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Jun 9th

Matilda at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Louise Winter

Reviewed by Louise Winter  

7th June 2018 

WONDERFUL!  

Matilda Poster

From the fantastic floor-to-ceiling-wall-to-wall staging and lighting and the highly creative choreography, costumes and characterisation, to Minchin’s brilliantly original and engaging lyrics and music, this is a completely absorbing and immersive experience from start to finish; it is not in any way purely a children’s story. The dedication and attention to detail of Matthew Warchus, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin over the years of planning that went into this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved story is evident in every element of this knockout show; one of the most fulfilling pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a very long time.  

On tour until Augustand for longer than usual runs at each venue, this is most definitely one of THE shows to get tickets for but they are selling very fast so act now! 

Matilda, on this night played by the exceptionally poised Poppy Jones, is the purest little sweetie. Jones, so very young, is stunning on stage playing her role without any mawkish or sugary sentimentalityMatilda waits to start school, enduring the derision and appalling treatment of her hapless parents -  Rebecca Thornill as her dance-obsessedlooks-driven mother and Sebastien Torkia as her ignorant wheeler-dealer father, who cannot comprehend how he has been saddled with a daughter and insists on calling her a boy. Thornhill and Troika are superb, both clearly having great fun with their deeply flawed characters.  

Matilda copyright Manual Harlan

image copyright Manuel Harlan

By the time Matilda gets to school she is far in advance of her peers, having read Dickens and Dostoevsky, and immediately draws attention from her gentle, morally responsible teacher Miss Honey and, unfortunately, the psychopathic headteacher Miss TrunchbullIt’s not really fair to pick out any individual among this immensely talented and consistent cast, yet special mention must be given to Craige Els who, having played the role for three years in the West End, has perfected his take on the maniacal Trunchbull and clearly relishes in her grotesque darkness; he gives depth and truth to the character’s twisted malevolence far beyond any two dimensional imagining and does not play for quick laughs.  

Matilda Manuel Harlan

image copyright Maneul Harlan

There are some superb set pieces, the gym class is magnificent and just wait for the swings! Among Minchin’s memorable score is the addictive ‘Naughty (which has been my earworm today), the beautiful, ‘When I Grow Up’, and the moving ‘This Little Girl’ among consistently fabulous songs.   

matilda Manuel Harlan

image copyright Maneul Harlan

This is powerfully creative theatre, rock solid in every aspect, fabulously entertaining, very, very funny but above all emotionally uplifting.  

SENSATIONAL! 

Matilda plays MK Theatre until 30th June then continues on tour 

Box office 0844 871 7652 

www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes 

Booking transaction fee applies 

May 30th

Legally Blonde at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Louise Winter

By Quentin Fox

Reviewed 28 May 2018Legally Blonde poster

The audience at the Milton Keynes Theatre returned a unanimous verdict on the courtroom spoof-fest that is Legally Blonde - The Musical: it’s a guilty pleasure so enjoyable that it could turn us into repeat offenders.

Most people will come to this show as fans of the 2001 movie that starred Reese Witherspoon as the ditzy Californian fashion major Elle Woods who, on being dumped for someone more serious, ups her intellectual game to follow him to Harvard Law School to try and win him back.

But here’s some advice: forget Reese and the film because the stage version brings out the huge comedic power of the show to much greater effect. It’s so good that it may actually spoil the movie for you – in the best way possible.

This is a musical that shows its historical pedigree from beginning to end: Broadway smash, West End winner of three Olivier awards and then world-wide accolades. In this, its most recent iteration, cast, book and design come together in a production of preposterous pink perfection.

Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin's words and music are distinctly ‘new school musical’ with little to offer in terms of show-stopping classics but much to give in terms of witty and punchy lyrics that will have you snickering on your way home: "Keep it positive/as you slap her to the floor. Keep it positive/as you pull her hair and call her whore," the sorority sisters of Delta Nu belt out in ‘Positive’, their hymn to peppy enthusiasm; or "Gay or European?/ So many shades of grey/ Depending on the time of day, the French go either way,” sing the courtroom throng in determining the how truth of the testimony of Nikos the pool boy. It’s a high-camp zinger. You get the feeling throughout the production that the writers had a blast putting it together and the cast are enjoying themselves too – it’s infectious stuff.

As Elle, X Factor & Eurovision entrant Lucie Jones shows the warmth, spirit and optimism that fuels the fluffy freshman. She’s got a great voice that could have been genetically designed for musicals but just as important in this show is her sense of comic timing. She’s not a born dancer but she admirably keeps up with the supremely well-drilled hoofing of the ensemble.

There’s more immaculate timing, too, from EastEnders’ Rita Simons, who excels as Paulette Bonafonte, the lovelorn beautician who first becomes Elle’s BFF and then first client. It’s a role that demands both hard-boiled and soft-hearted and she well merits the cheering that greets her every number.

Bill Ward, late (and I choose that word carefully) of both Coronation Street and Emmerdale is also on top form as Professor Callaghan, whose Rat Pack-style numbers are models of slickness and power but with a splendid underlying greasiness essential to the character.

A mention in dispatches, too, goes to Helen Petrovna who does a star turn with the skipping rope as fitness guru Brooke Wyndham. Note to producers: next time her abs get their own billing.

Legally Blonde: The Musical runs at Milton Keynes Theatre at 7.30pm from May 28 to June 2. Matinees are at 2.30pm on May 30 and June 2

Box office 0844 871 7652

http://www.atgtickets.com

Booking fee applies


 

May 22nd

The Case of the Frightened Lady at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Alison Smith

 A thriller by the Classic Thriller Theatre Company.

The play The Case of the Frightened Lady purports to be a thriller. It is not. It is dull and tedious. It was written by Edgar Wallace – the king of the modern thriller novel – at the beginning of the 20th century and then it may well have been thrilling, but in urce material of the play en thrilling, but the anytrethe 21st the material of the play is dated and irrelevant.

The first act is ponderous; the action takes place offstage – the murders, the screams, the affairs – and the audience is presented with much repetitive dialogue. The setting is the hall of a grand mansion owned by Lady Lebanon and her son. The doorways of this hall afford the cast the ability to exit and enter and eavesdrop continually. The story is simple Lady Lebanon (Deborah Grant) is obsessed with her family’s dynasty and so insists her son (Ben Nealon) marries his cousin, Isla ( April Pearson), although neither are keen on such an arrangement.

The play improves somewhat in the second act. There are revelations of blackmail, hidden marriages, murders in India and madness.  Finally the truth of the murders is disclosed and the culprit takes his own life – at last action on stage.

There are some positives – the setting is impressive, the costumes are appropriate and the actors all play their parts well. It is just a shame that the parts are not enthralling.

 The Case of the Frightened Lady is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 26th May.

www.atgtickets.com

0844871 7652

Booking fee applies

 

May 17th

Summer Holiday - Milton Keynes Theatre

By Louise Winter

Reviewed by Quentin Fox

16th May 2018

Summer Holiday

‘We’re going where the sun shines brightly, we’re going where the sea is blue…’ Now that’s a helluva promise to make on a less-than-balmy mid-May evening in MK, but this new production of Summer Holiday: The Musical gets us to a joyous destination even though ride is a bit bumpy from time to time. 

Based on St Cliff’s 1963 cinema smash hit, the lightest and frothiest of plots has become part of British culture and serves as a reminder of more innocent times, when to be young was to be possessed of boundless optimism and opportunity rather than weighed down with social media expectation and high rent. This background certainly makes the show a cut above often directionless jukebox musicals.

Faced with a grim, damp English summer Don and his fellow bus mechanic chums persuade London Transport to lend them a double-decker, which they kit out camper-style for a trip to the South of France. En route they rescue a plucky Brit female singing trio from breakdown hell. The gals have a gig in Athens to get to; the lads don’t need much convincing to oblige them with a lift. Add to the mix a runaway pop princess who stows away on the bus dressed as a boy (the pop princess, not the bus – do keep up) to avoid the pursuit of her pushy showbiz mum and her agent.

The show doesn’t start well: the choreography is ragged and the opening number, The Shadows’ Foot Tapper has been transformed from a catchy instrumental into a rushed nightmare of jumbled lyrics that the bus mechanics all but stumble over.

But the arrival of Ray Quinn’s wholesome Don immediately ups the game and the energy levels. Quinn is a stylish performer: a clear, pleasing voice and an athletic, graceful yet muscular dance style. He also affects one of those extraordinary transatlantic accents so beloved of Cliff and those other early 1960s icons such as Billy Fury and Marty Wilde – a real connection with the source of the show. He leads the ensemble into one dynamic and slickly performed set piece after another as well as getting the chance to belt out Cliff numbers such as Move It, The Young Ones and On The Beach that didn’t appear in the original movie.

That’s not to say he’s the star of the show. That accolade is reserved for the big shiny red bus that dominates the action and which well merited the round of applause it received from the audience. Honourable mentions, too, for Taryn Sudding as Stella, the showbiz mother from hell who handles her role with real comic aplomb, and Gabby Antrobus as Mimsie, leader of the girl trio, who impressively transforms from girl-next-door to black-clad vamp in a dream sequence.

A salute, too, for Bobby Crush as Jerry, the henpecked agent, who survived the delivery of gags that were passed over by Roman comedians of the third century BC. But in the end he got to tinkle his ivories and the audience delightedly got on its hind legs to bop to a slam-dunk finale.

Note to writers: we love the dancing, we love the songs, but the comedy needs a session in the vehicle bay before it gets its MOT and is on the road again.

Box office 0844 871 7652

http://www.atgtickets.com

Booking fee applies

Apr 24th

The Play that Goes Wrong at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Alison Smith

Nothing is at all wrong with The Play that Goes Wrong; it has a talented cast, highly physical stunts, farcical action and great lines, but above all absolutely perfect comedic timing. It is this last quality that makes the play so right.

The story is simple: Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society at last has enough money to put on a decent production (previous ones have endured meagreness - The Lion and the Wardrobe, Cat, and Two Sisters, James and the Peach). The new play is a very early twentieth century Agatha Christy murder mystery – Murder at Haversham Manor - with the typical characters of the genre – a wealthy home owner, a beautiful girl, a butler, an inspector and, of course, a body. Before the play begins the audience knows the set is not all the Drama Society had hoped – the mantelpiece collapses, the door closes on whim, the broom breaks. The lighting and sound engineer, Trevor, (Gabriel Paul) seems more concerned about a lost dog, Winston, than he does about lights and sound.

The curtain opens on a body on the sofa and attempts to enter the room through the door fail; the butler, Perkins, (Benjamin McMahon) and the fiancee’s brother, Thomas, (Kazeem Tosin Amore) enter through the wings. This first entrance sets the scene for the action. And the mayhem of the play within the play continues with endless energy and great physicality - people are knocked unconscious by doors and trays, a stretcher disintegrates, the lift collapses, Florence (Elena Valentine) is manhandled out of a window This acrobatic activity is accompanied by great dialogue – double entendres, mispronunciation of words, lines repeated, lines mis-timed. The situation is chaotic, the antics preposterous, but the result is hilarious.

The Play that Goes Wrong was written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields of the Mischief Theatre. It is not sophisticated comedy but the writers have a  degree of genius. Praise must also be piled upon the set designer Nigel Hook and the choreography and stage mechanics of all the stunts by Mark Bell, as without the adaptable set and the precise moves the play would not be this ridiculously funny, razor sharp comedy.

The Play that Goes Wrong is a must see!

 

The Play That Goes Wrong is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 28th April

 www.atgtickets.com

 0844871 7652

Booking fee applies

 

acters, the butler sofa and attemptsto enter the room through the door fail - the s oes is that makes the play so right.1111

Apr 19th

The Little Mermaid Northern Ballet at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Alison Smith

 

David Nixon’s Little Mermaid – a reworking of Anderson’s fairy tale – is as atmospheric as it is absorbing. The underwater world is portrayed imaginatively by an aqueous set, resplendent with shimmering, weaving creatures in beautiful costumes, and undulating  waves in delicate shades of blues and greens . Most notable was the fluidity of the elder mermaids (Ailen Ramos Betancourt and Miki Akuta) held aloft by the male waves.

The little mermaid Marilla – a Celtic name echoing Sally Beamish’s Celtic musical touches –  was danced by Abigail Prudames who excelled in her role, both as a lithe rippling mermaid and a pained, physically and emotionally, two-legged creature. The weightless submarine world is contrasted with the heavier, dowdier appearance of humans. Again there are Celtic touches in the kilts and in the earthy colours of the costumes, drab shades of brown with the occasional red and pink.

 Prince Adair (Joseph Taylor) is the beloved of Marilla, but he falls in love with Dana (Dreda Blow), a human; Marilla, bereft returns to the sea. The duets between the prince and his beloved are joyful ; the couple are perfectly matched in precision and athleticism. The choreography of the duet between the prince and Marilla is doleful in comparison and transmits the sadness of Marilla. For this is a tale of unrequited love and of sacrifices made for love. It is not a happy-ever after tale.

The action is accompanied throughout by an eerie, folksy score played by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia and ethereal  lighting – blue for undersea and yellow for land –  the filtering of  shafts of light into the sea was most effective.

This is a wonderful production. The story line brings with it many limitations for the choreography ; my one negative comment is the consequent  lack of vitality in the dancing – Lyr, Lord of the Sea ( Matthew Topliss) danced with verve and spirit,  but there was not enough of this . Beautiful and captivating as the ballet is, it is also somewhat soporific.

 

 The Little Mermaid is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday  21st April

 

  www.atgtickets.com

 0844 871 7652

 Booking fee applies

 

Apr 10th

Hairspray at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Alison Smith

 

Hairspray at Milton Keynes Theatre

One of the producers of Hairspray, Mark Goucher, says’ theatre has an obligation to both educate and to entertain’.  And the educational message in Hairspray is as relevant in 2018 as in the original 1988 film – that segregation and intolerance are immoral and that differences, be they of skin colour or weight should be a cause for celebration. On the surface such issues would not seem to be elements of entertainment, but with creators of the calibre of Waters, O’Donnell, Shaiman and Whittman, Hairspray becomes outstanding entertainment.

 It is, above all, a feel - good musical; the main character Tracy Turnblad has not been endowed with the best physical accomplishments to become a dancer on the Corny Collins TV Show, but with youthful determination , optimism and a strong sense of right and wrong she succeeds, and, moreover, gets her man. It is a most pleasing example of the winning of good over evil, a battle accompanied with great dancing and music .Short, chubby Tracy (Rebecca Mendoza) with her school satchel is an unlikely heroine, but rather than change herself to fit in with the American ideals she changes the attitude of most of those around her; Collins says ‘put kids on the show who look like the kids who watch the show’ and as a result  the monthly Negro Day on his show is abolished and teenagers of all colours and sizes dance together. Hairspray is the professional debut for Rebecca Mendoza. She is almost continuously on stage and does not lose any dynamism throughout her performance.

The musicality of all the performers is exceptional, but most notable is Brenda Edwards with her rich powerful voice. She excels in I know Where I’ve Been – a story of hope, tinged with great sadness. And the Dynamite Trio – Emily-Mae, Melissa Nettleford and Lauren Concannon - in Welcome to the 60s are as good as the Supremes. The dancing is uplifting, but the prize for flexibility and athleticism must be awarded to Seaweed (Layton Williams), who back-flipped across the stage with ease.

The ‘different ’relationships of the characters play an important role in the musical –  especially that of Edna Turnblad  the overlarge, agoraphobic wife of the weedy Wilbur. Their well- practised ad-libbing caused hilarity in the audience and their good natured relationship caused, I feel sure, envy. Penny and Seaweed, Tracy and Link are also examples of how external appearances have little effect on love.

The setting is simple – the streets of Baltimore in the main; the lighting and wardrobe colourful and the band tucked in at the back played the rhythm and blues numbers with expertise and gusto. The choreography was impressive and the vocal numbers great. Hairspray is a wonderful evening’s entertainment of music and dance together with a thought provoore in the main; the lighting  'reography was impressive and the vocal numbers great. A wonderful evenong'de of most of those wking message.

 Hairspray is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 14th April

 

www.atgtickets.com 

0844 871 7652

 Booking fee applies

 

Apr 5th

TOSCA at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Louise Winter

Reviewed by Quentin Fox

4th April 2018

TOSCA RIchard Huber Smithimage copyright Richard Huber Smith

Puccini was, in his time, derided for not being genius enough. Such a brilliant talent, contemporary critics said, should be shooting for the heaven of musical invention rather than dwelling in the verismo gutter of small lives and sordid passions. The Welsh National Opera’s production of Tosca explodes that notion and reveals a composer who was not only musically innovative but an absolute master of modern narrative, almost filmic in its construction and pace.

Tosca’s themes are simple: love and loyalty. How far, Puccini asks, would you go to save someone you loved? He poses this universal question a specific place and time. Set on a single day in the Rome of 1800, the background to the tale is one of political uncertainty. The Eternal City became a republic under Napoleon who drove out the forces of the monarchy and the Pope. With Napoleon’s retreat, these fragile states were re-occupied by the forces of reaction intent on revenge and rounding up the usual radical suspects.

A republican, Angelotti, breaks out of prison, pursued by Scarpia, head of the secret police, and rushes into a church to seek help from his old comrade, the painter Cavaradossi. In hiding his friend the painter arouses the suspicions and insecurities  of his jealous lover, the singer Floria Tosca. Scarpia tricks Tosca into going to Cavaradossi’s house where he is arrested while Angelotti escapes.

Scarpia tortures Cavaradossi but Tosca, in order to save her man, reveals Angelotti’s whereabouts, But with the news that Napoleon is victorious and set to return, Scarpia condemns Cavaradossi to death. Tosca begs Scarpia to save her lover's life. In return for staging a mock execution and arranging safe passage for the pair, Scarpia, who delights in rape, demands that Tosca yield to him. As he touches Tosca, she stabs him to death.

So where are we? A murderous woman on the run is making a bid for happiness that depends on the word of a duplicitous secret policeman and a firing squad armed with blanks? Crumbs. The politics may seem remote but you know that this is not going to end well…

The production matches the simplicity of the themes and is a bitter-sweet delight. In the title role Claire Rutter (soprano) brings a real sense of coquettishness in her first scene which emphasises her eventual transformation into the resolute and tragic woman at the end. While her acting is strong, questions have to be asked about the power of her voice, though her rendition of the aria Vissi d'arte was well received. As Cavaradossi, a superb Gwyn Hughes Jones (tenor) conveys tenderness, anguish and resignation by turns. In his hands E lucevan le stelle is hugely moving. His stagecraft is magnificent, too: a single look to the audience during Tosca’s jealous hissy fit in the first act is enough to say ‘I know, she’s barmy, but I love her.’

Mark S Doss sings Scarpia with a sense of restraint which makes him less of a pantomime villain than a malign but human figure who uses his position to slake his lusts. Praise, too, is due to Michael Clifton-Thompson who offers up a splendidly weaselly Spoletta, Scarpia’s henchman.

The WNO orchestra performs with real panache under the baton of Timothy Burke and the sets offer a richness that makes the production unforgettable. The church of Sant'Andrea della Valle, Scarpia’s room in the Palazzo Farnese and the battlements of the Castel Sant’Angelo are all rendered on a monumental scale emphasising the real power and the glory in a tale of small people.

This production offers us a Tosca for the 21st century: we’ve seen what power and chaos have done in Iraq and Syria and the debasement that has resulted in #MeToo. That’s the enduring genius of Puccini.

Tosca plays MK theatre April 6th 7.15pm. The conductor will be Carlo Rizzi 
and Cavaradossi will be played by Hector Sandoval
Don GiovanniThursday 5 April 7pm  
La forza del destino Saturday 7 April 6.30pm
Box office 0844 871 7652
http://www.atgtickets.com
Booking fee applies

 

 

 

 

Mar 22nd

Crazy For You

By Louise Winter

Reviewed by Louise Winter

20th March 2018Crazy For you Richard Davenport

image copyright Richard Davenport

Originally presented as Girl Crazy in the 1930s, this light-hearted Gershwin musical was designed to brighten up the Depression years with some escapism and razzmatazz. The storyline was reworked in the 1990s by Ken Ludwig and director Mike Ockrent, the score was rearranged to include more of the Gershwin catalogue, and the title became Crazy For You.  Opening in the West End in 1993 it garnered Olivier Awards for Best Musical and Choreography.

Despite the beefing-up of the original storyline it is still rather flimsy and predictable. Briefly, Bobby Child (Tom Chambers), the son of a wealthy New York banking family but only interested in song and dance, is sent to Deadrock, Nevada to close down a failing theatre. Bobby falls for Polly (Charlotte Wakefield), daughter of the theatre owner. She thinks he’s a fool. Bobby pretends to be the theatre impresario Bela Zangler (Neil DItt), who Polly does fall in love with. The real Zangler arrives in Deadrock as does Bobby’s fiancée, Irene (Claire Sweeney). You can pretty much guess the rest! There are some very funny moments, mostly revolving around mistaken identity and the ingenious scene between Bobby and Bela Zangler in the second half is a great hoot.

There is some wonderful Gershwin music: I Got Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, among many others, all performed on stage by the actor-musicians. Nearly all the cast play a number of instruments and herein lies something of a problem for me. While it is wonderful to see such a multi-talented cast, the dominance of the instruments on stage and the frequency with which the cast are required to play them means the performance flow is interrupted and that there is somewhat of a lack in high energy, exciting ensemble dancing.  It's a conundrum; cost-cutting attempts here - losing the orchestra and moving the music on stage have a detrimental effect on this production I'm sad to say.

The cast are all great; the leads’ strengths are underused though. Tom Chambers is a brilliant dancer but this talent isn’t fully exploited. He does get the chance to show his talent for comedy and the quirky, silly, self-effacing slapstick moments were reminiscent of Eric Morecombe. Charlotte Wakefield is a great dancer and has a cracking voice – again underused here. There’s a Doris Day/ Calamity Jane feel to her character and Wakefield balances this sweet/fesity aspect well. Claire Sweeney is domineering fiancée Irene appearing in Act one and then not again until the middle of the second half. She has one major moment; her Naughty Baby performance.

There are not a great number of glittery costumes, with only the New York chorus line in anything shiny until the odd, brief end scene where Polly wears a Hollywood gown. As the majority of the play takes place in Deadrock the costumes are pretty much of the dull brown dungaree ilk for the men and day dresses for the visiting New Yorkers; unexpected when looking at the programme and poster which present a glitzy, stylish Hollywood musical image - at odds with the actual production.

Lovely music, old jokes, not enough dancing and a happy ending is the order of the evening.

Plays Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 24th March

0844 871 7652

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/crazy-for-you

Booking fee applies

 

Mar 5th

Hedda Gabler at Milton Kenes Theatre

By Alison Smith

 

Hedda Gabler at Milton Keynes Theatre

 Hedda Gabler is a timeless, distressing portrayal of a self-centred, purposeless woman.  Although the play was written by Ibsen in late 19th century  such female ‘victims’ still exist in the 21st century -  women  whose lives are desolate – echoed perfectly  in Jan Versweyveld’s design of the Tesman’s empty, cold, grey apartment, the only colour the flowers scattered by the neurotic Hedda.

 The other female roles in the play  - the New Women in the 1890s– Mrs Elvsted and Juliana, Telsman’s aunt, have found  their roles in society – the former in writing, the latter in caring; but Hedda can find no justification to her life. She married to avoid being alone and to have a comfortable existence, but she finds herself isolated , with a husband  who is not living up to her societal expectations, and she is pregnant. None of this matches the vision she had of her life.

 The other men in Hedda’s life, Brack and Lovborg, were once her lovers; Lovborg still feels affection for Hedda; Brack, a brute, abuses her. Does Hedda bring this on herself? To some extent she does. She is cruel, manipulative and dishonest .Even  the fact that she is beautiful can in no way justify her treatment of others – her disdain towards her academic husband, her contempt towards Mrs Elvsted and her manipulation of Lovborg, leading to his death. But the men are also controlling – physically as well as mentally – they feel they can caress her at their whim, and, in the case of Brack, violently .

Lizzy Watts gives an excellent portrayal of Hedda; angular, cold, scantily dressed in a dressing gown and silk shift – perhaps too depressed to dress. Tesman  - why doesn’t Hedda take his name? – is acted by Abhin Galeya. He gives a very rounded performance and clearly delineates Tesman’s obsessive yet caring and humane nature, the antithesis of his wife’s character.

One modern touch was Joni Mitchell’s Blue,  music which only Hedda heard. The words ‘crown and anchor me, or let me sail away’ echo her feelings as do the words by Cohen in Hallelujahe words  crown and anchor me or let me  dressing gown and silk shift - , ‘the only thing I’ve learned from love is how to shoot somebody’. Hedda was not alone in her despair.

  

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Patrick Marber is at Milton Keynes Theatre until  1111111111111111111111111111Saturday 3rd March  

www.atgtickets.com

0844 871 7652

Booking fee applies