The Royal Court Theatre has announced casting for its forthcoming production of Jim Cartwright’s award-winning play Road which is to be presented from 21 July to 9 September 2017. The cast includes Michelle Fairley (The Weir – West End and Broadway, Dancing at Lughnasa – Old Vic), Mark Hadfield ( The Libertine – West End and Bath, The Painkiller– West End), Faye Marsay (TV- Bancroft, Game Of Thrones), Mike Noble (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time – National, Game – Almeida), Dan Parr (Romeo and Juliet, Kes – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Hamlet – Barbican) Lemn Sissay (The Report – Royal Court, Refugee Boy – West Yorkshire Playhouse), June Watson (Escaped Alone – Royal Court and New York, The Cripple of Inishman – West End and Broadway), Liz White (The One With The Oven – Royal Court, Electra – Old Vic) and Shane Zaza (Hang and Oxford … Read more
The Libertine is an enjoyable, but rather unfulfilling play. The Earl of Rochester is an intriguing figure, and Dominic Cooper’s is a witty and energetic portrayal. Yet in spite of the high calibre performances and tremendous dialogue – I lost count of the number of phrases I felt “I must look up” – The Libertine is a rather aimless piece. For all the philosophising and avarice, at its heart are two incongruously conventional romantic narratives. In spite of good performances by Ophelia Lovibond and Alice Bailey Johnson, these fail to draw complete conclusions about Rochester’s desire to love himself and others, and reconcile how such a passionate man could let his thirst for life slip away like so many empty carafes.
Kenneth Branagh puts in a surprising masterclass in physical comedy as Ralph, getting big laughs despite spending most of the play unable to speak. He is, as expected, excellent at playing the silky smooth secret agent but his movement and timing is also exceptional and he deploys razor sharp comic timing.
Kenneth Branagh, Rob Brydon, Claudie Blakley, Marcus Fraser, Mark Hadfield and Alex Macqueen make up the cast of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s new comedy The Painkiller. Directed and adapted by Sean Foley, The Painkiller will be the fifth production in the Plays at the Garrick season and will play from 5 March until 30 April 2016. Foley directs his “dark, yet hilarious” adaptation of Francis Veber’s classic French farce, while Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon reprise the roles they played to great acclaim at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre inaugural season. Foley said: “I’m delighted to have the chance to further develop this comedy with the remarkable double act of Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, who, together with the brilliant Mark Hadfield, were a joy to direct in the first production. “I know that they are excited as I am to also be welcoming to our cast the extraordinary talents of Claudie … Read more
There is no doubt that Mrs Henderson Presents should transfer to the West End. The material is first-rate and superior to many new musicals that have played there in recent years. It will need a bigger orchestra (and, accordingly, bigger orchestrations) and it could do with some casting fine-tuning and a larger ensemble (another dozen dancers at least) so that a grander sense of scale was permitted. In Bath, it comes across as a superb chamber piece, perfectly suited to the gorgeous Theatre Royal. In the West End, its aim can be higher.