Theatre Week: To Kill a Mockingbird; Mozart Questions; Clybourne Park – Review | Theatre

no Sultry on the porch, no scuppernongs, no marinated pork knuckles. Most importantly, there is no other person who is truly stranger and intimate at the same time.Harper Lee’s captivating novel from director Bartlett Sher to kill a robin With Broadway success and a wave of right thinking came. It’s got Rafe Spall’s powerful central performance, filled with humble convictions as white lawyer Atticus Finch, and a fiery performance from Patrick O’Kane as Klan-leaning bully. However, it was a thin and often awkward night. It’s more of an argument than an experience.

Aaron Sorkin’s “New Play” puts Finch center stage from the start, as Finch defends a black worker against a trumped-up rape charge. It was the framing of the entire evening, not the culmination of exclusion and longstanding tribalism. For the first time ever, the design of the great Miriam Buether took me away from the action, not into it: the courtroom, the homestead and the prison took turns inhabiting a desolate grey warehouse. The sense of the inbreeding township that families can identify across generations—“every third of Merriwether is morbid”—is gone, both visually and verbally. Fragrance and anger are a toxic mixture in Lee’s novel: ladylike white women incite their prejudice over tea, like refined versions of hooded men ready to be lynched. Crowd pressure can add dramatic power: the stage is often sparsely populated, especially in courtroom scenes (compare the crowds in a Gregory Peck movie!), and the audience isn’t expected to be thrown into the action, but instead is surrounded by a small eccentric budgerigar-like space.

Also missing is the richness of the novel. The history of Boo Radley, an outsider feared and persecuted by children, doesn’t exist until the final scene when he pops up behind a door (shhh!). Li’s novel creates a landscape where everyone’s life is in doubt. Sorkin’s play is about a direct conflict.

The N word is used more than once, but tweaks some aspects of the novel. Calpurnia, the black housekeeper – more or less silent in Lee’s narrative – deals forcefully, not entirely plausibly, with Finch expecting her gratitude, while Finch is seen as less heroic, not least because He looks forward to being grateful. Still, Calpurnia doesn’t have the inherent heft of white kids (a parody of Lee’s childhood friend Truman Capote) who control the plot and tell the audience what’s going on. They often do it while skydiving – it looks too clean and it looks too old. They guide us, not like novels, and what all great dramas should do, put us in someone else’s shoes.

I hope the audience in the West End stands up now kill a robin may do so soon Mozart question. What a wonderful work Jessica Daniels made with Michael Morpurgo’s short stories. I’ve been struggling since the Cirencester Barn opened in 2018. Now it’s at the top of my list of theaters to spend a day around. The former Nissen cottage on the edge of the golden town seats 200 people under its wooden rafters, not only recharging established plays, but also creating new productions. Just like here.

“The Brilliant Work”: Lara Lewis in Mozart Questions. Photo: Alex Tabrizzi

This is the big story of the Nazis forcing Jewish musicians to play their instruments in concentration camps, often a horribly sanitized welcome to newcomers who just got off the train. It is an important memorial and raises the question of whether art is polluted by the environment. Vicki Berwick’s adaptation could do with some ruffles; it’s bland at times (“You’ve lost our music…don’t lose our son”), which wonderfully shows that words are not what guides the dramatic plot in the theatre only way.

Eight of the nine performers are musicians: a compact full-string ensemble that weaves dialogue with notes of Rossini, Klezmer and Vivaldi, as well as Wolfgang. As the two characters fall in love, a violin duet can be heard, one slowly wrapping around the other. A teen discovered a unique sound that went from a teenage scratch to a silvery sound when he picked up his violin. As the inmates dreamed of living outside the camp, they heard – out of reach, but still – the sound of harmony ringing around them.

Traditional Venice – street lights, puppets and warm summer nights – is conjured up by Ceci Calf’s beautiful alternate designs, where a crumbling brick wall is covered with small pages of sheet music. Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner’s gorgeous lighting opens up a warm space for a friendly barbershop (in a nice touch, the musician puts down his violin in favor of scissors, praised for the rhythm of his haircut) . Then the color disappears. Like the camp arrived in the smoke from the train, evoked by the lack of light and silence. Standing together as if caught in iron fists, in moments of pain, the musicians contorted their bodies and lifted cellos and violins into the air: these instruments seemed to have a life of their own.

“Its freshness has waned”: Claiborne Park by Bruce Norris. Photo: Mark Douai

Claiborne Park When it opened at the Royal Court 12 years ago, it was a knockout. Bruce Norris’ play is a response to Lorraine Hansbury’s powerful 1959 exploration of racism and money in America, Raisins in the sun: Its trick is to disguise satire as parlor comedy, taunt audiences with disturbing jokes, and use theater resources to change their preconceptions. The first half shows a cozy middle-class white neighborhood—standard lights, National Geographic, a woman in a starched dress drinking an ice-cold drink while being taken aback by the arrival of a black family (can they ski?); the second shows a generation on the same block, when most of the owners It’s all black, and the impending threat comes from a white couple who want to destroy the area’s history by tearing it down. “The history of America is the history of private property,” one figure declared. James Turner’s no-frills, economical design highlights the debate by lighting up a grand dollhouse center stage, beginning and ending.

It still feels shrewd and sometimes penetrating, but its freshness has diminished: it tapers off in the back half; it’s a needle rather than a threat. Still, director Oliver Kaderbhai’s very bright, clear production provides a great example of its revival. Katie Matsell does a fantastic job as both a deeply deaf, respectable wife and an ignorant, chatty liberal. Oh, and the best tampon joke since poor Charles and Camilla. Why do tampons look like white women? Answers on non-PC PCs.

Star (out of 5)
to kill a robin
Mozart question ★★★★
Claiborne Park ★★★

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