Wednesday 9 February 2011

Essential spring theatre

Just a quick heads up on one or two unmissable productions this spring. The Young Vic have Terminus by Mark O'Rowe, performed by the Abbey, which I saw in Edinburgh a few years ago. I remember feeling slightly short-changed when I realised I'd splashed out £17 to see a set of static monologue with no set and seemingly no directions, but that wasn't taking into account the red hot script. The writing is brutal: not a word wasted, as the play wields its savage destruction through words. It's lyrical, poetic, hyper-surreal, intricate, sadistic, very funny and an absolute must-see. The script by O'Rowe - whose films Perrier's Bounty and Intermission are worth watching - sits proudly on my bookshelf. Terminus is the best of the lot though. I hope we see more work from him soon as he's one of the best writers out there at the moment.

Concurrently at the same venue is a joint production with English National Opera of Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses. Staged Monteverdi is always (another fond Edinburgh memory was Jordi Savall's Orfeo) and I wanted to see this even before I heard my friend, tenor Thomas Hobbs, was in it. It promises to be a winner.

Then in my inbox and Twitter this morning was news that Battered Arts Centre have given in to popular demand and announced another One-on-one Festival. Ontroerend Goed have star billing once again and justifyably so, although it seems they are not bringing any new productions.
Logistics (perhaps the threat of mutiny from the box office staff, in off their feet last time?) have determined that there will be ten set packages of shows, each with three performances to see. The packages are all themes around a mood, so you could opt for "challenging" or "out of body" for example. At £19.50 a pop, once again it'll be frustrating if you feel everyone else around you has seen more stimulating material, but that's part of the fun. Someone pointed out that compared to last summer's festival there are fewer tickets, so that "sneaking in" to unsold performances may be more difficult. Still, once again it promises to be one of the most exciting events if the year.

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