The Ian Charleson Award celebrates performances by actors under 30 in a classical role and is dedicated to Scottish actor Ian Charleson, who died in 1990 aged just 40. Whilst I remain unconvinved that this is a category that merits special consideration, especially if it isn’t going to reach out to the fringes, it is still good to see a pleasing range of actors being recognised here.
Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo for Abosede in Three Sisters at the National Theatre
Some seriously big names – David Walliams and Robbie Williams – can’t save the RSC’s new musical The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
“Don’t eat my cheese”
There’s no lacking for big names behind the RSC’s big new musical The Boy in the Dress. Based on the novel by David Walliams and adapted by Mark Ravenhill, and with a score by Robbie Williams, Guy Chambers and Chris Heath, the pedigree is certainly there in this story about Dennis, a young football-crazy boy who decides, one day, that he’d quite like to go to school wearing a dress. But Gregory Doran’s production ends up hitting the crossbar – literally so… – and it is a little difficult to work out exactly why.
Is it in Walliams’ book, where absent mothers get entirely short shrift (as do most women, the character of Darvesh’s mum, who even gets a song, is called…Darvesh’s mum) and notions about celebrating difference only go so far – it’s OK for boys to wear dresses and win football matches, but if you buy a copy of Vogue, then you’re the target for homophobic jokes in the script. Or is it in the score which is full of strangely low-impact numbers, until an Indian man appears – cue the Bollywood song! Or someone puts on a dress – cue the disco number! It can feel that there’s not much sophistication at work here. Continue reading “Review: The Boy in the Dress, Royal Shakespeare Theatre”
I find much to enjoy in Kimberley Sykes’s production of As You Like It for the RSC at the Barbican, particularly Lucy Phelps’ epic Rosalind
“Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly”
The critical reception for Kimberley Sykes’ production of As You Like It for the RSC was a little lukewarm this summer, all 3 stars and grudging praise. But I found myself really rather seduced by its many charms, as it opens the winter residency for them at the Barbican. And in Lucy Phelps, a Rosalind full of big dyke energy for the ages. Read my four star review for Official Theatre here.
Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes (with interval) Photo: Topher McGrillis As You Like It is booking in rep at the Barbican until 18th January
So pleased to have one of my favourite actresses take on the 10 questions for 10 years challenge – all hail Noma Dumezweni!
Although she was already an Olivier award-winning actor by the time I started blogging, there has been a particular thrill in seeing Noma Dumezweni’s star rise the way it has over the last decade. A thrilling Paulina and Nurse wherein I first fell in love, absolutely bossing the Royal Court, even taking the time to make her mark in Doctor Who. Oh and the small matter of her mind-expanding Hermione, a triumph onstage naturally but also showing off a grace on social media that we would all do well to emulate.
“Apart from sharing the stage with ’The Marsh’ – that show put me contact – via a confluence of timings and moments – with my father in SA, after over 30 years… so, it’ll always be special, let alone getting to meet the real life people Matthew and I portrayed in that piece. It was a pretty awesome time.”
Where were you 10 years ago?
Working on the last two year ensemble at the RSC – I finished bruised, grown and elated with the whole experience. Final shows were at The Armory in NY.
She’s been acting less time than I’ve been blogging but I can’t hold that against Rosie Wyatt, an actress whose name you should know
I’m not saying that Rosie Wyatt in the sole reason I like monologues now but her captivating performance in Bunny went a long way to convincing of the merits to the form that up until that point, I had mostly resisted. So much so she was nominated for a prestigious fosterIAN award for Best Actress.
So it was great to hear it was a positive time for her too:
“I have loads of nice memories of Bunny. Rehearsals with Joe Murphy remain one of my happiest, creative periods to date. Waiting to go in to the Fringe Awards to collect our Fringe First and being totally overwhelmed and Jack Thorne teasing me. And my Dad coming out to New York, his first and only solo trip abroad, to see me perform.”
Playwright Hannah Khalil tackles 10 Questions for 10 Years with real thoughtfulness, though I might need to take her to see Wicked now…
Where were you 10 years ago?
In 2009 I was living in London and preparing for my first full production which was Plan D at the Tristan Bates. I had failed to get ACE funding but had raised money elsewhere. I was self producing, not getting paid and very very scared about the scrutiny, the financial risk and my mental health. It was tough but I’m so proud of that production. It started many of the collaborations I expect to be lifelong for me with actors and creative team. Continue reading “10 questions for 10 years – Hannah Khalil”
I remain unconvinced we should be rewarding classical roles over the breadth of the theatre out there but hey ho, it’s not my award! A good selection of performances nominated here nonetheless – and Gill feels a worthy winner.
Daniel Burke for Diomed in Troilus and Cressida at RSC Heledd Gwynn for Katharine and Dauphin in Henry V by Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory Tyrone Huntley for Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Watermill, Newbury Martins Imhangbe for Bagot and Aumerle in Richard II at the Almeida Toheeb Jimoh for Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Crucible Aaron Pierre for Cassio in Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe Ellora Torchia for Emilia in Two Noble Kinsmen at Shakespeare’s Globe Helena Wilson for Mariana in Measure for Measure at the Donmar Warehouse