Postcard from... New York


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The Independent Online


Do I miss the London theatre scene here in New York? Hardly. Dig deep and right now you can go see Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry in a Shakespeare double bill – I saw Twelfth Night and left the Belasco Theatre on Broadway in a daze of admiration – or Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart with their double bill of Godot and No Man’s Land.  Coming soon: Daniel Radcliffe in last summer’s London production of  The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Yes, it’s the big West End hits that come here most often in search of American audiences and their dollars. But keep your eye out and you quickly discover that there is much British fringe fair that comes to New York also, filling the smaller off-Broadway theatres in Manhattan and beyond.

Thus this Sunday night I reluctantly forsook my weekly dose of Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey – the Brits are on television, too – to join a friend at the St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn to watch Kate Tempest in Brand New Ancients, first showcased at the Battersea Arts Centre.

This was Shakespeare alive today, as beautiful and symphonic as it was utterly enthralling.  I am just sorry it was the last night of Ms Tempest’s run in New York. To those who missed her, condolences.