Visit London Blog » comedy theatre Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thursday Theatre News: 2012, Thandie Newton, Karen Gillan and David Suchet Thu, 28 Jul 2011 17:08:28 +0000 This week seems to have been dominated by news of London 2012. And London’s theatreland has been getting in on the action too. More than 20 shows have released tickets for the Olympic period, to ensure audiences can book theatre tickets if they’re coming to town for the Olympics or the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

For a full list of shows that have extended their booking into 2012, check out the Official London Theatre website.

Edward Hall’s all-male theatre company Propeller have also announced their 2012 plans. They’ll perform their Shakespearean pairing of Henry V and The Winter’s Tale at the Hampstead Theatre from 4 to 21 July.

Before we get to that all-important Olympic year, there’s still exciting casting news to think about. This week’s announcements include:

  • Hollywood star Thandie Newton, who’ll appear in Ariel Dorfman’s Death And The Maiden at the Comedy Theatre from October
  • Doctor Who star Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) is making her professional stage debut in Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar, also in October
  • Another debut, this time from Hannah Spearritt (who you’ll know from Primeval, or if you’re my age, S Club 7!) in The Belle’s Stratagem at the Southwark Playhouse from September
  • And finally, a real favourite of mine, David Suchet’s going to be back on the London stage in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, at the Apollo Theatre. You’ll have to wait til next April for that one, I’m afraid.

Last of all if you’re a fan of London theatre: don’t forget Kids Week, next month!

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Birdsong at The Comedy Theatre Wed, 10 Nov 2010 11:30:50 +0000

Sebastian Faulks’ harrowing novel Birdsong has been adapted for the stage and has its first run at London’s The Comedy Theatre . This play has a star line-up, with director Trevor Nunn, and many wonderful actors.

Birdsong follows a young man’s journey through a great love and a great war. The play is split into three sections. The long opening act concentrates on the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford as he visits Amiens and falls in love with a married woman, played by the rather stiff Genevieve O’Reilly.

I found the second two acts more convincing than the first. After the interval Birdsong shows the vile horror of World War I, like I have never seen it portrayed before. Every aspect of the painful anguish and devastation is realised through haunting acting and clever dramatics. The stage is impressively constructed to show the claustrobic tunnels and trenches, and smoke effects create further atmosphere. Just before the second interval a great clash and cloud of powder wafts over the audience, an incredible sensation and evocative transition to mark the start of the war.

I loved watching Lee Ross who plays one of the central characters, Jack Firebrace. The kindness and bravery of this character within the turmoil of war gives the story real strength and substance, and Ross’s characterisation reflects this with a touching morality.

I left feeling moved and educated, and now would like to read the original book.

With Remembrance Day in London tomorrow, the show feels particularly poignant.

The play continues until 15 January 2011. Book Birdsong tickets here.

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Thursday Theatre News: Enron, The Menier and The Globe, and More Mr Rylance Thu, 18 Feb 2010 20:02:18 +0000

It’s a busy week for theatre news. Firstly, Enron’s extended its run at the Noel Coward Theatre, which is great news, particularly because I want to see it again – it’s *that* good! It’s now running until 14 August.

Also, two of my favourite south-of-the-river theatres have sent really exciting announcements my way.

Firstly, the Menier Chocolate Factory is bringing revivals of Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine and Aspects of Love to London in the coming months. (It really couldn’t be a better line-up if my Liverpudlian Lloyd-Webber loving Mum had chosen the shows for the pair of us herself.) Larry Lamb, who you’ll either know from EastEnders or Gavin & Stacey will be playing Frank in Educating Rita. And all-round ace (she writes, she acts, she directs, and sings, and produces) Meera Syal will be playing Shirley. No news as yet for the cast of Aspects of Love. (We’ve got our fingers crossed that Michael Ball will come back, but we know it’s probably never going to happen. Sniff.)

Second: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has sent some tasty casting news through too this week, which includes two actors I’ve really enjoyed watching at The Globe before: Dominic Rowan and Jamie Parker. The former’s going to be playing Henry VIII; the latter (who you might recognise from The History Boys) will play Hal in Henry IV Parts I and II.  And it’ll be interesting to see sexy Elliot Cowan play Macbeth: surely one of Shakespeare’s best plays? All in all, it’s shaping up to be a great summer at The Globe.

Finally, while memories of the wonderful Jerusalem are still strong in my mind, I’m pleased to tell you about the amazing Mark Rylance’s next project. He’ll be playing a street clown in David Hirson’s 1991 comedy, La Bête. Other cast members include Joanna Lumley OBE and David Hyde Pierce (or Fraiser’s brother Niles, to you and me). It turns out Niles, sorry, David Hyde Pierce has won a Tony for his work on Broadway, which includes Curtains, Monty Python’s Spamalot and Accent On Youth. This will be his West End debut. Can’t wait to see this show at the Comedy Theatre in June: it sounds really interesting.

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