Tom Hiddleston to return to the West End!

Get ready to celebrate #Hiddlestoners, Tom Hiddleston is set to return to the London stage following his acclaimed performance in Hamlet, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and his Evening Standard Award-winning performance in Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse in 2014.

Forty years to the day of the first ever performance of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal on 15 November 1978, The Jamie Lloyd Company announced that Golden Globe, Olivier and Evening Standard Award winner Tom Hiddleston will play Robert in Jamie Lloyd’s new production at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 5 March 2019 for a strictly limited season ending on 1 June. Further casting to be announced.

Betrayal is a masterpiece. Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinterseason is terrific and I am so pleased that he’s asked me to be part of it.” – Tom Hiddleston 

With poetic precision, rich humour and an extraordinary emotional force, Betrayal charts a compelling seven-year romance, thrillingly captured in reverse chronological order. The complexities of the human heart are explored in this, “the greatest, and the most moving, of all Pinter’s plays” (The Daily Telegraph). Betrayal was first produced by the National Theatre in 1978. The original cast featured Pinter at the Pinter company members Penelope Wilton and Michael Gambon.

Pinter at the Pinter is the unprecedented season of Harold Pinter’s work, marking ten years since the Nobel Prize winner’s death. The season celebrates the most important playwright of the 20th century in the theatre that bears his name. Tickets for the final show of the critically-acclaimed season will go on sale on 30th November. You can book tickets now for the rest of the season, which stars Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Danny Dyer and Gary Kemp, to name just a few.

There will be a pre-sale for theatre-goers that have already purchased tickets for the Pinter At The Pinter season on November 29th – you can still book tickets and access this pre-sale here! You can also click here to sign up and be the first to hear when tickets for Betrayal go on general sale.

 

From The Box Office Reviews: The Inheritance Part 1 & 2

While the idea of sitting through 7 hours of theatre may seem daunting, it’s important to note that each part of The Inheritance is a self-contained play, i.e., you can technically see one without seeing the other. If you are determined to only see one of the plays, I highly recommend that it is Part 1, however, I recommend more strongly that you see both.

Following a highly successful run at The Young Vic theatre, Matthew Lopez’s two-part, seven-and-a-half-hour play The Inheritance transferred to the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s glittering West End – and rightly so. This is a play that should have a permanent feature in London’s theatre landscape; in every city’s theatre landscape, in fact. This is a play that will make you laugh, move you to tears and teach you about the harrowing events that the LGBTQ+ community has survived, as well as the issues still facing the community today. I would go as far as to say that this is not merely a play; it is far more profound, far more transcendent. It is, in short, the epitome of what theatre should be.

 

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Matthew Lopez’s writing is nothing short of genius. From hilarious quips and quick wit to poignant monologues and graphic accounts of sexual experiences, there is no line without purpose, no word wasted, and not a single fault to be found in this script. The production, masterfully directed by Stephen Daldry, is staged with practically no set and very few props, yet every scene is bursting with such vivid descriptions that it comes to life right in front of you, without the need for assistance from physical objects or sets. What Lopez does with flawless precision, though, is create humans: his are not just characters in a play, they are men who are complex and conflicted, and who yearn for a place in this world, just as any other person does. From the inherently kind-hearted Eric Glass (played by Kyle Soller) to the deeply damaged Toby Darling, child of privilege (played by Andrew Burnap),  you’ll become whole-heartedly invested in every character and the stories they have to share.

Each cast member deserves recognition for their incredible performances. Even the characters with the shortest stage time are wholly entrancing, which only serves as a demonstration of the incomparable talent of this cast. However, it would be impossible for me to not mention Samuel H. Levine, who plays both the well-off actor, Adam, and the young rent boy, Leo, who’s story was one of the most captivating features of the play. Also deserving a special mention is Paul Hilton, who doubles as E.M. Forster (Morgan), upon whose work this play comes to fruition, and as Walter, perhaps the most remarkable of the characters. Both actors are, quite frankly, too remarkable for words.

 

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I could write endlessly about these plays, trying, and probably failing, to explain in any comprehensible way just how thought-provoking, triumphant, moving and profound they are. In truth, I cannot recommend them enough and I cannot praise them enough – nor could anybody else for that matter. All I can really say is: when you see them, you’ll understand.

Don’t miss out on The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre until January 19th 2019!

Book Part 1
Book Part 2

From The Box Office Reviews: Heathers The Musical

Following a hugely successful run at The Other Palace, Heathers The Musical officially opened on the West End last week. Rave reviews have poured in for the show, hailing it as ‘sheer, joyful exuberance’ (City AM) and praising Carrie Hope Fletcher as ‘dazzling’ (The Stage). Here at From The Box Office, we couldn’t agree more…

Based on the 1980s cult classic, Heathers The Musical is your typical story of a high school nobody who becomes a somebody under the wings of the popular girls. It’s also the classic story of (spoiler alert) boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy turns out to be a murderous psychopath who wants to blow up a school… okay, so not exactly your typical high school drama. It is JD’s psychotic tendencies that, in fact, make this show such a wildly enjoyable experience – among other things, of course.

Heathers The Musical

In terms of music and vocals, this production is stunning. Carrie Hope Fletcher delivers a powerhouse performance and Jamie Muscato is her perfect opposite; Seventeen may just be one of the greatest musical duets I have heard in recent musicals! With a score that features songs such as Candy Store and My Dead Gay Son (yes, you read that right), this show is guaranteed to deliver laughs while also providing poignant moments.

This is not simply a musical that stands on its songs, though. The characterisation is, in fact, what makes the show work as an overall production. Each element, the comedy, the stunning vocals, the film references, would all be useless if you couldn’t relate to the characters – but oh, how you can. While they begin as your stereotypical high school students, their problems soon come to the forefront. If anything, Seventeen highlights just how much pressure and heartache these students have to deal with at a young age, when they should be enjoying what will be their glory years.

In short, if you’re looking for a feel-good, riotously hilarious yet touching, sing-your-heart-out musical experience, you’ll more than find it with Heathers. (Note: it also doesn’t hurt that the high school hunks walk around the stage half naked for the majority of the show). This is a musical that ticks all boxes and shouldn’t be missed – we only wish it were going to be in the West End for longer!

 

Heathers The Musical ends on Saturday November 24th. If you don’t want to miss out, book now and pay zero fees on selected tickets here! (Book by 17th October) 

From The Box Office Reviews: Missing at The Battersea Arts Centre

After its opening at The Battersea Arts Centre in 2015, the run of Gecko’s physical theatre production, Missing, was interrupted when a fire destroyed the iconic venue’s Grand Hall. After repairs and renovations, the show has been reintroduced as the opening of the centre’s Phoenix Season, and what an opening it is…

Missing is certainly not your average piece of theatre. The distinct lack of dialogue may initially intimidate viewers that do not usually expose themselves to such pieces, but I urge you to see it. What this show does so well is to communicate a kaleidoscope of emotions in the most human way possible: the movements of the cast, performed in an intricate and complex choreography for the duration of the show, express everything you need to know, and are even almost primal at parts. The cast, through their physicality, do not just tell you the story of Lily, a woman emotionally damaged by the breakdown of her parents’ marriage, but show you it and, more importantly, present it to you in a way that makes you feel her pain for yourself.

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The choreography and composition of this production is nothing short of mesmerising. There is not a single moment that does not demand your full attention, no movement wasted, and no action without significance or consequence. There is a risk, I think, when relying heavily on physical theatre to express a story such as this one, that you will lose the audience’s attention or fascination as the show goes on. That simply doesn’t occur with Missing. Before a sequence has the chance to become uninteresting, it is interrupted, sometimes only momentarily, with a flashback, or the glimmer of a memory from Lily’s childhood, and then snapped back into the present moment or into a new sequence.

The little dialogue that is present in the piece is spoken in a range of European languages, which, for me at least, merely reiterates the universality of the emotions that are evoked by the actors’ movements. You do not need to understand the words that they are saying, for their movements and how they speak communicate to you more than the words themselves could anyway.

While this kind of production may not appeal to every kind of theatre fan, it is the kind of show that is unmissable merely for what it achieves and how it does it. If you go only to appreciate the intricacy of the movements and experience the emotions that it evokes, Missing is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

 

Book your tickets to Battersea Art Centre’s Phoenix Season here

 

Review: Don Juan in Soho – a thrill-ride of debauchery, anarchy, and chaos

David Tennant stars in an update of Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho, loosely based on Moliere’s tragicomedy ‘Don Juan’. Having premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in 2006, Marber describes his new adaptation as ‘naughty but nice’.

Set in contemporary Soho, the focus of the classic French play is transformed to a more intimate – and particularly filthy – insight into the life of Don Juan: a hopelessly sexist, cruel seducer, who lives only for pleasure.

Don Juan in Soho

The play is opened by dancers dressed innocently – and ironically – in white, as the audience awaits what is soon to become a thrill-ride of debauchery, anarchy, and chaos. Anna Fleischle’s classic, simplistic set, featuring the impressive statue of Charles II, provides the perfect backdrop, while tensions rise as Tennant’s arrival on stage is eagerly anticipated.

Tennant thrives in his almost animalistic character: Don Juan (or DJ) seduces women (or at least attempts to) as often as possible – even if they happen to be a newly-wed crying in a hospital waiting room over their husband’s critically-ill state. He pursues his prey until they surrender: he made huge effort with Lottie, played by the compelling Dominique Moore, until their wedding day when she had become less interesting and ‘have-able’. 

David is suitably mischievous, revealing a side to his acting capabilities that is far removed from the sci-fi protagonist we knew and loved in Doctor Who, and the dour Detective Inspector in Broadchurch. He is no stranger to the stage, however, having played in Hamlet in Gregory Doran’s critically-acclaimed RSC production and in Richard II at The Barbican more recently.

Don Juan in Soho

Adrian Scarborough shines as Stan, a highly amusing but often disloyal side-kick to DJ, who claims that DJ will “do it with anything… even a hole in the o-zone layer”. As the play progresses, you find yourself growing increasingly empathetic towards sweet, stumpy Stan; the moment DJ admits the admiration he has for his companion is almost touching (it’s difficult to commit to describing a character as outrageously amoral as DJ as ‘touching’).

The hilarity of the play is certainly enhanced by its modern additions, perhaps most notably the reference to one of Trump’s many controversial remarks, but also DJ’s lecture on modern society having the need to be “friended, followed, and liked” and how we have so-called ‘progressed’ from “charcoal to the iPhone”. 

Don Juan in Soho

Despite DJ’s barbaric behaviour and severely out-dated views, Tennant succeeds in winning the audience over: you somehow forgive his lifestyle and find yourself planted firmly by his side.

Don Juan in Soho is running at the Wyndham’s Theatre until Saturday 10 June. For an unmissable, scandalous evening, book your tickets here.

Libby Purves OBE: Theatre Blogger Q&A

Ever thought about writing a theatre blog? Even seasoned bloggers sometimes need some expert guidance, so we were utterly thrilled when BBC broadcasting legend and theatre critic Libby Purves OBE agreed to share a few of her insider tips with us.
Tips like:
  • How bloggers get started?
  • How long should a review be?
  • Which blogs do the bloggers read?
  • How long do bloggers spend blogging?
  • Why it’s not always about the big hit shows.

Read more