The Reviews: February 2018

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Image via Lancaster Arts

Lost Dog: Juliet and Romeo

The Nuffield Theatre

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“From the full body explorations of weight and balance of their dancing to the honest and authentic moments between the two actors this piece was truly enjoyable to watch unfold. The concept of a Romeo who feels nothing and a Juliet who can’t seem to let go of the fantasy of Shakespeare’s world was always going to be an interesting one and Lost Dog handled it wonderfully.” – Lucy Malaihollo-Sheppard

Image via The Dukes

Noël Coward’s Private Lives

The Dukes

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The play’s production shows a classical approach, without any additional interpretation. Yet, it feels like something is missing. The question is then whether the problem lays in the interpretation or the piece itself. I would be prone to put the responsibility on Coward’s side as Michael Cabot’s production tries its best to entertain the audience. And judging by people’s reactions during the performance, the artists are presenting enjoyable comedy. Thus, Private Lives is suitable for spending a delightful evening being entertained by a rather nonbinding play.” – Berenika Balcer

Image courtesy of Manchester Royal Exchange

The Almighty Sometimes

Manchester Royal Exchange

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The Almighty Sometimes won the Bruntwood Prize for playwriting I’m 2015, and it is evident as to why. This play captures the intricacies of living with a mental health disorder perfectly. It crafts every conversation, bodily movement and emotion to the smallest of details to create a truly harrowing portrayal. Julie Hesmondalgh stars as the mother of Anna, played by Norah Holden, the girl coping with the illness. Both actors are phenomenal and the audience truly absorbs their emotion throughout. My only criticism is that perhaps the production was too long for what became such an intense, depressing production in the second half. It maybe would have worked better as a short, studio production, without the need for the royal exchange’s trademark lighting, sound and staging effects.” – Toby Cooke

The Vagina Monolancs

The Storey

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I can’t say I knew what to expect, or how the entire experience would make me feel. What I do know is that as soon as the stories were being told, I felt a visceral aching in my chest and was overcome by the barrage of protective woman-hood. The emotional rollercoaster that I went on for 120 minutes can’t really be put into words, but I can tell you that I’ve never experienced wanting to stop hearing and simultaneously learn more about anything in my life. I was on the edge of my seat the entire way through.” – Becky Scott

National Theatre Live: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Dukes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Benedict Andrews has managed to radically update “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to deliver an intense study of complex human relationships, providing ultimate proof that Williams’ classic is timeless. Both Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell present the best of their acting skills, achieving sensational effects. They are the greatest reason to see Andrews’ version of ‘Cat’, that presents truth within the drama and a really unforgettable and thought-provoking experience.” – Berenika Balcer

The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The novel humanises the dehumanised within society, and brings into question the treatment of those we consider to be dangerous to society. The eeriness of an all-seeing watchtower which cannot be accessed but can see you at all times is particularly prevalent in this age of CCTV surveillance and tracking. It raises questions of privacy, autonomy and respect in a prison-esque environment. If you’re looking for a druggy, uplifting and thought-provoking look into Scottish young offenders lives, as we all are, then this could be the read for you.” – Becky Scott