Features

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The student guide to London theatres on the cheap

The Christmas holidays are finally here and we students now actually have the time to squeeze in those London theatre trips we didn’t quite manage during term time. Being students, however, you probably still don’t have a lot of cash to spend on these theatre visits, but with the know-how anyone can get cut price tickets. London’s theatre scene is unrivalled with a wide array of shows so there’s something to interest everyone. Here’s a selection of the best ways to access cheaper tickets ranging from musicals to opera: (more…)

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The Anxiety of Influence: David Hare calls for new playwrights

“Theatre”, according to David Hare in  a 2011 interview with the National Theatre, “is a young people’s game”. The playwright believes that what we are currently experiencing on the stage is a rare and anomalous “historical freak” in which there are too many old dramatists dominating the world of theatre, such as Alan Bennett, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, Michael Frayn, and himself. These are writers who have been masters of their craft for over 40 years, and Hare asks the logical question: where are all the new playwrights? (more…)

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Preview: Assassins

Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins is set to arrive at the O’Reilly with a bang in 7th week. First performed off-Broadway in 1990, the revue-style musical presents nine would-be assassins in murderous attempts (only three of which are successful) spanning two centuries of American history.

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Preview: Monkey Bars

I’m not a great fan of kids, I must admit – I much prefer dogs (I’ve been told this isn’t a normal human response.) So, I wasn’t quite sure how to approach a preview of Monkey Bars, a production of Chris Goode’s award-winning work which took a series of interviews with children aged between 7 and 10, and gave the lines to adults.

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Setting the bar: should we be investing in theatre in prisons?

Just under two years ago, an Italian film called Caesar Must Die snuck into UK theatres with barely any marketing, and soon disappeared again. It was a simple tale about a group of inmates in a high-security prison, staging a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

The film was not exceptionally good, but it did do a fine job at showing how the play’s themes – loyalty between friends, loyalty to the state, honour, criminality, the legitimacy of civil disobedience – might resonate enormously with men whose lives had been deeply and cruelly twisted by their collisions with the law. Simply bringing in actors to perform the play for such men might well have done them some good on its own. But allowing them to stage it themselves – to inhabit the roles, to explore the drama on their own terms – opens to these prisoners the unparalleled power of the theatre, for actors, to confront the basic problems of human motivation and human decision-making. And if they can learn how to act these roles, might it not help them to better understand themselves? Can there be many people in the world more in need of an aid to self-knowledge than serious criminals?

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