Theatre: Curtain calls

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The Independent Culture
The Donmar? It's a revival house. Pardon? Let me explain. This is the term for a theatre devoted to restaging blasts from the past. This venue has a talent for plundering the archives and scoring with classics like The Glass Menagerie, Habeas Corpus or the forthcoming Good by CP Taylor. The same has been true of its chamber-music-style productions of musicals like Brecht & Weill's The Threepenny Opera and Sondheim's Company, both of which came up fresh as paint. Yet sandwiched between all this there have been glimpses of the future. On the musicals front, the shock (and delight) of the new has been there in the flawed but fascinating production of John Dempsey and Dana P Rowe's The Fix, which offered the visceral thrill of experiencing the excitement of red-raw potential - much more so than many a more grandiose West End affair. The venue has also hosted "Four Corners", an annual brief collection of new plays from around the British Isles. This year, a starry array of acting talent including Anastasia Hille and Colin Firth has gone transatlantic for three American plays, beginning with Kia Corthron's Splash Hatch on the E Going Down (above). If nothing else, you've got to admit it's a great title. Splash Hatch opens on Tuesday (16 Feb) and plays in repertoire with Morphic Resonance from Wednesday. Three Days of Rain runs from 1 - 13 Mar.

David Benedict

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