Have you got the Star Wars X Factor?
Thousands turned away at open auditions after standing in the rain for hours.
News: TheatreCraft returns to help young people’s backstage careers
The 8th annual event returns to the Royal Opera House later this month.
News: The Bush Theatre’s new writing policy seeks new proposals
Writer/ performers and companies urged to submit ideas for new work.
London shows for just £10 in the New Year
Over 45 theatres sign up to the scheme that offers tickets at a fraction of the normal cost.
Blog: Films to study for inspiration
Watching great actors can often inform your own work.
Blog: Shakespeare experimenting with the limits of contemporary drama
Briony Rawle heads to Yorkshire and takes a closer look at Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
Blog: Lucy Kirkwood’s glorious Chimerica
The critical consensus has been overwhelming. Nobody needs to read another emphatic 5* review. So, reeling from the performance, Emily offers a response.
Blog: The Holistic Actor
Your mind, emotions and body are instruments and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life.
Review: Dickens Abridged, Arts Theatre ✭✭✭✭
Get yourself a ticket to the funniest show in town this Christmas, writes Amy Kirle.
Review: Unscorched, Finborough Theatre ✭✭✭✭
An uncomfortable play tackling a very dark online world, writes Briony Rawle.
Review: That Face, Landor Theatre ✭✭✭✭
A thought-provoking and brutally honest play, writes Laura Maclean.
Review: Blam! Peacock Theatre ✭✭✭✭
Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, the Neander Company comes to Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre bringing with it an inventive, energetic show.
Review: Howl’s Moving Castle, Southwark Playhouse ***
Amy Stow gets into the festive spirit with an immaculately presented gothic tale at Southwark Playhouse.
Howl’s Moving Castle is an enchanting tale suitable for viewers of all ages. Based on the fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, writer Mike Sizemore has created a compelling script that captures the story of the ostensibly evil, superficial Howl and his blossoming relationship with the lovely Sophie, who has been put under a spell by the jealous Witch of the Waste and so transformed into a meddling old lady. Can Sophie – unwittingly – win Howl’s love and defeat the powerful, embittered Witch of the Waste? Or is Howl destined to be forever roving in his magnificent castle, preying on the innocent and bathing in his own vanity?
Akin to Beauty and the Beast, this gothic tale is immaculately presented, prompting comic genius – especially from the energetic Daniel Ings as the conceited, flamboyant Howl – as well as merriment all round, and, judging by the number of shiny-faced youngsters in the audience, truly is aimed at spectators of all ages.
Whilst the acting is good across the board (although admittedly carried in placed by Ings), perhaps the most intriguing element of this production is the fantastic white cardboard set, which is highly versatile, delineating both inside and outside of the castle. Coupled with the amusing projections that frequently pop up to the voiceover of Stephen Fry, who narrates, the set is dazzling, and helps to fill an otherwise sparse stage.
Howl’s Moving Castle is both panto-esque and sincere, funny and touching, jolly and sinister
Never a dull moment, this production is directed by artistic couple Davy and Kristin McGuire with care and precision, whilst still allowing the actors some room for improvisation in places. A bit like dressing up as a wide-eyed youth, Howl’s Moving Castle is both panto-esque and sincere, funny and touching, jolly and sinister. With some fine acting and a clever set, the two main merits of this production, this show provides a very pleasant way to spend an evening whether young or old – or somewhere in between.
*** (3 stars)
Runs until 7th January 2012