Theatre News

Paris

Everything that opera can do is here. English Touring Opera’s double bill of short Puccini operas, which reached Cambridge Arts Theatre this week (April 16-21) included the tragic Il Tabarro (the cloak) and the comic opera Gianni Schicchi named after a character who deceives all the others to do a good deed.

On the first night of The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895 the story goes that the father of Oscar Wilde’s lover, Bosie, planned to disrupt the play by throwing rotten fruit. Wilde got wind of the plan and The Marquess of Queensbury was refused entrance to the theatre. If the playwright had seen this production by The Original Theatre Company, he might have welcomed him in.

The moment Paul Nicholas walked onto the stage on the first night of Quartet at Cambridge Arts Theatre, I thought how alluring he was, aged 73.

India

The evil Rob Titchener, the wicked husband in Radio 4’s The Archers, who personified “coercive control” and ended up both being jeered at in the street and asked to open village fetes, stole the show on the opening night of The Winslow Boy at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Kate

James Graham’s play, This House, takes you back to the 1970s. It’s set in the House of Commons and it opens with MPs waving their order papers to a band with skinny musicians in jeans with long, flowing tresses. It then moves into the punk era and like the band’s spikey hair and the studs, everything gets harsher.

House of Commons

I won’t be the first to say that the opening for The Weir, Conor McPherson’s spell-binding play, with three men and a woman walking into a bar, sounds like the start of a joke.

The theatrical version of crime writer Patricia Highsmith’s first novel, Strangers on a Train, is ingeniously staged at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

This is an elegant production of an elegant play. It’s very funny and it’s very French. At around 90 minutes with no interval, Art by Yasmina Reza has three actors on stage the whole time and it’s quick fire debate.

Cambridge

When writer James Graham first offered National Theatre director Jeremy Herrin a play set in Parliament, Herrin said: “Have you got anything else?”

NHS

Two meteorologists were tasked with predicting the weather for D Day in June, 1944. The American said the weather would be fine, the Scotsman said it would be stormy.

United Kingdom

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