Author: John OBrien

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park

To see A Midsummer Night’s Dream on a perfect July evening at the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park is to ask oneself as Demetrious does “Am I awake, or do I but dream?” A perfect comedy in the most perfect setting is a gift that prompted me to reflect on the riches that London has to offer. A man who is tired of London is tired of life, said Samuel Johnson. Well as long as …

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 The Musical

Matilda, watch out for there is a new kid on the musical block: Adrian Mole. The rivalry between these two shows which puts a girl and a boy respectively centre stage is set to become a must-see compare and contrast experience. Intriguingly, a male writer (Roald Dahl 1916-1990) has written a wonderful part for a girl and a female writer (Sue Townsend 1946-2014) has written the definitive portrait of a teenage boy. Based on her …

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A Visit from Miss Prothero and An Englishman Abroad – Hampton Hill Theatre

Any chance to see a play by Alan Bennett is always a shot in the arm and so the opportunity to see a double bill is doubly welcome. The determined and dedicated Teddington Theatre Club based in Hampton have put together an intriguing couple of one-act plays. A Visit from Miss Prothero and An Englishman Abroad. The latter is usually paired with A Question of Attribution in a double bill Single Spies. Director Jenny Hobson …

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The Phil Willmott Company’s Shakespeare’s Othello | Review

To mark the centenary of the Amritsar massacre (1919) director Phil Willmott has set Othello (1601) somewhere in India. For a British audience familiar with A Passage to India (1924) or The Raj Quartet (1975) or indeed the film Gandhi (1982) this works. We can more readily get to grips with racial, social and gender dynamics. Othello (Matthew Wade) is here a conflicted collaborator in British rule. A general in the Indian army who has …

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Review: Billy Bishop Goes To War | Jermyn Street Theatre

As we approach the centenary of The Armistice of 11th November 1918, the Jermyn Street Theatre is doing its bit by putting on a series of plays that explore different aspects of this world defining historical moment. The contribution of troops from across the British Empire has been insufficiently celebrated so it is most welcome that Billy Bishop Goes to War is having an extended run. The most performed play in Canadian theatre Billy Bishop …

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