Reviews & features: Theatre, Alex Johnston

5 reviews

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Gulliver's Travels

19 Aug 20124 stars

Savage and funny adaptation of Swift’s satire

The Victorians considered Gulliver's Travels a kid's book, chortling at the notion of a big man in a tiny world and quietly omitting Gulliver's horrified realisation that the bestial Yahoos are in fact human. That uncomfortable final part of the book is…

Watt

12 Aug 20123 stars

Gate Theatre's Beckett adaptation largely fails to illuminate

At the start of the Gate Theatre's stage presentation of Samuel Beckett's novel Watt, Barry McGovern, the sole performer, lopes onstage dressed in hat and coat and carrying bulging suitcases. He hangs the hat and coat on a man-sized stand, placing the…

Constantinople

23 Aug 20114 stars

Completely ridiculous and unexpectedly educational

Theatre Beating’s lunatic dramatisation of the rise and fall of Constantinople is like a great pop song; it thrives on the tension between being completely brilliant and also very, very stupid. The jokes are consistently from the daft end of the street…

Phantasmagoria

23 Aug 20111 star

Depressing, lazy and naïvely acted

This glum story about friendship betrayed aims for something moving and grown-up, but isn’t helped by performances that vary from winsome to teeth-grindingly awful (it takes more than pouting, stomping and shouting to represent a child). The lazily…

Cutting the Cord

11 Aug 20113 stars

Tragicomedy exploring immigration via young Japanese woman in London

Audience members queueing to enter Cutting the Cord are invited to tell a small wooden box where they’re coming from and where they’re going to. What seems like gratuitous cuteness pays off at the end of this engaging and skilful exploration of the…