Thursday, April 19, 2018

Everything that opera can do is here. English Touring Opera’s double bill of short Puccini operas, which reached Cambridge Arts Theatre this week (April 16-21) included the tragic Il Tabarro (the cloak) and the comic opera Gianni Schicchi named after a character who deceives all the others to do a good deed.

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Paris
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

There may be a more amusing version of The Marriage of Figaro than this one from English Touring Opera, but I haven’t seen it and don’t expect to. This ingenious English translation by Jeremy Sams rhymes and it’s cheeky. When Antonio, the gardener describes seeing a man fall out a woman’s bedroom window and he’s asked where the is man now, he sings: “I don’t know, he buggered off.”

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army
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On the first night of The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895 the story goes that the father of Oscar Wilde’s lover, Bosie, planned to disrupt the play by throwing rotten fruit. Wilde got wind of the plan and The Marquess of Queensbury was refused entrance to the theatre. If the playwright had seen this production by The Original Theatre Company, he might have welcomed him in.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The moment Paul Nicholas walked onto the stage on the first night of Quartet at Cambridge Arts Theatre, I thought how alluring he was, aged 73.

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India
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The evil Rob Titchener, the wicked husband in Radio 4’s The Archers, who personified “coercive control” and ended up both being jeered at in the street and asked to open village fetes, stole the show on the opening night of The Winslow Boy at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

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Robert Morton
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

James Graham’s play, This House, takes you back to the 1970s. It’s set in the House of Commons and it opens with MPs waving their order papers to a band with skinny musicians in jeans with long, flowing tresses. It then moves into the punk era and like the band’s spikey hair and the studs, everything gets harsher.

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Labour Party
Thursday, March 8, 2018

I won’t be the first to say that the opening for The Weir, Conor McPherson’s spell-binding play, with three men and a woman walking into a bar, sounds like the start of a joke.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The theatrical version of crime writer Patricia Highsmith’s first novel, Strangers on a Train, is ingeniously staged at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

This is an elegant production of an elegant play. It’s very funny and it’s very French. At around 90 minutes with no interval, Art by Yasmina Reza has three actors on stage the whole time and it’s quick fire debate.

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Cambridge
Monday, February 12, 2018

When writer James Graham first offered National Theatre director Jeremy Herrin a play set in Parliament, Herrin said: “Have you got anything else?”

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NHS
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Two meteorologists were tasked with predicting the weather for D Day in June, 1944. The American said the weather would be fine, the Scotsman said it would be stormy.

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United Kingdom
Monday, January 22, 2018

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, this much anticipated second instalment in the latest Star Wars trilogy follows on directly from 2015’s well received The Force Awakens.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Asked for her favourite part of the pantomime, one of the children invited up onto the stage got a laugh from the audience when she said: “The beginning”.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The title of this play will mean something immediately to anyone who knows about addiction. To recover, you need to stay away from the people who might encourage you to relapse, the places you go to get high and the things that are triggers.

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Angela Singer
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This play is a treat and by the end it had the audience on its feet.

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London
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

There never has and never will be better drama than the story of people set against the times they live in. Perhaps it started with Abraham and Isaac or Agamemnon and Antigone.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This play is a masterpiece immaculately performed. I started from the beginning writing down the witty lines, until I realised, I had filled half a notebook. My pen never left the page.

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Angela Singer
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It was always assumed that this beautifully written play was inspired by the life of the cellist Jacqueline du Pre who was struck down by multiple sclerosis and lost all that was dear to her. But in the programme for this latest, masterful production at Cambridge Arts Theatre, writer Tom Kempinski says it is actually a metaphor for his own life.

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Angela Singer
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Seeing a family tear each other apart shouldn’t be this funny. This play is fast paced and glorious. The plot of Rules for Living by Sam Holcroft sounds like a cliché: a family gets together at Christmas and start eating each other instead of the dinner. Not a new idea but it is when cooked up like this. I loved every minute of it. It’s cleverly written, it’s supremely funny, the set is charming and the performances are superb.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Frederick Knott’s thriller Wait Until Dark, first staged in 1966, is a piece of theatrical history. Whether it should be taken off the shelf, have the dust blown off it and staged again 50 years later is another question.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In his play The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard has a touch of the Luigi Pirandello’s. The Italian dramatist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, liked to draw his audiences up the garden path. His characters have multiple accounts of who they are or what has happened to them. We wait on the edge of our seats to find out the truth, only to be told, finally, that there is no truth, it is all a matter of perception. “You decide”.

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Angela Singer
Saturday, July 29, 2017

It was a case of Sisters are Singing It for Themselves at Cambridge Folk Festival. The schedulers for the event’s 53rd year decided to present All Female Friday for the main stage.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

The 52nd Cambridge Folk Festival opened like a splendid celebration on Thursday night with musicians who got people on their feet.

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Cambridge
Thursday, June 15, 2017

What the EU referendum and this month’s general election showed is that Britain is a divided nation: rich and poor, young and old, town and country. The play, My Country, based on interviews with people from across the regions about Brexit, laced together by poet Carol Ann Duffy, expresses these divisions.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Anything Goes, Nowadays. You go to the theatre and you have to make up your own musical show. It’s wonderful, it’s marvellous... it flew us to the moon.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

This whodunit is fun. It is well structured and being very much on the lines of a television drama, cleverly staged so that the action goes seamlessly from scene to scene, changing from the morgue to the police station to the beach.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Possibly the most perfect music ever written, Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto was played by Freddy Kempf with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra with such power that the piano spoke to us.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is a high-energy, full-length, two-hour show with elements of pantomime, musical and high drama.

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Angela Singer

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