Two delightful weeks in London were filled with many plays — here are the most memorable. Three standouts were by winners of the Best of Edinburgh Award (hurrah!) — let me begin with those:
“The Writer” by Ella Hickson, (2008 winner For “Eight”) is a ferociously brave work. Ella’s wrath has been unleashed on the male dominated world of theatre. The play has been the subject of much debate — perfect for these fraught times in the war between the sexes.
“Rattle Snake” by Catrina McHugh (2015 winner for “Key Change”) is a relentlessly taut, almost unbearable, tale of coercive control of two women. The authenticity of these voices is never in doubt. Catrina was awarded an MBE by the Queen this year, for giving voice to unheard women through her writing.
“Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter” by Emma Rice (2017 winner for “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk”) once again exhibits her unique visual staging of a classic tale — combining song, music, movement and language — total, unforgettable joy!
A somewhat old fashioned paean to love isDavid Hare’s “The Moderate Soprano,” about John Christie’s construction of a new opera house and opera company, Glyndebourne, for his cherished opera singer wife. It brought tears to my eyes.
Jermyn Street Theatre continues to charm on their minute stage, this time with Noel Coward’s “Tonight at 3:30” — three programs of one acts, rarely seen, beautifully acted.
A two-part, seven hour, brilliant epic, transferring to the West End from the Young Vic and then, I suspect,to Broadway — “The Inheritance,” byU.S. playwright Matthew Lopez, about the post-AIDS generation of gay men and the specters of a previous time who continue to haunt. Not to be missed — worth the trip!
“Mood Music” by Joe Penhall, exposes a rock and roll has-been intent on controlling, if not destroying, a young Irish singer who’s talent eclipses his own.
“Consent” by Nina Raines — a well-constructed if dyspeptic look at modern marriage, infidelity and divorce of lawyer/lovers, while also arguinga rape case in court.
Now for what’s coming to our fair city:
I’ll be giving prolific playwright, Joshua Harmon, another try — seeing “Skintight” at Roundabout. He’s also the author of “Bad Jews,” “Significant Other” and “Admissions” — I have my fingers crossed for this.
Since I like to see new work, I’ll be heading to Rattlestick for “Novenas for a Lost Hospital” — fair warning, just a few performances. While at their website, check out their upcoming, exciting season.
Have you already booked Antoinette Nwandu’s “Pass Over” at LCT Three’s Claire Tow Theatre? It was praised in its Chicago premiere as a “modern day Godot,” and rumored to soon be a film by Spike Lee.
Our latest Best of Edinburgh Award winning play, “Borders” by Henry Naylor, finally comes to New York’s Fourth Street Theatre after reaping many awards — first in Edinburgh, then in Adelaide, most recently at the Spoleto USA Festival.
Newsletter readers, please use the code NLCT for performances from June 27th until July 9th, discounted to $25; until July 22nd, $30.
I had to go to Edinburgh to find Henry’s work — you have the opportunity to see it here!
Hope to see you at “Borders” and many other plays!
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.