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22 February 2019

‘This is a play for our time!’ ★★★★★ Peter Shaffer’s EQUUS Soars

Read More On: Peter Shaffer Giles Thomas

‘This is a play for our time!’  ★★★★★ Peter Shaffer’s EQUUS Soars

English Touring Theatre’s thrilling new production of Peter Shaffer’s EQUUS, directed by Ned Bennett, has received rave reviews from critics and audiences, performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East before heading out on national tour. Composition and Sound Design by MLR’s Giles Thomas. 

What’s On Stage ★★★★★

‘Tantalisingly situated at a point somewhere between Dysart's feverish nightmare and Alan's guilty orgasm, this is haunting, engrossing theatre. Troubling, rich and riveting, it's a must-see.’

‘Giles Thomas' melancholic, supple music and sound design contribute immeasurably to the uncompromising overall vision.’

Broadway World UK ★★★★★

'Everything about the creative vision works. Bennett's direction is as precise and playful as you'd expect, Giles Thomas' sound unnerves you in your seat, and Jessica Hung Han Yun's lighting is exceptional - you could even go as far to say that it's some of the best use of stage lighting I've ever seen.

The Stage ★★★★

‘Just as the play looks at the futility of putting the square peg of Strang’s mind into the round hole of ‘normal’ society, so Bennett takes this carefully structured, well-written play and tries to make it fit with a visual aesthetic to which it’s not naturally suited – the effect is stark and striking, and really quite brilliant.’ 

London Theatre ★★★★

‘But that's not the only innovation and provocation in Bennett's boldly stripped-back, theatrically intense and focused production. With billowing white curtains surrounding the playing area, it only employs minimal props and set pieces to establish locations and mood, with the help of Jessica Hung Han Yin's piercing (and occasionally blinding) lighting and Giles Thomas's soundscape.’

The Arts Desk  ★★★★

‘But it's the sheer theatrical excitement of Bennett's vision — sometimes ferociously passionate, sometimes movingly gentle, and, at the first act climax, absolutely billowing with grandeur — that stays with you. Yes, this is a play for our time!’ 

 
21 January 2019

FRANCES POET wins prestigious Writers' Guild Award

Read More On: Frances Poet

FRANCES POET wins prestigious Writers' Guild Award

Frances Poet has won Best Play at the 2019 Writers' Guild Awards. 

Frances won for her play GUT which premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, April 2018. Presented with the award by fellow playwrite Roy Williams, GUT joins a prestigious line of writers to win the award, including recent winners Lucy Kirkwood, Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker. 

 
19 December 2018

THE PRODUCERS in riotous in-the-round revival

Read More On: Raz ShawCaroline Humphris

THE PRODUCERS in riotous in-the-round revival

This riotous in-the-round revival at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre was directed by Raz Shaw, with Musical Supervision by Caroline Humphris. 

Manchester Evening News ★★★★★

The Stage ★★★★

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“director Raz Shaw stated that one of the challenges with this revival was whether it would prove possible translating a huge Broadway musical to the intimacy of the round. The crowd's reaction on the night I saw it suggests the answer is a resounding yes.”

“both the choreography and music departments deserve enormous credit; some of the show's dancing scenes are superb and dovetail seamlessly with the small live orchestra nestled into the first level of the round.”

The Times ★★★★

“it just might be more fun than any other bash you find yourself at this Christmas.”

“Raz Shaw’s revival of the exuberantly bad-taste Mel Brooks musical revels in satirical excess.” 

The Guardian ★★★★

“judging by the riotous reception given to Raz Shaw’s superb revival, we embrace Brooks’s bonfire of good taste more warmly than ever.”

“this is a headily pleasurable show that, astonishingly, marks Shaw’s debut as a director of musicals and that offers as much fun as you could hope to find on any stage this Christmas.”

The Telegraph ★★★★

“Shaw beautifully scales down a massive Broadway show into a tiny in-the-round space without compromising on pizzazz.” 

The Reviews Hub ★★★★

“The Royal Exchange has definitely produced a hit and one in the best possible taste.”

Exeunt Magazine

“Raz Shaw’s production of The Producers takes this space and moulds the show to it. End-on spectacle is replaced with close-up, explosive energy. By the end of the lively first number, it’s hard to imagine this show done any other way.”

 
17 December 2018

NINE NIGHT MAKES HISTORIC ★★★★★ WEST END DEBUT

Read More On: Roy Alexander WeiseRajha ShakiryPaule Constable

NINE NIGHT MAKES HISTORIC  ★★★★★ WEST END DEBUT

Nine Night, the first ever play by a living black british female playwright to be produced on the West End, earns rave reviews across the board from critics and audiences alike. Directed by MLR’s Roy Alexander Weise, Designed by Rajha Shakiry and Lighting Design by Paule Constable. 

BROADWAY WORLD  ★★★★★

‘Under Roy Alexander Weise's direction, transfers to the West End, managing to retain all of the magic it held whilst on the Dorfman stage. Following the story of how a family grieve, it's a play full of laughter, struggle and hope.’ 

‘There's so much joy amidst the heartbreak, and distress amongst the celebration. Bring something totally unique to the theatrical landscape, Nine Night is a compelling watch.’ 

WHATS ON STAGE ★★★★★

‘Roy Alexander Weise's excellent direction keeps both tendencies in perfect, understanding balance as the action sweeps across Rajha Shakiry's perfectly cluttered set, with its plastic covered dining chairs and antimacassars carefully placed on the battered sofa.’

LONDON THEATRE ★★★★★

‘Director Roy Alexander Weise presents this drama with restraint and poignance.’ 

BRITISH THEATRE . COM  ★★★★★ 

‘ The script, (astonishingly Noble’s debut play), is assured, with recognisable characters and drawn from lived experience, is given an excellent production by director Roy Alexander Weise. ‘ 

THE TIMES ★★★★

‘the secrets and resentments and strange alliances all come out in the sort of satisfying, surprising, knotty way that everyone who writes this sort of play tries for but few pull off. The director, Roy Alexander Weise, handles it all sure-footedly.’

TIME OUT ★★★★

‘Roy Alexander Weise’s beautifully judged production’ 

THE ARTS DESK ★★★★

‘It feels so right that this transfer of Nine Night ends with Gordon herself giving us her own words. With its perfect ensemble playing, Roy Alexander Weise’s intuitively persuasive production more than convinces us that we want, and need to listen to them.’  

A YOUNGER THEATRE

‘Director Roy Alexander Weise works magic to make such a complex web of relations very clear. Within this family tree, he finds subtle complexions that make it more than just a biopic, but a story that encourages a strong togetherness.’

 
12 December 2018

BILLIONAIRE BOY is a “fully fledged, hit-heavy musical”

Read More On: Luke SheppardGabriella Slade

BILLIONAIRE BOY is a “fully fledged, hit-heavy musical”

Directed by Luke Sheppard and with a design by Gabriella Slade, this hit new musical is an adaptation of the David Walliams novel that premiered at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre.

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“The show's star turns, though, come from director Sheppard and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves, who marshal proceedings with infectious, unflagging enthusiasm. Everything is bouncing and bubbly throughout, and Gabriella Slade's sliding, unfolding set provides the perfect platform for their panache.”

The Times ★★★★

“musical adaptations of David Walliams books can put a tap in your toe, a smile on your face and a tear in your eye… [in] Luke Sheppard’s imaginative production”

“…this ensemble feel like a gang. They zero in on the story’s fun, but also its heart. Ryan Heenan, as Joe, holds it all together with the perfect blend of spirit and naivety.”
 

The Telegraph ★★★★

“Luke Sheppard’s buoyant, somewhat rough-around-the-edges production boasts suitably outsized performances.”

“the score is terrific: a peppy mix of electro pop, power ballads and funky rhythmic rock largely played by guitar-toting pupils.”

 

The Stage ★★★★

“Pretty much out of nowhere, a fully-fledged, hit-heavy musical has appeared. Considering the talent behind it – Rotterdam writer Jon Brittain, In the Heights director Luke Sheppard – maybe that’s not such a surprise, but this has still taken a remarkably short time to go from concept to staging compared to most musicals.”

“the cartoonish hues of Gabriella Slade’s set conjure some of the sharp corners of Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations”

“this is a cracker of Christmas show: a really strong, super-funny new musical with serious commercial gloss”