The must-seesby Michael Coveney / February 14, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
My Country; a work in progress
“Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong.” So said a 19th-century naval officer, Stephen Decatur, in a toast. Rufus Norris, the National Theatre’s artistic director, who wants the NT to be “truly national,” senses a deep disaffection in the country that goes beyond Brexit. So, in the days following the European Union referendum, he sent a team of interviewers around the UK to gauge the mood. The resulting vox pops have been shaped into drama with poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and will tour extensively after this season on the South Bank.
A divisive left-wing leader at the head of the Labour Party, a Conservative PM battling with her Cabinet… sounds familiar? Steve Waters’s new play is set in 1981 in the East End home of David Owen one fateful Sunday morning. There follows a fictional re-imagining of what happened as Owen welcomes his fellow conspirators Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and Bill Rodgers, above. Waters has written fine plays already on environmental issues and Occupy London. Director Polly Findlay makes her Donmar debut.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
After knocking ’em dead as Momma Rose in Gypsy, Imelda Staunton takes on another monstre sacré: blowsy, drunken old Martha, wife of George,…