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: Seussical, Arts Theatre ✭✭✭
Amy Kirle heads into the West End for a family-friendly Christmas show with a difference.
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: Mary Rose, Riverside Studios ***
JBR reviews an atmospheric reading of J.M. Barrie’s dark Mary Rose at Riverside Studios.
J.M. Barrie’s Mary Rose presents as a dark obverse to his better known Peter Pan. As a counterpoint it reveals a somewhat uncomfortable preoccupation with childhood innocence extending some of the themes of Pan; the child who cannot grow up, and meditation on death and loss. In Mary Rose these are distorted somewhat, revealing an altogether less delightful narrative than the Disneyfication of Pan that we are used to. Structurally it approximates a late Edwardian ghost story, and reflecting much of the writing of the period, marries the highbrow style of the Belle Epoque with a more popular drawing-room comedy.
Matthew Parker’s skillfully directed production at the Riverside Studios wisely focuses on the ghost story, and this production excels when Parker populates the stage with trapped spirits. Although at times over-choreographed, the ensemble nonetheless demonstrate a haunting metaphor – that those who are lost are never far gone from our world. In astonishingly committed performances, the ensemble lend Cherry Truluck’s detailed set an eerie life of its own. Maria Haik Escudero’s haunting musical score accentuates the unease throughout the play while Gary Bowman’s lighting design, streaming in through the thousand chinks and cracks that adorn Truluck’s set, further adds to the atmosphere.
Maggie Robson, as Mary’s mother beautifully balances heartbreak and melancholy, with a forced stoic humour
The drawing room scenes, with their laboured comedy seem at odds with Parker’s otherwise intricate work, and while Maggie Robson, as Mary’s mother beautifully balances heartbreak and melancholy, with a forced stoic humour, the scenes feel strained and underpowered.
Underpowered too is Jessie Cave in the titular role although much of this is down to the ethereal child-woman she must convey. Stronger work comes from Carsten Hayes as Mary’s husband, who has a more fulfilling journey to embark on, from gauche suitor to lonely widower.
DogOrange have produced an effective reading of an intriguing, largely forgotten Barrie work which is largely visually stunning and affecting enough to warrant a visit.
*** (3 stars)
Runs until 28th April