Play of the week: Candide, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Friday 13 September 2013
Directed with mordant verve by Lyndsey Turner, Mark Ravenhill's witty, astringent response to Voltaire's 1759 novella suggests that optimism as a form of denial may have modern equivalents in self-help and chemical "solutions" to discontent.
Teasingly self-referential, proceedings begin as Candide (Matthew Needham) is treated to a play-within-a-play version of his adventures. He storms off, furious at the rationalising of Ian Redford's Pangloss and determined to "change my story".
This ambition is echoed in a 21st-century about a nihilistic 18-year-old who murders her family, and the future-set coda is wonderfully double-edged.
0844 800 1110, to 26 October
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile