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THE TRAIN DRIVER: There’s a shock, or a twist at the end of the play, which I won’t spoil by revealing here. Suffice to say, it sent chills down the spine and was not expected.
You cannot help but be shocked reading the premise for this play. In December 2000, a 35 year old South African woman stood in front of a train holding her three young children and waited to die. When her 5 year old son
BJORN VENO: His latest project entitled ‘Destroy Art’ has caused a stir in the contemporary art world and seen him escorted from the Tate Modern.
MACBETH: Song of the Goat seek to conjure a complete theatrical experience by engulfing Shakespeare’s text into ‘the ceaseless flow of energy of the actors in performance’.
BANG: In Holding a smile for as long as I am able (2010), the viewer witnesses the artist doing exactly that: eyes cast down, hair flopping, Linington has the concentration of a choirboy.
FEAR OF QUEER: It was an ensemble piece where every player performed well and, although this review has only mentioned two for simplicity, everyone involved gave a fantastic performance. It was clear that the play had been rehearsed for a long time.
BLASTED: has not been performed in London for nearly a decade but with Sean Holmes’ production at the Hammersmith Lyric it seems it has finally found a suitable home with a terrific cast to boot. Let’s just hope that this play continues to amass the recognition it rightly deserves.
YUDI NOOR: His success lies in bringing together a range of materials and objects, and through these diversities and juxtaposition he touches on the complexities of contemporary culture and the roles that history, religion and identity play in our understanding of the current world.
'Crucible' is a dramatic collaboration between the Gloucester Cathedral and the Pangolin Gallery that pushes the boundaries for many traditional worshippers. The sight of Damien Hirst’s “St Bartholomew Exquisite Pain” standing naked, tortured and proud in the central aisle of the quire is disturbing and stunning.
WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING: This company shows that there is just as much to glean from the making of art and theatre as there is from the work of art itself. They created their own opportunity; they made their own play; they told their own story; and they did so in a way and in an environment that achieved an all-too rare sense of collectivity among a bunch of individuals.
BLOOD AND GIFTS: The impressive play script is animated magnificently by a stellar cast. The lead is the largely unflappable and shrewd American CIA agent, James Warnock (played by Lloyd Owen), whose Achilles heel is his problematic belief that “doing the right thing” should be fundamental to US foreign policy.
DEATHTRAP: Rob Howell’s set design is truly terrific. The staggered geometry of the one room in which all the action takes place is incredibly well thought-out and with Bruhl’s festoonery of weapons all menacingly placed above the action, adding tension to the piece.
PROBE: The sculptures are frequently elevated above us, so that we become almost childlike, gazing up to appraise them, while being surveyed from a lofty angle by something not human, but seemingly sentient.
SUNDAY: Descending into an industrial alley to find the concrete refuge feels raw and arguably more interesting than the more polished events. The expansive interior is an ideal backdrop for the diverse work, which is found inside.
MARK RONSON: The set started with a catchy but alien instrumental track, “Circuit Breaker”, typifying Ronson’s new sound. Old favourites were not forgotten; one of Ronson’s enduring partnerships is with Phantom Planet frontman Greenwald, and their collaborative cover of Radiohead’s “Just”, is one of Version’s strongest legacies.
KRAPPS LAST TAPE: Beneath its deceptively superficial exterior the play is the most poignant of Beckett’s oeuvre – full of autobiographical allusions – and a complex and cathartic treatise on the relationship of memory to self and the (quite literal) cyclical nature of existence.
BROKEN GLASS: The ‘political’ in Miller, and all good playwrights, is expressed on the stage through the decisions certain people make when faced by certain obstacles in certain environments. It is achieved through human behaviour, in other words – the true medium of expression of the theatre. It is not achieved by crowbarring thinly-veiled manifestos into the characters’ verbal exchanges nor by m
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: These exhibitions focus on the stories of individuals, which is incredibly moving, as we get a glimpse into hardships that could so easily be avoided. They are a good supplement to the International Slavery Museum, which documents a much-publicised history of the abuse of previous generations.
HAMLET: Shakespeare’s work exposes the virtuoso nature of performing and under Nick Hytner’s direction, the company shines as individuals and ensemble players.
BED-IN: "To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions, with the aim to show people that raising awareness of the injustices and poverty in the world can be fun, fulfilling and can build friendships all over the world.”
MONIKER: Laurence Billiet was first on the panel to identify the Internet as a major tool in the promotion of street art – and a major factor in the rise of its broader appeal: “Street artists have been active in putting their work out there,” she maintained – emphasising that it is the artists themselves that drive the movement, not the collectors or galleries.
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