NIJINSKY’S LAST JUMP at the North Wall, Oxford

Nijinsky's Last Jump Photo by Susan Hay (2)

. . . despite my ignorance when it comes to ballet, I expected that I’d still enjoy it . . . Writing this review has made me feel rather uncultured, particularly in the face of many other great reviews, but I suppose not everybody likes the same thing. After all, Nijinsky’s balletic interpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring got booed off the stage, so it’s probably a good thing to divide one’s audience.

CRASH at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Crash_Credit Mihaela Bodlovic slider

This piece is presented by Traverse Theatre Company, who were established over 50 years ago to extend the essence of the Edinburgh Festival and nurture emerging talent. The play certainly fits in that spirit and I can see how it would work well in a small, dark pub room watched by an eager festival audience but it loses something of that atmosphere in the bigger more formal space of Tobacco Factory Theatres.

Brideshead Revisited at Bath Theatre Royal

Castle Howard

The great, dark, looming presence of the black cross – stage height – against a blood red background seemed to herald the doing away with nods and winks as far as the play’s religious content was concerned. This was an unambiguous statement. Here was Big Brother about to do his worst.

I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

PopUpOpera1

Grand operas on tour can be great unwieldy monsters, hugely expensive to stage and with eye-watering ticket prices to match. Not so where Pop-Up Opera are concerned, for they specialise in making opera more accessible and welcoming to a wider audience than is normally associated with this ‘elitist’ art form. Less grand perhaps, but a great deal more user-friendly.

MILESTONE for STAGETALK MAGAZINE

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StageTalk Magazine has reached a milestone – its total number of hits is now in excess of 200,000. In the past couple of years our fifteen reviewers have reviewed about 750 shows in over twenty venues ranging from the magnificent Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon to a cramped bookshop in Oxford, from the gilded opulence of Frank Matcham auditoriums to tiny rooms above pubs.

THE MASSIVE TRAGEDY OF MADAME BOVARY at Bristol Old Vic

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Peepolykus production of The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! Directed by Gemma Bodinetz. Cast: Emma Fielding, John Nicholson, Javier Marzan, Jonathan Holmes

In a bar near The Old Vic a THEATRE BUFF is chatting to his friend, an ageing and slightly conservative DRAMATURG for a touring theatre company.

D: Madame Bovary, a play you say?

TB: That’s right.

D: Not possible. She’s a wonderful literary creation I’ll grant you, but it’s all internal, her thoughts and emotions, she hardly says a word.

THE BEANFIELD at Bristol’s Wardrobe Theatre

Breach present The Beanfield at The New Diorama Theatre
Photo Credit: Richard Davenport. richard@rwdavenport.co.uk. 07545642134

Breach Theatre Company describe themselves as performance makers crossing disciplines and mashing media. Credit should go to the directors and producers of this piece for their use of video, lighting and staging; all of which are deftly blended to produce an ambitious and unnerving analysis of the events of 30 years ago, which still have a bearing on our lives today.

ORPHANS at the Michael Pitch Studio, Oxford

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The Experimental Theatre Club in Oxford is prone to choosing challenging plays, and their latest choice is no different . . . Helen and Danny are a young couple, quietly celebrating the news that they’re expecting their second child, when Helen’s brother Liam arrives in their home covered in blood. He tells the story of how he discovered a lad injured in the street, and the couple offer to help him, but as the play unravels they begin to realise that Liam’s account of the evening might not be entirely accurate . . .