Heartworn hoodlums: Handel’s Rodelinda, ENO

Even ruthless, psychotic gangsters have to fall in love sometimes. And Rodelinda is all about what happens when the people at the top of the cruel power pyramid have got their minds on… other things, like other people’s faithful wives, as well as their crime kingdoms. Director Richard Jones translates Rodelinda’s setting (originally 7th century Lombardy) to gangster warfare…

Half-term heaven: The Dream Factory, House of Stray Cats

“Have you ever wondered where dreams come from? Or how they get into your head?” A thought-provoking debut production from House of Stray Cats, The Dream Factory takes us on an intriguing creative journey into the sometimes dark, sometimes brilliant world of dreams from the point of view of Sophie, a young girl who has suddenly…

Desperate to live the truth: An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde

It is a strange and fascinating inversion of life by art that, as Oscar Wilde’s own life unravelled towards its final, dark ruin, his dramas became ever lighter and funnier. An Ideal Husband is only capped by The Importance of Being Earnest for glittering wit, engaging humour, and a brilliantly twisting plot which holds our…

“I was made for destruction;” Wilde at Heart, Patrick Marley

The last time I saw a one-man show which an actor had personally researched about the life, times and trials of his lifelong hero, it was Simon Callow’s brilliantly vivid journey Inside Wagner’s Head. Callow made a powerful, emotive case for Wagner’s flawed genius, and the evening was packed with fascinating information: in fact, so…