01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Old Times’

By Mike Savill Some pieces of theatre are designed to entertain, to elicit emotional experience – laughter, tears, edge of the seat thrills but nothing more, clear cut, brightly shaded and obvious with barely any room for an artistic manoeuvre. Others speak of the human condition or a particularly pertinent theme of the ages but are wrapped up in a conventional narrative so that the viewer can take or leave as he or she sees fit. And then there are […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’

By Paul Campion Men find it extremely difficult to get married in Oscar Wilde plays. In ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ Jack Worthing is thwarted in his marital ambitions by possessing the wrong name. In ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ – dramatised by Constance Cox from Wilde’s original short story – the hero faces an even greater obstacle to getting hitched. Young blade-about-1890s London Lord Arthur Savile is all set to wed his sweetheart Sybil. Unfortunately Sybil’s mother is in thrall […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Other Desert Cities’

By Patrick Neylan The lights go up and we walk out to the bar. We are – how shall I put it? – pensive. Finally my friend offers: “The set’s good, isn’t it?” If it were the final curtain instead of the interval, that would be the kiss of death. As they say in musicals, ‘No-one comes out whistling the set’. Actually nobody came out whistling anything. Other Desert Cities isn’t that sort of play. But with Serious American Drama […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘The Long Road’

By Richard Bowdery I must confess at the outset to having more than a passing interest in the theme of this play. During my time at the Home Office I worked on ‘It Doesn’t Have to Happen’, a campaign aimed at reducing knife crime amongst young people. I heard first-hand testimony from those whose lives fell under the brutality of this terrible crime. Yet in amongst the darkness there were shafts of light: people who chose to make a positive […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘The Lieutenant Of Inishmore’

By Hilary Cordery BLT is no stranger to the plays of Martin McDonagh. Previous seasons have treated us to acclaimed productions of The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Cripple of Inishmaan. BLT’s latest production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, the festivals entry this year, continued the trend of marrying great writing with a very high standard of production – although the play wasn’t for those of a squeamish disposition or cat-lovers! It is the early 1990s in Northern Ireland. […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’

By Nikki Packham For anyone who has seen either of the films based on Hardy’s novel, the story is a familiar one; feisty Bathsheba, quite the feminist of her day, struggling to farm alone in 1870s rural Dorset. Into her life come three men who all profess to love her and who all want to marry her. Firstly Gabriel Oak who, having faced the loss of his flock after Bathsheba has rejected his proposal of marriage because she doesn’t love […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘When The Rain Stops Falling’

By Steve Williams When the Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell is a complex play covering eighty years and many lifetimes of emotions in just two hours. The characters go through the whole gamut of joy, love, pain, heartbreak and tragedy and, at times, those differing emotions are being played out by both the younger and older versions of the characters at the same time as we flit back and forth between generations. The play spans the years 1964 to […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘The Believers’

By Richard Stewart Where’s the proof? What’s the right thing to believe in? If God (x), then how can (y) etc. It’s the difference between those who can live their life by faith and those who can’t that forms the central conflict of The Believers. Maud and Ollie are The Believers, who in the spirit of charity invite their neighbours Joff and Marianne to take shelter from a storm whose rising flood waters threaten their house and the lives of […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Blithe Spirit’

By Paul Campion  In line with the current vogue of serving show-themed drinks in the BLT Bar, the tipple on offer for ‘Blithe Spirit’ was the very Coward-esque dry Martini. Which was entirely apt, as this production proved to be a winning concoction of Coward’s dry wit and some deliciously intoxicating performances. Written in less than two weeks at the height of the Blitz, ‘Blithe Spirit’ was Coward’s attempt to cheer up the beleaguered British public. It did much more […]

01 Jan 2016

Review of ‘The Ladykillers’

By Arthur Rochester I have to admit to approaching this production with some slight apprehension, based on my previous experience of popular screen originals re-created for the very different medium of live theatre. Two such which I adjudicated in recent Kent Drama Association festivals, for example, ‘Allo ‘Allo and Dad’s Army, both seemed to me to have suffered in the transition – although, incredibly, a stage version of the 1946 David Niven classic A Matter Of Life And Death worked extraordinarily well in […]