Viewing all posts by Ana Malinovic

“Past Claim of Meaningful Existence”: The Defeated Individual in Beckett’s Act Without Words I, Rough for Theatre II and Catastrophe

Three short Samuel Beckett plays are currently being performed at the Old Red Lion Theatre. They seem incredibly disparate - but, in fact, argues Ana Malinovic, they all share a protagonist controlled by an external force. Read more →

Dystopia: “Are There Any Paranoids in the Theatre Tonight?”: Roger Waters’s The Wall as Dystopian Spectacle

"Are there any paranoids in the theatre tonight?" asked Roger Waters in his spectacular revival of Pink Floyd's dystopian classic The Wall at Wembley Stadium. Whether it's excessive surveillance, institutional corruption or barefaced profiteering, it's clear that there's plenty to be paranoid about... Read more →

Pushed to the Limit: A Comparison Between Simon Stephens’s Punk Rock and His Adaptation of A Doll’s House

In the past year Simon Stephens has gone from raw, controversial doyen of new writing theatres to a darling of the West End. Ana Malinovic saw a production of his 2009 play Punk Rock and his West End adaptation of A Doll's House in the same week, allowing her to compare these two incarnations. Read more →

“The Charisma of Things” in Shakespeare’s Restless World: Neil MacGregor at the National

As part of The National Theatre's ongoing Platform season of talks and events, I recently attended a fascinating talk from Neil MacGregor about his latest book Shakespeare’s Restless World. MacGregor’s reputation precedes him, as Director of the British Museum, and former Director of the National Gallery. He is also very well known for one of his prior literary offerings A History of the World in 100 Objects (originally a radio series for the BBC). Shakespeare’s Restless World adopts a similar approach to understanding literature as MacGregor's former book did for engaging with world history. It is so very difficult to say anything about Shakespeare and his plays that has not been said before. Yet MacGregor’s method of using objects to show a us what Shakespeare’s contemporary audience would have appreciated in his plays was absolutely refreshing. Read more →

“I am not what I am”: Othello at the Lion and Unicorn theatre

The Lion and Unicorn theatre is an intimate setting for the domestic turmoil of Othello; a small stage situated above a pub. Upon entering the space of this theatre, you can hear a recording of water running in the background, dripping unsettlingly, creating an atmosphere of unease. This recording foreshadows the horrific outbursts of violence at the end of Othello – it surely intimates the blood spilled at the close of the play. Read more →

Blurring the Lines Between Poetry and Music: the Art of Leonard Cohen

How different, if at all, is the art of songwriting compared to that of crafting poetry? I would be inclined to argue that the answer is in the question: poetry is often far more carefully and meticulously crafted. Lyric writing, it can be claimed, is a very different game entirely: artists such as Dylan often composed lyrics in a much more free-flowing, free-associative way. Parallels are often drawn between Cohen and Dylan. However, although Dylan's music certainly has had a profound impact on generations, his lyrics do not always stand up on the page as strongly as many of Cohen’s. Read more →

“Thou comest in such questionable shape”: Hamlet at The Rose Theatre

One of the unique and perhaps fundamental elements to the drama in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a clear sense of the passage of time. The impact this has on the play's protagonist is perhaps vital to the overall dramatic effect; as the story progresses Hamlet is seemingly immobilised, frustrated by an inability to enact the revenge demanded of him. The latest production at the Rose Theatre clocks in at a mere hour-and-a-half. As such, my primary concern was whether it would uphold this tension caused by the gradual unravelling of time. I was also concerned that key scenes would be cut, compromising the emotional impact of the story overall. It seems I needn’t have worried on this front, in fact I was impressed. Read more →