Friday, 25 July 2014

Handbagged - Vaudeville Theatre

Handbagged is a lighthearted yet clever speculation by MoiraBuffini on what might have transpired in the private meetings between The Queen and Margaret Thatacher during her eleven years as PM. The characters are portrayed by 2 actors each – both their younger and older selves, often times interacting with themselves. The two male supporting actors morph in and out of various historical figures who interacted with Thatcher and The Queen over the years. I wasn’t keen on them occasionally coming out of character to comment on the way the show was being depicted – except when Queen and Thatcher contended as to whether there should be an intermission or not.

It’s a witty, intelligent and enjoyable show, even for non-history buffs. Of course it did remind me of The Audience and while I didn’t enjoy it quite as much, it is a piece worth seeing.

Handbagged can be seen @ Vaudeville Theatre until 2nd August

Monday, 21 July 2014

Shakespeare in Love - Noel Coward Theatre

Having not seen the film Shakepeare in Love (despite it winning 7 Academy Awards) before watching this production, I had no idea of the story or what to expect other than a romantic comedy. So wonderfully surprised was I, that not only did I watch the film the next day, I returned to the theatre the following week to see the show again!
TomBateman pulls off a convincing Shakespeare who is suffering from writer’s block, until he meets and falls in love with Viola (Lucy Briggs-Owen). However he firsts meets her under the guise of Thomas Kent, a young ‘man’ wishing to audition for a part in Shakespeare’s yet-to-be-completed play. The rehearsal process is beset by problems and even after several obstacles have been overcome, there is backstage chaos on show night.
The play is hilariously witty with several great supporting performances from Abigail McKern as Nurse Paul Chahidi as Henslowe whose hopeful optimism of ‘it’s a mystery’, in relation to how it will all come together, turns out to be true indeed.
My favourite line though was delived by Queen Elizabeth (AnnaCarteret)  ‘She’s been plucked….and not by you!’
I’ve seen the matinee, I’ve seen the evening performance …and I may very well see this production again before it finished it’s run.

Shakespeare in Love can be seen @ Noel Coward Theatre until 25th October 2014