Posts Tagged ‘The Stage’

The Stage: Mark Shenton on Jubilee

February 23rd, 2018

stage18aMark Shenton: How do audiences and critics react when a show is designed to provoke them?

At the start of the second act of Jubilee, the stage version of Derek Jarman’s 1978 film that has transferred from Manchester’s Royal Exchange to the Lyric Hammersmith, one of the performers surveys the audience and notes that there have obviously been some early departures.

I was very nearly one of them. I decided that I would spare myself – and the show – the need to write a review (because it is of course a total no-no to do so after only seeing half a production). But, after leaving the theatre in the interval to get a little bit of sugar comfort, I went back.

After the show, I tweeted what a bad time I’d had, and my colleague Lyn Gardner replied: “Oh narrowly missed out on being in my top ten shows last year. I loved it.”

When I searched out her original review of that run, I found she cautioned: “Don’t think of leaving at the interval: the first half may drag a little, but the payoff is delivered in the show’s final 50 minutes, in which fierce energy gives way to aching loss as a generation with no future searches for a phoenix in the ashes.”

• Continue reading at The Stage.

The Stage: This Week’s Best Theatre Shows

February 22nd, 2018

stage16aThis week’s best theatre shows: Our critics’ picks (February 20)

Jubilee – Lyric Hammersmith, London

Chris Goode directs and adapts a stage version of Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s 1978 film Jubilee, in a production first seen at Manchester’s Royal Exchange last November. The Stage called it “scrappy and self-aware”, but veteran punk star Toyah Willcox, who also appeared in the original film, makes it interesting to see again. It opens officially on February 20.

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The Stage: This Week’s Best Theatre Shows

November 7th, 2017

stage17bThis week’s best theatre shows: Our critics’ picks (November 7)

Jubilee – Royal Exchange, Manchester

Chris Goode’s new stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s iconic chronicle of the 1970s punk scene opens in Manchester on November 7. Promising to be a remix for a new generation it stars Toyah Willcox, who also appeared in the original.

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The Stage: Chris Goode

November 1st, 2017

stage16aChris Goode: Everything I know about theatre, I learned first from Derek Jarman

Almost everything I think I know about theatre, I learned from someplace else. Sometimes it’s just easier to spot the clues about theatre that are encoded in some other kind of event or relationship. You glancingly recognise something and immediately know you want to take it into your next rehearsal room.

Something about the obliqueness of the angle matches the radical hospitality of theatre. The understanding that the wholly new and unexpected is ready to rush in and surround us, if only we can remember that we come to theatre not to make things, but to make spaces for things to happen in.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post ridiculously entitled “The young anarchosyndicalist’s guide to theatre space”…

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The Stage: New Lyric Hammersmith Season

October 28th, 2017

stage16aThe Lyric Hammersmith in London has announced its 2018 season, which will include Chris Goode’s stage adaptation of Jubilee, starring Toyah Willcox.

Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars will also feature in the upcoming season, in a co-production with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Philip Venables’ opera adaptation of 4:48 Psychosis, Sarah Kane’s play, will return to the Lyric as part of the season, produced by the Royal Opera.

Jubilee, based on the 1977 film of the same name, plays at the Lyric in February following its premiere at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, as previously announced. It will be co-produced by the two theatres, with Chris Goode and Company.The Lyric’s auditorium will be reconfigured to recreate the Royal Exchange’s in-the-round space

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Categories: Jubilee, Theatre Tags: ,

The Stage: Chris Goode to Adapt Punk Film Jubilee for the Stage

June 7th, 2017

stage17aChris Goode is to adapt Derek Jarman’s cult film Jubilee for the stage at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

The production will take place as the film marks its 40th anniversary, and will star original film cast member Toyah Willcox. Goode, who joins the Royal Exchange as an associate artist, will adapt and direct Jubilee. It premieres from November 2 to 18, with press night on November 7.

Goode described the project as “brilliantly daunting and irresistible”, adding: “Derek Jarman has been a hero to me for 25 years and the opportunity to stage a brand new adaptation of one of his most iconic films with one of the country’s most iconic theatres is mind-blowing and heart racing in equal measure.”

“Under Sarah Frankcom’s visionary leadership the Royal Exchange continues to consolidate its position as a boldly risk-taking and boundary-exploding venue where we get to come together and talk about the biggest questions of our age in the most exciting ways we can imagine. At a time when dialogue and dissidence feel more precious than ever, I want Jubilee to be a celebration of the energy of our anger and our hope.”

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The Stage: Crime and Punishment Review

September 5th, 2016

stage16aCrime and Punishment review at the Scoop, London – ‘Dostoyevsky gets the steam-punk treatment’

Gods and Monsters Theatre has been creating exciting open-air theatre at the Scoop for the last 14 years. Unlike the cosy, enclave of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, the venue is subject to the surrounding bustle of life on the Thames embankment and director Phil Willmott’s production employs the broad strokes necessary to attract and engage with an outdoor audience.

This year Dostoyevsky gets the steam-punk treatment. Willmott has tuned Crime and Punishment into a musical with the help of songwriter and composers Toyah Willcox and Simon Darlow.


The revolutionary undercurrent of nineteenth century St Petersburg seems an appropriate match for Willcox and Darlow’s soft punk score and a couple of crowd-pleasing hits including I Want to be Free and It’s a Mystery sit comfortably in Willmott’s accessible adaptation.

• Continue reading at The Stage. (Photo © The Stage//Sheila Burnett)

The Stage: Mark Shenton’s Theatre Picks: September 1

September 2nd, 2016

stage16aCrime and Punishment: A Rock Musical – The Scoop, London

Dostoyevsky is turned into a musical featuring specially written songs and favourite tracks by Toyah Willcox and her songwriting partner Simon Darlow, opening a free season at London’s Scoop that runs to September 25.

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Sleeping Beauty: ‘The Stage’ Review

December 5th, 2012

A positive review for The Marlowe Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty, and Toyah, by The Stage.

This rather wet show meant that my notebook was soaked during the water pistol chase. And water spouts out of every corner and orifice in a hilarious slapstick scene set in a bathroom with Lloyd Hollett – very accomplished as Jangles – and Ben Roddy, terrific as Nurse Nellie. But water makes for wonderful comedy, and Hollett and Roddy know how to exploit every drop of it.

Rather drier, but also in fine form, is the ever-youthful Toyah Willcox, who cackles, curses, sings and dances like a teenager as Carabosse, the wicked fairy.

• Continue reading at The Stage.