Like The Importance of Being Earnest, Mrs Warren’s Profession is a play about the social mores of its day but while Wilde is, on the surface, frivolous, Shaw has larger fish to fry than whether cucumber sandwiches should have their crusts cut off. . . This production addresses important issues but addresses them in a way that is palatable and very entertaining with some outstanding performances.
” . . . A stage split into two. A mind split into pieces. Comprehension split into tatters. The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland is a fabulously-titled, utterly bewildering play. One half of the audience watch one half of the play, whilst the other half of the audience watch the other half, on the opposite side of the stage . . . Unsettling both physically and mentally, the play is a disorienting study of psychosis . . . It’s an ambitious, and laudable, undertaking.”
Violent and vulgar, amongst the villainy male testosterone pervades keeping the audience on the edge of their seat waiting for the next damaging interlude to be played out. Within this ruinous setting Shakespeare’s play is surprisingly not devoured by the extreme physicality, grit and gore, its central themes and tensions come through, and instead it thrives for a modern audience.
“Five men gather every week, after the restaurant in which they work closes for the night, to play poker. They battle with cards and with egos to see who’s going to go home with the pot at the end of the game. And when a stranger enters one night the stakes become even higher…A play of male camaraderie and competitiveness, Dealer’s Choice is a great study of life.”
“It’s a very simple set up: six actors sit in a row on the stage in West Oxford Community Centre on Botley Road and tell the stories of six members of our community…It was a privilege to be a witness to these personal experiences,and to feel such a wonderful sense of community, though I did also feel like a bit of an inferior human being in the presence of such passion, whether their stands were successful or not…. Inspirational, funny, moving, I can’t recommend this highly enough.”
“…the tale is, as Danny Braverman describes it, “bitter-sweet, funny in parts, poignant in others”. It tells the story of the Jewish experience in London from the 1920s, through the Second World War, and on to the 1980s, and yet has a wonderfully universal feel, intertwining history and culture and family in the way that really great storytelling can do…”
“…Powerful but austere in its composition and production, the handling of such a difficult subject is well done and at certain points Chadwick produces something quite exquisite ‘shin[ing] light into dark places’. As an intense and acute observation of war its message ‘if we keep telling the truth, it will be better for us all’ is both thought provoking and fitting…”
To experience Cheek By Jowl’s ‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE you must immerse yourself in the excess and madness, and hold on for dear life until you are released two hours later. Exhausting and exhilarating, it grabs you by the tongue and doesn’t let go.