Michael Ratcliffe

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National Theatre: Verbatim theatre

A Small Family Business

Click below to download the <i>A Small Family Business</i> cast list in PDF format<p>'Classic Ayckbourn. Delivers laughs and chills with great panache'<p>Daily …

Exclusive: watch the creepy trailer for the National Theatre’s ‘Medea’ – Now. Here. This. – Time Out London

Posted at 10:00 am, June 19, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment<p>The story of a jilted wife who murders her children by way of extracting revenge on her …

The Believers review – thrilling theatrical conjuring tricks, but no big revelations

We are in the dark. So are Marianne (Eileen Walsh) and Joff (Christopher Colquhoun). They don't know exactly what happened. They do know that when their house was at risk from rising flood waters, they and their daughter, Grace, were welcomed into the home of their neighbours, Maud (Penny Layden) …

Privacy review – Taut drama short-circuits the crucial debate

James Graham's new play deals with the big issue of our day: the power of the surveillance state and the ability of the internet to determine our identities. Taking the form of a theatrical collage, the play also relies heavily on the verbatim testimony of seven members of the Guardian staff. But, …

Privacy, Donmar Warehouse: 'necessary, instructive and long overdue'

Tim Walker enjoys Privacy, a searing analysis of how the internet has invaded the lives of every one of us<p>When the history of the West End in the early millennium is written, the closure of Stephen Ward will, I wager, be seen as a moment of profound significance. If theatreland looked like a …

Debris

With one burst appendix, a family is demolished. ‘Matilda’ and ‘Utopia’ scribe Dennis Kelly’s debut play, now 11 years old, shows the ruinous …

Punchdrunk hosts a decadent 1960s Hollywood Party at Temple Studios – Now. Here. This. – Time Out London

Posted at 1:30 pm, May 6, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment<p>Have you been to see Punchdrunk’s immense immersive experience ‘The Drowned Man’ yet? If not, …

Should playwrights be kinder to audiences?

Alan Bennett recently said that one of the things that he had learned over the years was to be kinder to the audience – and that he no longer inflicted long monologues on them as he had done in his early work.<p>Audiences are always the final arbiter. They either pay to come or they don't. I was once …

Peaches Christ Superstar, Theatre Royal, Brighton, review: 'a bizarre experiment that works'

The Canadian shock-rocker Peaches delivers a surprisingly heartfelt performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar<p>Peaches is a Canadian shock-rocker whose calling card is hyper-sexualised, snarling musical satire. She majors in tough-sounding electro with sneered vocals. She has an …

Incognito, review: 'astonishing and original'

Nick Payne's new play confirms him as a rival to Tom Stoppard, says Charles Spencer<p>For several decades now Tom Stoppard has been generally regarded as the brainiest of British playwrights. But he has a rival in the dramatic IQ stakes in Nick Payne.<p>Payne is the dramatist who won the Evening Standard …

Avant-garde theatre marks WWI centenary in Prague

Leading American avant-garde theatre director Robert Wilson is commemorating the first World War’s centenary in his new stage production ‘1914’ at Prague’s National Theatre.<p>Wilson depicts an absurd world laced with tragedy, irony and black humour, where war is a farce played out to a disturbingly …

The ethics of verbatim theatre

Tony Awards 2014: Winners list

Mark Rylance won his third Tony award for playing the countess Olivia in Twelfth Night and there is a British success for Sophie Okonede<p><b>BEST PLAY</b><p>Act One<p><b>All the Way – WINNER</b><p>Casa Valentina<p>Mothers and Sons<p>Outside Mullingar<p><b>BEST MUSICAL</b><p>After Midnight<p>Aladdin<p>Beautiful: The Carole King Musical<p><b>A Gentleman’s</b> …

Finding the method in medieval theatre's madness

It still comes as a surprise to many to discover that Shakespeare didn't invent theatre. My theatrical values have been shaped by working not only with Shakespeare, but also with some of the surviving material that was written before he was born, mostly by several generations of the Anon family.<p>I …

All hail theatre's one-hit wonders

Playwrights such as Kevin Elyot, who are chiefly remembered for one big hit, should still be celebrated, says Dominic Cavendish<p>The best part of a generation shuddered at the news of <b>Rik Mayall’s death</b> on Monday. Much quieter tremors of sadness were felt at the passing of the playwright Kevin Elyot …

Is Australian theatre racist?

On Thursday, the playwright Andrew Bovell will open the National Play festival in Sydney by claiming that Australian theatre still isn't racially diverse enough. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Wednesday that he will say that it ignores multicultural stories, doesn't practise colourblind …

The Big Stars of Experimental Theater

Performing Arts

All-night Macbeth in a tower block - in pictures

Immersive theatre company Rift are staging a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Erno Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower in east London. Audience members stay overnight in the tower and have breakfast in the morning with the characters. Throughout the night, they will be visited by the play's characters …

Second album syndrome for 'promising' playwrights

The word "promise", as anyone who has been a partner or a parent knows, always risks being thrown back at you. But when applied to artistic potential, the term can be most destructive. Generations of cultural beginners have shivered at the prophecy of the critic Cyril Connolly, published in 1938, …

100-seat fringe theatre to open in west London

A 100-seat theatre that will be both a producing and receiving house is to launch in west London, opening in September with the Stephen Sondheim …

National Theatre: 50 years on stage rehearsals

National Theatre: Chewing Gum Dreams by Michaela Coel

Home review – moving snapshots of resilience amid despair

The bashful young man (Kadiff Kirwan) is recounting how he left home. His mother said she wished she'd aborted him. The police told him that at 17, if your mum wants you to leave home you have to go, even if you have nowhere to go. Suddenly he breaks into an unaccompanied version of Beyoncé's Halo. …

Sir Alan Ayckbourn play 'still holds up' 27 years on, says author

<b>Veteran playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn says he is "delighted" a play he wrote about greedy entrepreneurs during the Thatcher era still "holds up" on stage.</b><p>"It didn't seem like a play of the late 1980s," the 74-year-old told BBC News after the first night of A Small Family Business at the National …

National Theatre Live: Othello trailer

Othello: Iago and Othello

Othello - Performance history of title role

Adrian Lester in conversation