ISABELLE OSBORNE reviews A Clockwork Orange at Bloomsbury Theatre. Performed by the UCL Drama Society in collaboration with Film Society, A Clockwork Orange captures the danger of state power in a corrupt dystopian setting. Directed by Srishti Chakraborty and produced by Tanya Dudnikova, The show interprets Anthony Burgess’ play based on his 1962 novel. The play follows Alex (Luke Kelliher), the leader of a gang of ‘droogs’ (Elizabeth Zubanova, Rob Davidson, Charlie Sayer), who is notorious for his violent criminal activity. After being caught by the police and imprisoned for two years, Alex becomes victim to the brutal ‘Ludovico Technique’ in order to obtain a suspended sentence. Led by Dr. Brodsky (Maciej Manka), the experiment forces Alex to watch horrific video clips and is designed to make him detest any form of violence, conditioning him to vomit at the mere thought of it.  Chakraborty and the cast are successful in vividly…Continue Reading

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

ZANE KHAN reviews Death of England at the National Theatre. Death of England, written by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer and performed at the National Theatre, is a powerful extended monologue that concerns the paternal bond in a working-class family and how it undergoes incredible pressure through its relationship with England. Michael (played by Rafe Spall) is a young individual who is in mourning. His search for his father’s true identity is marred by the racial and social differences that have plagued England from the late 1960s to the present day. Death of England is a one-man play, with the stage as the Cross of Saint George. The presence of the red-lit cross allows Spall to take advantage of spatial opportunities in interacting with the audience; often with a comedic pun that lightens the mood in the first act of the play. Items that are significant to Michael and his…Continue Reading

DEATH OF ENGLAND

MAEVE HASTINGS discusses the first same-sex couple on Dancing on Ice. Last Sunday was the first time I tuned into Dancing on Ice, a highly unrealistic ‘reality’-competition show, that, as a figure skater, I feel underplays the difficulties of a sport which requires having, as Johnny Weir so aptly puts it, ‘brass knuckles under velvet gloves’. Reluctantly, I soon find myself sucked into the self-professed ‘greatest show on ice’. One pair, in particular, is the epitome of commercialised family TV, oozing with charisma, offset only by the occasional technical element, and skating to the inescapable soundtrack of The Greatest Showman (what else?). However, they are, in fact, anything but cliché: ‘H’ from Steps and Matt: the first same-sex pair on Dancing on Ice. The backlash online highlights the stagnated perceptions people still have against anything that might digress from social norms. Although within competitive figure skating, a pair usually consists…Continue Reading

Taking Steps Towards Equality

RONI MEVROACH reviews I Could Go on Singing at the Southbank Centre. This performance doesn’t leave you certain about many things, but one thing is for sure – it is very well-titled. FK Alexander really does go on, and on, and on singing. The show celebrates the legacy of Judy Garland, with a reference to her 1963 film in the title. Indeed, it is essentially one hour of Alexander performing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ alongside the final recording of Garland singing it in 1969, just four months before her death. It is a weird, bizarre experience and the repetitive nature of the performance makes it almost hypnotic – you are transported to an alternate universe.  FK Alexander is a Glaswegian performance artist, who is known for her work about wounds, recovery, aggressive healing, radical wellness, industrialisation and noise music. She is accompanied in this performance by Okishima Island Tourist Association,…Continue Reading

I Could Go On Singing

ELLIE LACHS reviews Faithful Creatures at Camden People’s Theatre. Isobel Macleod’s Faithful Creatures, directed by Evie Robinson, is a revelation. It bravely strides away from familiarity as Macleod breathes life back into the story of Gerrard Winstanley’s Diggers, a group of English Protestant radicals in 1649 who occupied St George’s Hill, Surrey and establish an alternative society based on communal living and economic equality. The actors command the stage and the story as their own with re-oiled zealotry. It isn’t, however, solely the period costume that roots us within the realm of a period drama, for that we can look to Winstanley’s consciously verbose and biblically infused speeches.  Macleod’s interests are not focused on the politics and contention, but with the relationships and identities that comprise the movement. She gives the Diggers’ ideology a human face which might otherwise have been difficult to identify with for a modern audience. Through this…Continue Reading

Faithful Creatures

SOPHIE CUNDALL interviews the director and producer of the upcoming production of A Clockwork Orange at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Since March last year, Srishti Chakraborty (Director) and Tanya Dudnikova (Producer) and their production team have been working on Drama society’s collaborative second term show with the help of film society: A Clockwork Orange. I sat down with the pair to have a chat about the project, one of drama society’s most modern and radical choices to date. Why A Clockwork Orange? [S] I took the Utopias and Dystopias module in second year, and was initially keen to bid A Brave New World, but the play written on it is…bad. Instead, I chose Clockwork Orange which I’ve studied a lot, and we took the play that was written by Antony Burgess in response to Kubrick’s film which he didn’t like. We’ve actually rewritten a lot of the script! Basically, we really wanted…Continue Reading

A Clockwork Orange Interview

ELLIE LACHS reviews Swive [Elizabeth] at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse. The Sam Wanamaker Theatre’s latest production, Swive, directed by Natalie Abrahami and written by Ella Hickson, is mischievous, cuttingly crude and persistently powerful. The play’s anachronistic meddling and conscious theatricality set it firmly in its own league. Its staging in the barely revealing candlelit space conjures an atmosphere of amused shock, wide-set smirks and subtle thrills, all of which pave the way (if not split the sea) for Ella Hickson’s indignant, power-hungry and feminist Elizabeth I. As the woman who has been remembered for her successful ruling of the throne for 44 years despite a lack of husband or heir, Hickson has re-painted Elizabeth’s face with the extremes of ambition, and does so in a human, hubristic and relatable manner. Her actions might be conniving, self-serving and malicious, but in a world pitted against her for her ovaries and natural powers…Continue Reading

Swive [Elizabeth]

SELMA REZGUI reviews Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again at Bloomsbury Theatre.  A series of straws that break the camel’s back. Alice Birch’s Revolt. She said. Revolt again asks what would happen if certain things, ostensibly small things, harmless everyday things, would happen one time too many. What if you just… exploded? The play, directed by Seren John-Wood, is broken into 4 fragments of furious imperatives. Revolutionise the language. Invert it. A couple talks over dinner. The man (Gabriel Fagan) unsexily proclaims that he is desperate to ‘make love to you!’ His partner (Suhanya J de Saram) objects. Make love with, she insists: language matters. Soon they’re dancing around one another on the stage verbally jousting, and she is destroying his naïve Freudian notions of a gap being there to be filled, and telling us in no uncertain terms who gets to put what in whom. The dialogue is precise and…Continue Reading

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

ZANE KAHN reviews The Last Act of Harry Houdini at The Cockpit. The Last Act of Harry Houdini, written by Barry Killerby and directed by Ishwar Maharaj, is a drama that offers the audience an insight into the tormented and troubled interior of the famous illusionist, Harry Houdini. A man who built the foundation of his infamous career through his death-defying stunts, Houdini is shown throughout this exploratory tale as a seeker of truth; searching through the seedy world of mystics, mediums and seances to comprehend the reality and reasoning of mortality. The one-man play is set within the dramatic space of Houdini’s dressing room. An area of intense privacy, the audience begins to understand how the world of Houdini revolves around this same setting. The mere props of a desk with a framed picture of Houdini’s mother, a table and a chair are expertly used by Killerby to illustrate…Continue Reading

The Last Act of Harry Houdini

SOPHIE CUNDALL reviews Christopher Brett Bailey’s This Is How We Die at Ovalhouse. This Is How We Die (and you very nearly do). It is not often you leave a show feeling physically sick. It is even rarer that this can be considered a positive outcome. Christopher Brett Bailey’s This Is How We Die, however, achieves just this. In this piece that is driven entirely by language and voice acting, ’the tongue is a weapon, it is a whip,’you are certainly injured by the time you stumble out of the pitch dark finale. Cathartic is not a strong enough term. Performed by Bailey himself, perched on the edge of the vast hole left by the seminal play We Dig, the show punches you in the face as Bailey spits out words so fast that sometimes you wonder if he’s switched into the post-apocalyptic language of A Clockwork Orange. You laugh,…Continue Reading

This Is How We Die.

ZANE KHAN reviews Mites at Tristan Bates Theatre.  Mites, written by James Mannion and directed by Marcus Marsh, is a play that intends to illustrate the bleak nature of mental health through the lens of an absurdist drama. It is a psychological drama, dealing with issues of loneliness, mental health and emotional abuse under the eyes of two imposing male figures on the heroine of the piece. The play consists of three characters, all within the same dramatic setting of the living room area. Credit must be given to the set and costume designer, Cecilia Trono, for creating a setting that encapsulates the deteriorating nature of the vulnerable within the play. Ruth, played with conviction by Claire Marie Hall, is a lonely woman, abandoned by her husband, who lives with her anthropomorphic cat, Bartholomew.  Richard Henderson’s performance as Bartholomew is wry and witty; excellent in his ability to develop the…Continue Reading

Mites

PHYLLIS KOEHLER reviews Shotgun Carousel’s Red Palace at The Vaults. When entering the musty dungeons of the Vaults Theatre, one might easily feel oneself transported into the decadent Vienna of Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story. As soon as the spectator sets foot over the threshold into the underbelly of bustling Waterloo station, she is encircled by luring creatures in black and red veils, pressing masks into her hand and leading her to a decadent feast filled with jugglers, jesters, and acrobats. After a few moments of fin de siècle bliss, however, the spectator is bound to travel even further back in history, or, indeed, into the timeless realms of myth and archetype. On a balcony above the demonic minstrels, dangling from aerial silk strings to the tact of Shostakovich’s Valse n. 2, the Drag-King-Evil-Prince of the enchanted kingdom reveals himself, boasting, Bluebeard-like, of his femicidal attainments and sending the audience, his subjects,…Continue Reading

Red Palace