I would like to start my review by saying thank you to Playwrights Canada Press for giving me an opportunity to not only read the play but also attend the launch party and the performance at Buddies in Bad Times theatre.
Being as smitten as I am with theatre, I almost never get to see Broadway productions. Most of the plays that are screened at Cineplex are by National Theatre or Royal Shakespeare Company. One in a while, though, we get rare gems, like The Crucible, and this time – Cyrano de Bergerac.
It was the first time I got to see this play on stage and was fairly entertained by it. Cyrano de Bergerac was written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand, and there are two most famous English translations – by Brian Hooker and by Anthony Burgess. This production used the text translated by Anthony Burgess. The play was on stage briefly in 2007, then revived and filmed in 2008.
I went to see the broadcast of “Obsession” play on May 11. It was broadcast live from the Barbican Theatre in London and was only about an hour and a half long with no intermission. The play is a new stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film. I have never watched the movie, but I was attracted to this play because of two things: one, the main protagonist Gino is played by Jude Law, whom I had never seen on stage; and two, the play was produced by Ivo van Hove, whose in Hedda Gabler I really enjoyed (he also produced A View From The Bridge).
Raise a hand if you can pronounce the title of this play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”, in one go without twisting your tongue – because I can’t! So, I am going to refer to it from now it as ‘RaG’ in my review, because even typing it in full is a hassle.
This is going to be the review for both the script and National Theatre Live production, as there are some certain differences to Hedda’s character, which I found really interesting. Beware of plot spoilers ahead.
“Watching Glory Die” is one act play written by a Canadian playwright Judith Thompson, who was inspired by the tragic death of nineteen year-old Ashley Smith. Ashley Smith died of self-inflicted strangulation, while being on a suicide watch at Grand Valley Institution for Women. Her death caused many questions and resulted in a legal inquest and criminal negligence charges against the warden and deputy warden. The trial stretched for several years and eventually her death was ruled as a homicide.
I have an unfortunate habit of buying books on a whim, simply because they remind of something else: another book, a TV show, or maybe there is just THAT feeling that I will like this book. Heavens know how many times I was mistaken. Especially, since I am plagued by a chronic aversion to summaries and back cover blurbs. (Meaning, most of the time I have no idea what the book is about until I start reading it. Isn’t it fun? Trying to justify a purchase without reading a book is my personal nightmare.)
The Audience is a play by Peter Morgan, written and originally produced in 2013 by National Theatre, with magnificent Helen Mirren as The Queen. (Morgan is also the the creator and writer of Netflix original series The Crown.) The play received several awards, starting with Helen Mirren who received the best actress Olivier for her portrayal of the Queen in 2013. The play was briefly brought to Broadway in 2015 with Helen Mirren reprising her role of Queen Elizabeth II but with the whole new cast. Later in 2015, the play was revived in West End with Dame Kristin Scott Thomas as Queen Elizabeth II.