Ian Shuttleworth

Ian Shuttleworth is a critic with Financial Times (UK). This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (24)
Financial Times (UK)

“There’s little point in describing individual performances, since all are serviceable broad-brush impersonations of the screen characters...Applause came for characters, not performers...As for the songs, they’re an odd mix...The prevailing emotional register is a kind of lukewarm sentimentality...The evening is basically a polite nostalgia-fest: certainly not for the era, and perhaps not even for the series itself so much as the feelings it engendered.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production “Ultimately, Massini’s attempt fails. We would not be interested in the story of these three Lehman brothers if we had not already been made aware of the importance of the end of the story of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. As such, the tale has no intrinsic value as a substance, nor any conferred market value as a tradable good; its value is declared only. Philip Lehman would surely have avoided dealing in that kind of thing.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The better pop/rock biomusicals all have substantial narratives; those without are merely concerts performed by impersonators...I’ve never seen a more one-sided portrait in a show like this. Lloyd, too, moves the action along and intercuts it fluidly, but spends the final phase of the show assiduously building up to a nakedly adulatory climax and concert-style encore." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "I have found myself relishing the sensation of being caught by a dramatic sucker punch. A piece of work seems, predictably and uninterestingly, to be heading in one direction but then swerves into altogether more fascinating territory...So sharply written, keenly performed and astutely directed, but still no more than just another gritty urban monologue...Suddenly the play reveals its purpose." Full Review

King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Sher’s Lear, even at his most ridiculous, is dignified. His madness never becomes a loss of control...Even during the storm episode, his expatiation on poverty and homelessness is lucid...This recurring motif is an augmentation of Doran’s alluding to the acute social situation at the time the play was written...A handful of Doran’s direct­orial touches are not to my taste, but none trips up the narrative, emotional or thematic progress." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

“You get a lot of show for your money (though, it being a West End musical, you also pay a lot of money for your show). And that seems to be the guiding principle behind the enterprise: lots to ooh and ahh over, lots to whoop at and just generally lots. The first half alone is almost as long as the entire film. It’s not so much ‘Never mind the quality, feel the width’ as ‘The width is the quality’. It’s a show that’s sold by the yard.” Full Review

Cyprus Avenue
East Village
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "We see Rea onstage far too seldom...He is a consummate actor...The whole project is a fortuitous coming-together...Featherstone knows Belfast-born, Glasgow-based actor-turned-playwright Ireland from her time running the National Theatre of Scotland...Deals in offbeat but penetrating ways with issues of identity and isolation. The laughs stick in your throat, the serious questions lodge in your head." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Speaking in clumps. Fistfuls of words at a time. Not sentences...To hear nothing else for 85 minutes grows wearing, as some readers have found over the 200-odd pages of the novel...The material is as relentless as the presentation. Performer Aoife Duffin shows phenomenal discipline and memory skills, but she doesn’t actually get to do much...A play has some kind of dramatic arc or progression. McBride tells not a story so much as a chronicle." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Hampton is one of our finest adaptors/translators of French drama, and here he has turned Laclos’s epistolary novel into a dynamic drama. The callous, exploitative Valmont and Merteuil play their emotional and sexual chess games both directly and by proxy...You would be hard put ever to see a more knowing performance than McTeer’s as Merteuil...Her impeccable straight face during an exchange of sexually based dramatic ironies is especially masterly." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Mike Poulton’s adaptations are masterly... The only appreciable flaw in this diptych is that it is inescapably a diptych... However assiduously Poulton and Herrin strive to make each part autonomous... the more vital it becomes to see both plays for the full picture... Taken together, they serve as an inspiring contemporary analogue of Shakespearean history plays at their best– some way better than his own Henry VIII." Full Review

Richard II (BAM)
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It is an excellently clear production...Tennant strikes an unexpected figure on his first appearance. But this is the starting point of a journey to prime Tennant territory...Tennant’s gift is to unravel such knots of language. The rest of the principal cast is correspondingly heavyweight...The set design is a little excessive..But this does not get in the way of Doran’s staging, which even injects a note of homoeroticism rendered poignant by subsequent treachery." Full Review

My Perfect Mind
Midtown E
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Less satisfying and less profound than the show I had expected... Less profound, almost certainly: that the neurological landscape takes a distinct second place to the biographical gives us less chance to identify, to feel ourselves on the inside together with Petherbridge. Less satisfying, perhaps not: he is an immensely personable actor, and the style of the piece gives him extensive rein for asides and digressions which are almost always wryly self-deprecating... It would have been possib... Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"Mitchell and her co-adapter, director Rachel Chavkin, cleverly weave in the story of Hades and Persephone...Mitchell’s songs incorporate elements of blues, New Orleans jazz, and rock...The lyrics and book are, however, less impressive...Yet a similarly informal aesthetic becomes a virtue in Chavkin’s direction. She creates a feeling of organic freedom...The journey of the story is both enjoyable and engaging." Full Review

The Jungle
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It’s morally dubious to call the presentation of such matter 'exciting', but Murphy and Robertson — who spent several months working at the camp — are well aware both of what they want to say and how it needs to be delivered for maximum impact. I don’t think I have ever seen a West End theatre’s space so thoroughly and immersively remade...I don’t think I have ever seen a West End theatre’s space so thoroughly and immersively remade." Full Review

Network (London)
Waterloo
Financial Times (UK)

“Van Hove’s staging is the most triumphant demonstration I have seen of his concepts of space, multimedia, and audience/performance relationships...Cranston is everything you might expect and hope...Supporting attractions include a carnivorous Kasim and an episcopal Cordery. Dockery’s performance is perhaps hampered...but she makes the most of what she is given as a prophet of reality TV.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "A 90-minute account rich in movement and fight sequences, which animates the world of ultraviolence in which Alex and his gang live, but may render it too smooth and too easily palatable...Jonno Davies as Alex is, let’s be frank, a hunk...There’s much here to be admired, although I never felt the visceral thrill that informs the characters’ ultraviolence." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It features all the now-familiar Kneehigh trademarks: music, meta-theatrical cleverness, actor Mike Shepherd in implausible drag, and a fundamental undertow of sadness beneath the onstage capers. Katy Owen is puckishly endearing as young Lily, but Ncuti Gatwa and Nandi Bhebhe as the GIs are sold short by a script that seldom engages with the obviously significant racial dimension...It’s simply a romp with occasional, dutiful sombre faces, and which is soon over, to no clear point." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

“It’s a rare occasion when three seconds pass without a gag of some description. However, this isn’t an unambiguous plus point...This is a show that does not merely go through funny and out the other side, but right round in curved space and back into funny again. It’s the range of comic ideas that is so undeniably impressive: verbal, physical, visual, and ranging from classical to postmodern in style...It all adds up to one of those cheerfully defiant shows that refuse to let you not like it.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Gough acts zonked and evasive, withdrawal-jittery, insecure through the process and even more candidly so at its end, for Macmillan rightly questions the shortcomings of such a one-size-fits-all curative ideology. More cleverly still, he invokes parallels between the mindset of the addict and that of the actor...To say that the play doesn’t quite match the production is to say that it is merely very good indeed; Gough, however, is magnificent." Full Review

The Encounter
Midtown W
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "'The Encounter' is not unlike one of Katie Mitchell’s dramatic deconstructions, except that the artificial composition builds up not before our eyes but between our ears and that, in a Complicite keynote, the process is never allowed to overshadow the material. This account of the lessons and wonders that a technology-free Brazilian people may have to teach us is conveyed by using contemporary technology to create a palpable impression of those wonders." Full Review

Henry V (BAM)
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Alex Hassell captured the complexities of Prince Hal growing up...Hassell continues the process with intelligence and honesty. It is a beautiful portrait...The play’s brace of major set-piece speeches are not rhetorical bravura but, in some ways, almost as introspective as Henry’s self-questioning...Doran’s production is straightforward and clear. There is no selectivity between the various facets of Shakespeare’s dramatic portrait...Such a conventional production is still not without its su... Full Review

American Psycho
Midtown W
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The violence of the novel needs to be reduced and stylised, reducing the tension between the strands of consumption and destruction. Nor can Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s script finesse the crucial ambiguity as to whether or not the murders are all in Bateman’s mind... Rupert Goold’s first production as artistic director of the Almeida is very Rupert Goold: natty visuals and stylish performances, but here has no core to breathe life into the package." Full Review

Trash Cuisine
East Village
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "'Trash Cuisine' sees this brave company lose much of both its defiant playfulness and its authority.So much of the work on show here has been done before and better...The Free Theatre themselves have visited this performance territory before. The final sequence of the (overlong) 100-minute piece entails chopping up industrial quantities of onions; the company may, I suppose, be parodying themselves and recognising their need to elicit our tears artificially." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"The show works at root as a feel good evening, but one that successfully disguises its true nature by eschewing genuine sentiment; that is what is really being parodied most consistently...Nicholaw’s production sells its bare-faced cheek with enormous technical and performance flair and a brash yet disarming puerile charm...The total creation is neither as perfect nor as audacious as it pretends, but it puts over the package so well that...we do not notice." Full Review