Civil class war: Coriolanus, RSC

Coriolanus doesn’t often hit the modern stage: its plot, a hymn to the necessary evil of educated patrician privilege in order to provide for the politically fickle, unthinking plebeian multitude, doesn’t sit at all well with modern political correctness. Even in an age of Remoaning, as the failed political class continue to wring their well-manicured hands…

Here, too, are tears: Dido, Queen of Carthage, Marlowe, RSC

While there are many excellent reasons to read Virgil’s Aeneid from cover to cover, more than once, the fourth book of the great Roman epic (Dido’s abandonment by Aeneas and subsequent suicide) has perhaps inspired more artistic reactions than the whole of the rest of the poem put together in art, music, and literature. Christopher Marlowe’s beautifully…

Midsummer Mischief Programme B – for Theatrecat

I reviewed Midsummer Mischief Programme B at the kind invitation of Libby Purves, for her website Theatrecat.com. I CAN HEAR YOU – E.V. Crowe Starkly funny, E.V. Crowe’s play shows us how old-fashioned patriarchal family stereotypes fail to nourish or support anyone, and speaks clearly about why they must be broken. THIS IS NOT AN EXIT –…

Midsummer Mischief A at the RSC: new works by Timberlake Wertenbaker and Alice Birch

Libby Purves kindly invited me to review at the RSC for her website Theatrecat.com. There were two plays in Midsummer Mischief Programme A: THE ANT AND THE CICADA – Timberlake Wertenbaker Using intimate family faultlines, strong-armed semi-legal negotiation and the louring shadow of Fascism to create an explosive, conflicting atmosphere of fulfilment and betrayal, Wertenbaker’s…