01 Jan 2016

Review of ‘A Chorus Of Disapproval’

By Paul Campion Apparently, ‘A Chorus of Disapproval’ was the first play Alan Aykbourn wrote on a word processor. It seems appropriate that this very 1980s play (first performed at the National Theatre in 1984) should be created using such an Eighties piece of technology. For while both were regarded as state-of-the-art at the time, they seem like period pieces now. For me (and I stress the ‘for me’, as I know others will disagree) the problem is that when […]

01 Jan 2016

Review of ‘The Elephant Man’

by Mike Savill Many years ago, the film of The Elephant Man made a deep impact on this young cineaste. That ending still moistens the eyes now. Mawkish or otherwise, there is an emotional resonance to the story of the life of John (Joseph) Merrick that was difficult to shake off in terms of colouring one’s expectations of Bernard Pomerance’s theatrical telling of the tale. It is true testament to director Tony Jenner, then, that his version strode boldly from any preconceptions of the […]

01 Jan 2016

Review of ‘Crooked Wood’

By Nikki Packham The title Crooked Wood might suggest gothic horror, but there was the doormat at the foot of the stairs, together with upturned flower pots and the sign telling us we were entering the right house. When I walked into the BLT Bar what I saw was a space filled with good, old furniture, topped by a plethora of knick knacks and lamps, some of the latter with threadbare shades, and a wonderful wind-up gramophone. So the scene […]

01 Jan 2016

Review of ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’

by Hilary Cordery Set in Brooklyn, New York, Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs records the life and struggles of an immigrant Jewish family in the 1930s, shortly before the Second World War. The narrative is seen through the eyes of 15-year-old Eugene Jerome (Harrison North). Eugene aspires to be a writer, hence the play’s title. Tensions within the family give Eugene plenty of material for his memoirs, but the play also records Eugene’s own rite of passage as he becomes […]