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ABOUT ROGUES & VAGABONDS | The Site for Theatre Lovers
Rogues & Vagabonds is a regularly updated website for anyone and everyone who has a passion for theatre. [more]



Info | KEVIN QUARMBY | Contributor
Kevin Quarmby is an actor and writer. [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 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]



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]



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]



Friday 17th October 2008
Theatre Review | OEDIPUS | NT Olivier
Entering the Olivier auditorium of London’s National Theatre is like entering an ancient site of reverence and monumental worship. A vast burnished-bronze gateway supports two massive doors which dominate the space. These are the famous gates of Thebes, site of Oedipus’s skilful defeat of the monstrous Sphinx which terrorized the city with her fatal riddles. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Thursday 16th October 2008
It’s been a busy few weeks for Peter Bull, artistic director of the Above the Stag Theatre in Bressenden Place, SW1. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Sunday 12th October 2008
Theatre Review | AUGUSTA | Bare Boards...and a passion @ New End Theatre, Hampstead
Augusta, Alan Franks’s new play, which is at the New End Theatre Hampstead, is that seemingly rare breed nowadays, a quintessentially English play with an international cast. Set in the penthouse apartment of a successful writer of biographies, Augusta explores the relationship between a biographer and his fractured muse. It is an engaging, very witty play with that heady mix of comedy and dark, dark tragedy. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Friday 10th October 2008
Theatre Review | THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA | Nós do Morro @ Barbican Pit
The Brazilian creative venture founded by the actor Guti Fraga, Nós do Morro, explodes into the Barbican Pit space with its heady, energetic and youthful adaptation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Fraga’s company of actors are drawn from the Vidigal community to the south of Rio de Janeiro. Vidigal is no smart suburb, no comfortable training ground for artists and performers supported by parental and grandparental bank accounts. Vidigal is a shanty town, one of the infamous favola, rife with gang violence and uncomfortably high mortality rate among its population of over forty thousand persons. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Thursday 9th October 2008
Theatre Review | LOVE'S LABOURS LOST | RSC Courtyard Theatre
A magnificent tree sprawls its aged branches across the Courtyard Theatre stage. Shards of green and yellow glass hang suspended from the heavens like sparkling dew-encrusted autumn leaves. Coloured lamps shine through the leaves which glitter and glow as they slowly revolve with the slightest movement of air. We are in a magical sylvan world outside the walls of the King of Navarre’s court. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Monday 6th October 2008
Interview | HOWARD BARKER | The Dying of Today | Arcola Theatre
Howard Barker good-humouredly describes it as “outrageous” that he is not better known in the UK. In fact, he thinks it’s a “scandal” that he is “not presented in theatres in this country.” A scandal indeed, especially as Barker will have no less than five opening nights to attend in Paris next April when a season of his plays is presented in the French capital. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Wednesday 1st October 2008
Theatre Review | CREDITORS | Donmar Theatre
The Donmar has, yet again, been transformed with signature neo-realism into a stark, whitewashed Swedish seaside hotel lounge. The date, 1888, the year Strindberg first presented this unusual play, the temporal sister to his more famous Miss Julie. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Thursday 18th September 2008
Theatre Review | IVANOV | Donmar Warehouse @ Wyndham's Theatre
Since the epic poetry of Homer, the harsh screech of an owl has symbolically heralded death and impending doom. The owl returns in the Donmar West End’s fascinating production of Chekhov’s Ivanov, its piercing note foretelling the mournful truth of the play’s dark, uncompromising message. Dark? Uncompromising? In the deft hands of its adaptor, Tom Stoppard, and under the direction of Michael Grandage, Ivanov retains its depressing nihilism whilst embracing the possibility of redemption and good humour in the face of adversity. The result, a play which is slow to start but which accelerates to a crescendo both shocking and enormously entertaining. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Wednesday 17th September 2008
Interview | TOM BURKE | Creditors | Donmar Warehouse
The ruggedly handsome Tom Burke takes time off from intensive rehearsals to discuss the latest venture at the Donmar Warehouse. Playing Adolph in August Strindberg’s less-well-known 1888 play Creditors (in Swedish, Fordringsägare), Burke quietly discusses this new version written by David Greig and directed by Alan Rickman. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Wednesday 17th September 2008
Theatre Review | EDWARD II | Eyestrings @ St Andrew's Crypt, Holborn
There is certainly a plethora of Edward IIs to hand these days. Asking an American academic to accompany me to last night's offering by the self-professed 'collective of young theatre practitioners', I received the pained response, "I can't, I've seen three Edwards this year already!" What a lame excuse, I say. This is only my second. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Thursday 11th September 2008
Theatre Review | HELIUM | Barbican Pit
Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, the experimental performance company Slung Low creates a fascinating experiential world in the Barbican Pit. Combining all that is great about the British (and European) passion for avant garde artistic expression, Slung Low's Helium engages with its audience on an intimate, one-on-one basis. Kevin Quarmby [more]



Monday 1st September 2008
Interview | KEVIN R McNALLY | Ivanov | Donmar Warehouse @ Wyndham's Theatre
Kevin R McNally shares a conspiratorial secret. Asked why our parents chose, in the mid-fifties, to call their young sons ‘Kevin’, McNally offers his own explanation: “Mine wanted to choose a name that couldn’t be abbreviated.” We gaze at each other in resignedly bemused disbelief. Kevin Quarmby [more]



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