Michael Coveney is a critic with The Independent (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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for a previous production "Caryl Churchill certainly keeps you guessing. You never know what's next. She follows her short triptych on mortality, ‘Here We Go,’ with a 55-minute dark black comedy – probably her funniest play to date…It's a joy to watch these actresses at work, and director James Macdonald applies the lightest of touches, so the lines seem to float on the air before crunching you in the stomach." Full Review
for a previous production "I find Hassell's hunky Henry a mixed blessing. He's good in repose...But his lack of vocal richness and variety, and his stumpy, stiff movement and gesture gives him a puppet-like absurdity...Mind you, this play always surprises in its shifts of tone and emphasis...Everything that's good about the production is in spite of the RSC mustiness that hangs about... Some of the small part acting is abominable." Full Review
for a previous production "The cast sing the beast of a score magnificently, covering the full range of sinister grand guignol to valse macabre, music hall oompah, plangent lyricism and ensemble clatter and chorale...The engine of the plot – I've always felt there's far too much of it, causing lumps and sags in each half – is Mrs Lovett, whom Siobhan McCarthy presents as a slightly mad, totally impulsive and unpredictable Whitechapel witch; this isolates Jeremy Secomb's demon barber even more." Full Review
"The show is an anthology of Coarse Theatre and practical disaster...There's no unravelling of character crisis within the assumed roles, and no sense of a play-within-a-play breaking its bounds. This is undiluted, unapologetic sketch theatre, very well done in its way, slightly old-fashioned in thinking itself funnier than it really is, but surprisingly clever in making what is essentially one idea stretch across two hours." Full Review
for a previous production "It's the best sort of theatre-in-the-round, turning the style's disadvantages and drawbacks to aesthetic triumph...Blanche literally lives out of her suitcase, a process I've never seen conveyed so poetically before...Ben Foster is hunky and sweaty, but sexual charisma's not his strong point...Williams's language melds poetry with base idiom, explosive argument with the jazz riffs of the emotionally, as well as materially, dispossessed. And that's what this production honours fully." Full Review
for a previous production "A kitchen cabaret of capital punishment, an executioner's song, a dance of death and an explosion of anger, flour and chopped onions...There are nine actors in a production by Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada that is banned in their home country, and achieves the rare, and today, unfashionable, distinction of combining dissident fury with exceptional theatrical imagery and eloquence." Full Review
for a previous production "There's a great deal of passion in Sands's performance...He has the same punchy terseness and curdled vocal delivery, and he gives a good idea of Pinter's physical presence, and menace, too...Sands puts a tremendous verve and rhythm into his readings, and he seems entitled to his opinion that one or two of his love poems to Antonia Fraser are among the greatest of all English love poems." Full Review
"A rock and roll, heavy metal tribute to, and very smart adaptation...The energy level is phenomenal, Brightman's sandpaper voice apparently indestructible and his touch with the kids, impeccable...The score is more than a stitching together of the movie items. There are some splendid new anthems and chorales...Mike White's movie has been deftly adapted, efficiently directed, wittily designed and lit with rock concert flair." Full Review
for a previous production "It's beautifully done, though the short seventy minutes sag a little. Gags are repeated and there's a sense that all that has to be said has been said after half an hour. McNair, however, keeps it interesting through the lightness and technical excellence of his performance. And I particularly respond to his thesis of loved ones living on in the memory even more vividly than they did in life itself as a way of softening the blow of dusty evanescence." Full Review
for a previous production "It starts so well, and so portentously...van Hove here attempts to have his Attic cake and eat it: ancient hubris with modern humanity. It doesn't work, not least because the vocal attributes of the cast are tinged with a horrid membrane of amplification and the stately motion of the actors around the stage is not matched by any uprush of demonic power or beauty." Full Review
for a previous production "Strange, and strangely beguiling, 90-minute vaudeville of King Lear...Don't miss it, is my advice, though you'll enjoy it all the more if you love your theatre history." Full Review
for a previous production "Roll up for a whole new concept of a cookery show with a special menu of fried murderer, stoned adulteress, tortured terrorist and, the ever popular old favourite, the slaughter of the innocents...Only the banished and itinerant Belarus Free Theatre could invent so lyrical and sardonic a hymn to the glories of death...What the Belarus does so well, in fact, is transform the documentary evidence into spellbinding theatrical imagery." Full Review
for a previous production "Although John Caird's sensitive book and Paul Gordon's deft music and lyrics accurately reflect the period feel and decorum of Jean Webster's 1912 epistolary novel, the show never really flies...the show itself, exerts a sort of insidious, slow-burning sweetness without ever delivering a knock-out punch." Full Review
for a previous production "There's an inescapable feeling of Playschool Puritanism about it all...What I like about the show is its watertight structure, its way of getting an audience to roar for very good reasons and the way the two actors create an instant vaudeville atmosphere with their vocals and versatile fill-in narrative passages. They make a real play of it." Full Review