between them with a strange and chilling ease, like the baton in some endlessly-repeating relay race of timeless female experience.’
‘On Tom Piper’s brilliant set for Stef Smith’s thrilling new 21st century perspective on the story of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, three doorframes stand between the domestic space and the outside world.’
‘Three women walk through different doors at the start of Stef Smith’s revolutionary reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s 19th century meditation on women, men and power. It is as if they have broken through the frames that captured their once-still lives to map out a brand new story for themselves in colours of rage, making history as they go.’
‘This makes for an explosive couple of hours in Elizabeth Freestone’s slow-burning production, which makes flesh of Smith’s writing on Tom Piper’s timeless-looking set.’
‘Michael John McCarthy’s brooding underscore that suddenly flares up into floor-shaking life.’
‘Nora: A Doll’s House does something new with a popular script, something we haven’t seen before; yet, at the same time, it is not so unorthodox that it loses a new audience. Someone who has never seen or heard of the original could see this production and be equally engrossed by it – equally moved, equally shocked – as if they had seen an entirely straight production of the classic that had a lot to admire technically and creatively. In many ways, it is a perfect adaptation.’
‘Smith’s update is smart and thoughtful, balancing a sense of feminist history and activism with the tightness of a thriller and some rich personal drama, all of which reveal its themes even more keenly.’
‘Every line in Nora: A Doll's House is so carefully constructed- it would be a delight to dissect and it is a joy to listen to.’
‘This production of Nora: A Doll's House is bold, exciting and gripping throughout.’
'it is a provocation infused with Ibsen’s radical spirit.'