Sarah Hemming

Sarah Hemming 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 (20)
Financial Times (UK)

"It’s about then, but it also becomes about now. Quite simply, it reminds us what matters...The difficulty with staging a state of limbo is that it is antithetical to drama; the problem with tackling niceness is that it can become sentimental. Sankoff and Hein manage these obstacles adroitly, moving the action along with a restless sequence of events and peppering the show with funny, revealing details...This is a moving, irresistible show that unapologetically champions kindness." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

“Miranda’s exhilarating, game-changing musical...What’s brilliant about the show is its scintillating fusion of form and content. Miranda sticks closely to historical fact and musical tradition, but reframes and reclaims both...It gives the show phenomenal drive...It is also a blast: a playful and dazzling work of art, expertly delivered here by a tremendous new cast...It celebrates the virtuoso skill of rap while also calling for lyricism and dramatic interpretation.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The fusion of theme and setting becomes profound and moving…Walter becomes superb as Prospero. Here, her prison character, Hannah, fuses with Shakespeare’s magician. A lifer, she cannot ultimately leave her 'island', but must free herself through reconciliation with the past. She uses the play to do so...It becomes an immensely moving, communal piece about the transformative nature of art, the difficult necessity of forgiveness and the human cost of incarceration." Full Review

Battlefield
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Everything about this staging is distilled…It is delivered with remarkable grace and deceptive lightness of touch by the cast…There is a childlike mischief to this role-play that pulls against the serious and sometimes ponderous nature of the script. But it also drives to the heart of the matter: the role of storytelling in attempting to comprehend experience…The wearying recurrence of war, the inevitability of mortality: this low-key piece invites you simply to stop and reflect on them." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The intimate Victorian eaterie perfectly frames the claustrophobic atmosphere and cut-and-thrust plot of this penny-dreadful tale of...Close up, you can savor Sondheim’s razor-sharp lyrics and intricate score…The recipe is not entirely perfect. The show is sometimes louder and more insistent than it needs to be at such close quarters: more variety of tone would render it the spookier. But the company combine thrift, skill and ingenuity to make an irresistible tasty treat." Full Review

Antigone (BAM)
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Listening is key in this production. It is deliberately understated, playing many of the arguments at conversational level, with the actors miked up. This is alienating at first, but it forces you to listen carefully. You hear Anne Carson’s wonderful new translation — supple, salty and vivid — and you hear the twisting and turning of the play...It’s a flawed production...But gradually the staging exerts a strange, transfixing spell." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "There are dull stretches and a few flat notes, particularly as the tone grows more sombre. The downside of Trevor White’s near-crazed Hotspur, for instance, is that you scarcely mourn him. But this is a mature and beautifully detailed production, through which rebellion and turmoil roll as individuals and country grope towards a sort of stability." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"With this amiably ridiculous show, Mischief Theatre joins a venerable tradition of deliberately dreadful drama...It’s not new then, but it is often very funny. Partly it’s just that slapstick, done well, can reduce even the gravest souls to tears and there are some perfectly timed pratfalls here...This is largely a joyous show. The cast’s physical skill is delightful and the production, directed by Mark Bell, builds to a delirious climax." Full Review

King Charles III
Midtown W
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It unfolds like a history play and is littered with moments that self-consciously recall Shakespeare’s dramas. It’s very clever and emphasises throughout that this is a playful drama – a 'what if?' construction. A difficult style to pull off but director Rupert Goold handles it with tremendous flair and wit. Thought-provoking, serious fun." Full Review

Ubu Roi
Upper W Side
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Declan Donnellan’s inspired and revelatory idea is to splice the play with a bourgeois dinner party and so to address head-on the adolescent bile and humour that courses through Jarry’s original...It’s endlessly inventive and wickedly funny...This exhilarating reading rekindles the savage comedy of the original." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Though it is inexpressibly sad, Richard Eyre’s beautifully judged production also shows us how much love courses through this unsparing portrait of damaged, damaging people...At its heart is Mary...Manville is superb in the role, bringing exquisite detail and depth...Guilt, recrimination, remorse and self-defence roll around the stage, but as night wears on, flashes of truth and tender understanding pierce the gloom." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "A mighty affair, sending stories, characters, history, politics, and love skittering across the floor with the flair of a gambler rolling dice. It’s a stunning piece of writing: teeming with life; haunted by death...Butterworth takes the great family drama and makes it his own...He offers a masterclass in observing the classical unities, using dramatic irony, and building tension...This is a magnificent new play that uses, brilliantly, the vitality of theatre to express the deadly legacy of ... Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

“Thrilling: gripping, dark, wittily acted and often visually dazzling. Above all, though, it succeeds because the team has put transformation right at the heart of the story, both structurally and emotionally. It’s a move that allows the drama to play to drama’s strengths...Overall, this is a triumph. For a bunch of muggles, the creative team has certainly brewed up a wizard show." Full Review

Kafka on the Shore
Upper W Side
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The delight — and irritation — of Murakami’s 2002 story is that it slips and slides between fantasy and reality so that, as in a dream, every time you think you have fathomed its meaning it slithers again from your grasp...Director Yukio Ninagawa does a magnificent job of bringing this enigmatic work to the stage...To enjoy it, probably best not to seek sense, but just go along for the strange and beguiling ride." Full Review

Radiant Vermin
Midtown E
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It’s a deeply macabre, stingingly funny modern fairy tale that shows its two protagonists wading deeper and deeper into murky moral territory…It’s deliberately outrageous and surreal but Ridley pulls it off brilliantly, poking away at the remorseless temptations of consumerism and the desolate creed that 'enough is never enough.' In David Mercatali’s jaunty, precisely pitched production, Gemma Whelan and Sean Michael Verey give virtuoso performances as Jill and Ollie." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It’s a mark of how good this staging is that you feel the characters’ former selves just below the surface because we join the story as it tips on to the slope towards disaster. And what is so painfully sad about van Hove’s unbearably tense production is the way it reminds you that the sorrow here has its origins in generosity...Just as there is no escape for characters, there is none either for the actors and they are all magnificent." Full Review

Henry IV
Brooklyn
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It proves terrific: an urgent, mischievous and subtly layered response to Shakespeare’s great plays. Rough yes, but revelatory. These are dramas about rebellion, leadership, and family; about a youth pulled between two father figures; about who runs England. The setting and casting bring these concerns intensely alive." Full Review

Quietly
Chelsea
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "McCafferty draws decades of entrenched loathing and anguish into this modest room. And the three performances are painfully good. Patrick O’Kane is riveting as Jimmy...Declan Conlon matches him, bringing to Ian the leaden tread and watchfulness of a man who has spent his life carrying a burden of guilt and resentmen. Robert Zawadzki watches on, his body language delicately suggesting the changing mood in the room...Quietly excellent drama." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The piece brilliantly celebrates the joy of live, traditional music, the enduring power of ancient ballads and the delight in sharing the telling of a story. Wils Wilson’s exuberant production is staged in the bar as a lock-in, with a cracking cast...The piece loses some pace and grip in the Devil’s lair and the drunken karaoke scene goes on too long. But there’s great fun in the way this ingenious exploration of Scottish culture crosses borders with glee." Full Review

Matilda (London)
Seven Dials
Financial Times (UK)

"The creative team behind this RSC musical (first seen in Stratford last year) pitches the tone beautifully. They catch Dahl’s peppery, mischievous, dark imagination and tell his story of the gifted Matilda, her ghastly parents and her wicked headmistress with real zest. They create a show that appeals to children with its monsters and mess, and to adults with its message that reading is cool...On transfer, it has become overly shrill in places...But it’s still dark, daring and a lot of fun." Full Review