THIS WEEK’S THEATRE ROUND-UP
The James Plays have opened at The National Theatre after a tremendous run at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Written by Rona Munro, this new cycle of three history plays brings to life the reigns of James I, II and III, with our very own Christopher Shutt having designed the sound for the first two. There is no doubt that this is atmospheric, epic drama at its best.
“A towering achievement. A modern classic.” Fiona Mountford, EVENING STANDARD, *****
The James Plays run at The National’s Olivier Theatre until 29th October.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened at Northern Stage in Newcastle-upon-Tyne last week, starring our own Matthew Douglas as Gooper. This tri-production which also tours to Royal & Derngate and Royal Exchange Manchester, has been hailed as a true revival of writer Tennessee Williams’ original vision.
“It is Matthew Douglas, as Big Daddy’s overlooked elder son, Gooper, who most notably swells in impact, mendaciously scheming to seize his father’s assets…” Alfred Hickling, THE GUARDIAN, ****
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof runs at Northern Stage until 27th September, then tours.
Hamlet opened at the Royal Exchange, Manchester last week, starring Maxine Peake and featuring our own Michelle Butterlyas a jaunty Scouse First Gravedigger. The ultimate play about loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness, director Sarah Frankcom has created a refreshingly new stripped back version of one of Shakespeare’s much loved tragedies.
“…of all the sexual switches, one of the best is Michelle Butterly as the First Gravedigger who uses a strong scouse accent to underline the character’s piss-taking scepticism. The effect of all this is to give the play much greater tonal variety than it usually possesses.” Michael Billington, THE GUARDIAN, ***
Hamlet runs at the Royal Exchange, Manchester until 25th October.