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Monday 13th October 2014
Rogues & Vagabonds is now a Blog!
This is to let you know that there is now a Rogues & Vagabonds blog. [more]



Saturday 29th November 2008
Theatre Review | THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE | Finborough Theatre
The Finborough theatre is currently celebrating the centenary of American author and playwright William Saroyan’s birth with a season of his plays, culminating in The Time of Your Life (1939), his most successful work and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Astonishingly, Icarus Theatre Collective brings twenty-six actors to the tiny finborough – making for a crowded curtain-call – and proving once again that fringe theatre can be as ambitious as any subsidized warehouse. Claire Ingrams [more]



Thursday 27th November 2008
Theatre Review | THE FAMILY REUNION | Donmar Warehouse [TS Eliot Festival]
The Donmar is transformed into the baronial hall of a northern country seat. Dark oak panelling soars towards the ceiling, the whole dominated by a chimney breast, complete with iron grate and backplate. A fire crackles into life shedding its benign heat and light flickeringly over the carved furniture. No paintings or mirrors adorn the walls, just the dim bulb of an occasional mock-candle wall-light reveals the decay which seems to be seeping through the structure of the house. In one far corner a heap of sand soaks up the dampness, a bucket strategically capturing the drip, drip, drip from a faulty roof, and a mound of dust on the mantelpiece pointing to a particularly ravenous group of wood-boring beetles. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Saturday 22nd November 2008
Interview | SAMANTHA SPIRO | Twelfth Night | Donmar @ Wyndham's Theatre
“Maria is one of those parts that can be played by any actress, whether a sixty year old in a hairnet or a saucy young minx. I guess I’m something in between.” So says Samantha Spiro during a break in rehearsals for the latest Donmar West End offering shortly to open at the Wyndham’s Theatre, Twelfth Night. No way should this dark and vibrant actor ever be forced to don a hairnet. So, saucy young minx it is. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Tuesday 18th November 2008
Theatre Review | A TASTE OF HONEY | Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Shelagh Delaney’s bruised, beautiful and salty A Taste Of Honey is – can you believe it? – fifty years old this year. A recent Salisbury revival, and productions in New York will all surely struggle to capture the sour, rain-drenched, hope-filled possibilities of this most Mancunian (or, strictly, Salfordian) of plays. Jo Combes’ anniversary production for the Royal Exchange is a knowing tribute to the great work of Joan Littlewood and Theatre Workshop, and an undoubted highlight of the season. Matthew Nichols [more]



Monday 17th November 2008
News | R&V RINGS DOWN CURTAIN | Newsletter
It is with great regret that I will be ringing down the curtain on Rogues & Vagabonds at the end of the month (30 November 2008). I hope and pray that this will be temporary, a mere interval. Sarah Vernon [more]



Friday 14th November 2008
Theatre Review | STATE OF EMERGENCY | Gate Theatre, Notting Hill
The Gate are always one for big ideas, and yet sometimes ideas are not enough, as this latest offering from German playwright Falk Richter (translated by David Tushingham) demonstrates. In the foyer, an eerie infomercial plays on repeat. Calm, well-spoken voices describe a gated community in which children play without fear and in which there are fantastic shopping facilities. It’s safer, they tell us, and now they’ve moved they’ll never look back. Harriet Davis [more]



Wednesday 12th November 2008
Theatre Review | LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST | Rose Theatre, Kingston
Peter Hall’s happy production of Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, bathes this wooden playhouse in a general sunshiney glow. Prop-free and bare of stage it does, however, leave the audience wide open and vulnerable to the kind of elaborate wordplay that so delighted the Elizabethans but can make a modern theatregoer feel like being pelted with twenty kinds of root vegetable. Claire Ingrams [more]



Wednesday 12th November 2008
Feature | THEATRE BELONGS TO US | Lift-Off @ The Curve Theatre, Leicester
Do you remember the Slinky? Well, that spiral toy made of metal that flowed down your stairs (if you were lucky) has snaked its way into Leicester but now it is 24m high and costs £61million. It is the brand new Curve Theatre and it is mind-boggling. Claire Ingrams [more]



Tuesday 11th November 2008
Feature | STEVEN BERKOFF | Connecting Conversations @ Hampstead Theatre
The pairing of Steven Berkoff with a renowned psychotherapist is an inspired idea, giving him the opportunity to discuss his favourite subject, Shakespeare’s villains. I saw Berkoff talk on this very subject a few years back, in a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival. Then it was a one-man show, with Berkoff alternately commentating on and impersonating his subjects, often to hilarious effect. This talk works rather differently, sticking to a prescribed formula in which Estela Welldon (the therapist) questions Berkoff about his passion and his work, with loose reference to psychology. Harriet Davis [more]



Tuesday 11th November 2008
Theatre Review | ANY WHICH WAY | Only Connect Theatre
Only Connect do some important work, resettling ex-offenders and young people at risk of re-offending. They also produce plays, some of which go on to tour schools across the country. David Watson’s latest offering, Any Which Way, is one such play, a bold unsentimental examination of knife crime in the nation’s capital. Harriet Davis [more]



Tuesday 11th November 2008
Interview | WILLIAM GAUNT | The Family Reunion @ Donmar Warehouse
“When you’re in a play that has had a chequered history,” confides the veteran actor William Gaunt, “you are inevitably nervous about how it will be received.” Gaunt is discussing his latest venture for The Donmar, a revival of T.S. Eliot’s verse-classic of 1939, The Family Reunion. “Still,” he adds, with a glint of humour in his eyes, “when the actors and director approach [the play] as truthfully as possible, as we are doing, one can only trust that it will shape up for the best.” Kevin Quarmby [more]



Tuesday 11th November 2008
Interview | JAMIE LLOYD | Piaf @ Vaudeville Theatre
“I have always been passionate about Elena Roger,” enthuses Jamie Lloyd, director of Pam Gems’s classic bio-musical Piaf which has transferred so successfully to the Vaudeville Theatre stage. “I was assistant director on the production of Evita at the Adelphi,” the play which starred Roger in the title role and which first introduced this diminutive fireball of a performer to her West End audience. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Tuesday 11th November 2008
Theatre Review | LUCKY SEVEN | Hampstead Theatre
Michael Apted’s 1964 documentary Seven Up was quietly revolutionary in its way. Fourteen carefully selected seven-year-olds from working, middle and upper class backgrounds were asked to talk about their aspirations and then reunited at seven-year intervals throughout their lives. The results reflected the way in which class predetermines destiny (those from the upper classes tended to achieve, whereas those from underprivileged backgrounds rarely fulfilled their early promise), as well as charting the colossal social change that took place in the latter half of the last century. Harriet Davis [more]



Thursday 30th October 2008
Book Review | SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE: A Theatrical Experiment by Christie Carson & Farah Karim-Cooper | pub. Cambridge University Press
None of us seriously believed that it might attract big crowds. The most clear-sighted objective any of us had was to get the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe as right as we could, so that we could then see what might be done with it. Andrew Gurr, Professor Emeritus at the University of Reading. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Wednesday 29th October 2008
Quote | LIZ SMITH | Attitude



Wednesday 29th October 2008
Theatre Review | SLAVA'S SNOW SHOW | Slava @ The Lowry, Salford Quays [tour]
Children’s theatre. Theatre for all the family. However you put it, sometimes – and there are many quality exceptions – it can be a byword for soulless manufactured pap, custom-built to pack the family crowds in and hurl empty spectacle at them, particularly during cold half-term school holidays. Fortunately, none of these charges could be levelled at the beguiling and enchanting Slava’s Snow Show. Matthew Nichols [more]



Sunday 26th October 2008
Theatre Review | LOLA | Trestle @ Riverside Studios [end of tour]
Flamenco guitar, stomping feet, plenty of cleavage and some saucy work with a fan, it’s Trestle Theatre Company bringing us excerpts – a selection of tapas, if you like – from the true story of a little nineteenth-century Irish girl who transformed herself into notorious Spanish dancer and courtesan Lola Montez. Thanks to a full-blooded performance by Georgina Roberts in the title role, Trestle’s Lola is an entertaining romp of a show. Claire Ingrams [more]



Thursday 23rd October 2008
Theatre Review | THE DYING OF TODAY | Arcola Theatre
Studio 2 of the Arcola Theatre, London, is transformed into a stylized barber’s shop, complete with swivelling leather seat, butler’s sink, rails draped with towels that float suspended from the ceiling, and walls covered with crumpled newspaper. It is a very menacing space, full of cutthroat razors and lethal aluminium combs, a place where men entrust their vulnerable heads and necks to the deftness and steadiness of the barber’s hand. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Wednesday 22nd October 2008
Theatre Review | THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES | Richmond Theatre [tour]
As a child, I remember spending Sunday afternoons curled up in a zebra-print blanket watching Basil Rathbone in black and white solving crimes of the most devious nature. As a student, many years later and without the resource of my blanket, I remember watching Jeremy Brett feverishly unravelling mysteries with evangelical zeal and confidence while I smoked cigarettes and felt nostalgic for the days of the Hansom cab, steam trains from Paddington and The Times. Jason Millar [more]



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