Muscle-bound Law provides power in epic tale of the sea
In the diary of her life with Harold Pinter, Must You Go?, Antonia Fraser says that she and HP were amused when, reviewing the first performance in 1993, I called for "hard-edged political plays" – which I didn't. Slightly put off by Moonlight's mist of poetic sleep-talking, I hankered for the "hard, cutting, political edge" of some of his shorter pieces like One for the Road and Mountain Language.
The Broadway musical, as a habitat, tends not to throng with nature's great spellers. Gypsy's Mama Rose could probably get through "audition", without mishap, but the chances are that she'd put a middle "e" in "monstrous". And, even though it's her native German, how would Maria von Trapp cope with "Weltanschauung" – the word that happens to be the climactic clincher in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy (by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin), that redresses the balance, to an almost parodic degree, in favour of the non-orthographically-challenged?
Hollywood star Jude Law is returning to the West End stage to play a sailor who falls in love with a prostitute.
The Donmar's production of a play about a battlefield mistake rings horribly true, says Iraq veteran Colonel Tim Collins
The late Harold Pinter, who first directed the late Simon Gray's The Late Middle Classes, found it to be a rich and beautifully wrought piece of work that was "deeply satisfying" to direct. I see what he means but I do not share his certainty.
When Billy Budd opens Glyndebourne's season tomorrow it will bring the curtain down on an old feud, says Lynne Walker
In Mark Haddon's first foray into theatre, a manic depressive slips into a decline and takes her saviour down with her
Have you heard the Chinese sage's story about the man who dreamt he was a butterfly and then woke up to wonder if he was, in fact, a butterfly dreaming he was a man? A compelling variation on this theme of the confusion between illusion and reality is dramatised in Life Is a Dream, the 1635 play by the great golden age Spanish dramatist, Calderó*de la Barca. Set in Poland, the play focuses on Segismundo, the young heir to the throne who has spent his life imprisoned in a tower because omens foretold that he would one day overthrow his father, the king. As in Oedipus Rex, this paternal insurance policy backfires. The monarch's neurotic desire to outwit fate is itself outsmarted by circumstance, although here a very qualified happy ending is reached.
Weisz struggles to reveal the magic in Williams classic
She's battled vampires; now the young actor is fighting off her uncle...
The Week In Culture
Before sex and drugs were co-opted by rock'n'roll, they belonged to Edith Piaf. A diminutive woman whose looks were far from stunning, Piaf rose from singing on the street to become the highest-paid performer in the world, while engaging in countless affairs and, later, developing a morphine addiction. In this new production of Pam Gems's 1978 play-with-music, the Donmar has struck gold.
'Teachers need to be creative, and not constantly having to hit targets'