Directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel have integrated these two groups of lost Boys in their inventive, revelatory, and deeply affecting revival of the play.
By setting it within a field hospital full of mutilated soldiers (including an arrogant one-armed captain), they provide a fascinating dual perspective on a work that can sometimes seem both infantile and mawkish.
Yet for all the rumble of gunfire and choruses of marching songs, they don’t stint on the magic.
The extraordinary flying feats on elasticated wires, the glorious puppetry – Elisa de Grey manipulating the finest ever Tinker Bell – a crocodile and mermaids made from gas masks, a stepladder and battle eld detritus, leave the children in the audience enchanted.
Sam Angell, Cora Kirk, Dennis Herdman and Caroline Deyga (a piece of gender-blind casting that for once works) lead an excellent and athletic cast.
It’s enough to make one believe in fairies.
There’s magic of a distinctly Broadway kind in a rare revival of Kander and Ebb’s The Rink.
An estranged mother and daughter, owners of a dilapidated skating rink, reassess their relationship while visited by the neighbourhood ghosts in a plot resembling a cut-price version of Sondheim’s Follies.
But, if Terrence Mcnally’s “book” is scrappy, Fred Ebb’s sharp lyrics and John Kander’s soaring melodies offer ample compensation.
Adam Lenson’s production is bright and dynamic, while Fabian Aloise’s heart- stirring choreography ranges from soft-shoe shuffles to roller disco.
Caroline O’Connor gives a powerhouse performance as Anna, a middle-aged mother eager to escape her past and none too happy when she succeeds.
Gemma Sutton is deeply affecting as her hippy daughter.
A sassy and versatile six-strong male ensemble offers tremendous support.
Elsewhere, something has gone seriously wrong with the bilingual production of Tartuffe.
Moliere’s study of religious hypocrisy and bourgeois credulity is arguably France’s greatest play, with scenes that remain both blissfully funny and horribly pertinent – not that you’d know it here.
As if speaking part of the text in French and part in Christopher Hampton’s leaden English translation weren’t disorientating enough, Hampton and director Gerald Garutti have relocated the play to contemporary Los Angeles, which makes a nonsense of it’s social attitudes.
The update reaches its nadir in the final act where Tartuffe’s unmasking is credited to the benign wisdom of Donald Trump, who, even at his most delusional, wouldn’t compare himself to Louis XiV.
Several excellent and admirably fluent actors, notably Claude Perron, Vincent Winterhalter, Annick le Goff and Sebastian Roché, make their mark; others are left floundering in the middle of the Channel or, if you prefer it, La Manche.
The programme credits five artistic consultants, advisers and original conceivers.
No wonder it’s such a mess!
Source : EXPRESS