Terri’s Blogs: Personal

Occasionally, I have thoughts that have either have nothing to do with theatre – astonishing – or that cross other private boundaries. You can find these ramblings here.

Personal |  Theatrical

History has its eyes on us all: My joy & sorrow at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

I feel incredibly privileged to have been "in the room where it happens" to see the European premiere of HAMILTON last night at the West End's Victoria Palace Theatre. There is so much to love about Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster hip-hop musical about one of my homeland's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, not least a glorious British cast, under the assured stewardship of the show's original Broadway director Thomas Kail. But for all its considerable entertainment value, there are some vitally important messages here, about politics, society and the fragility of our institutions - messages that, 246 years after…
By Terri Paddock | 23 December 2017 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Podcast and photos: Ian McDiarmid and What Shadows cast on Enoch Powell and THAT speech

How do we talk to those that we hate? How do we speak across the anger that divides us? Those are the opening lines in Chris Hannan's provocative new play, What Shadows - and they were also amongst the questions raised in the  Q&A I chaired with the cast after last night's packed performance at London's Park Theatre. Ahead of the 50th anniversary of former Conservative MP Enoch Powell's infamous "Rivers of Blood" anti-immigration speech, delivered in Birmingham in April 1968, What Shadows tells the story behind the speech, bringing to life the community that inspired it and,…
By Terri Paddock | 11 October 2017 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Plays diary: What Shadows, Ink, The Unknown Island, Lucy Light, The Swallow

I’ve had a rich few weeks for playgoing. In addition to productions I’ve already written about elsewhere – including, of those still running, Arrows and Traps’ Frankenstein at Brockley Jack and Stephen Clark’s Le Grand Mort at Trafalgar Studios 2 – here’s a quick round-up of some other smart plays I’ve seen recently and can happily recommend. A key theme in this batch of diary entries is the reward of visiting new, new-to-me or I-haven’t-been-in-so-long-they-feel-nearly-new venues. Of the first variety, there’s Spanish Theatre Company’s purpose-built home at the Cervantes Theatre,…
By Terri Paddock | 5 October 2017 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Mrs Orwell Q&A podcast and photos: What might George Orwell have written after 1984?

Sales of George Orwell's 1984 surged by a staggering 9,500% after the election of Donald Trump to become Amazon's biggest seller. Orwell himself died, at the age of 46, in January 1950, just seven months after 1984 was published. What might he have written after 1984, and his earlier hit novel Animal Farm (published in 1945), if he’d lived longer? And, as a lifelong radical, what would Orwell have made of Trump and his "alternative facts"? Would he have spoken truth to power today? Those were some of the questions raised last night at the post-show…
By Terri Paddock | 14 September 2017 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Q&A podcast and photos: What does Marlowe’s Edward II tell us about identity and gay rights?

The plays may have been written 420-odd years apart, but I was really struck  by how many parallels there were between the discussion I hosted last week, to the European premiere of Jordan Tannahill's Late Company at Trafalgar Studios, and the one I hosted last night, to Christopher Marlowe's 16th-century classic Edward II. Late Company, set in modern Canada, is driven by the suicide of a teenager who commits suicide after being bullied for being gay and 'a freak'. Edward II, one of the earliest English history plays, is Marlowe's take on…
By Terri Paddock | 1 September 2017 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


My (non-Edinburgh) theatre diary: Salad Days, Mrs Orwell, Boom and Cowboy Rufus

It's not just umbrella festival programmes, as I blogged earlier, that keep myself and other London theatregoers busy in August. Here's a round-up of some of the other plays and musicals I've seen recently that are worth a look. Get booking if any tickle your fancy - all are limited seasons finishing in the next week or two. Scroll down as well for my on-the-day tweet reactions to each. After the election of Donald Trump - and especially since his spokesperson Kellyanne Conway's declaration of "alternative facts" after his disputing…
By Terri Paddock | 22 August 2017 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Q&A podcast and photos: Is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew inherently misogynistic?

Is Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew inherently misogynistic? Particularly with its treatment of spirited Kate, the Shrew of the title, who is starved and mentally tormented (gaslighting long before Patrick Hamilton, Ingrid Bergman or Donald Trump: "I say it is the moon [not the sun] that shines so bright") into the role of an apparently submissive wife, is there any way around that charge? How do modern feminists feel watching the play today? After lively panel debates following The Caucasian Chalk Circle (twice), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Beggars’…
By Terri Paddock | 28 July 2017 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Inspired by David Baddiel: My top ten most highly trolled tweets

As a Twitter geek, one of the things I enjoyed most about David Baddiel's latest one-man show My Family: Not the Sitcom, which is now enjoying its second West End run at the Playhouse Theatre after premiering last year at the Menier Chocolate Factory, is how he so successfully employs social media in his storytelling. As Baddiel makes clear himself, My Family is not about social media. (It's about, as the title indicates, his family and more specifically his late mother's openly conducted, extra-marital affair and his still-living father's slide…
By Terri Paddock | 23 April 2017 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Bra-waving, toe-tapping and female solidarity: The Girls and Stepping Out

If you're seeking life affirmation, celebrations of female solidarity (of a quintessentially British variety) and general uplift, my two current West End recommendations that tick all three boxes are The Girls, Tim Firth and Gary Barlow's new musical adaptation of the story of the Calendar Girls from Yorkshire, and Maria Friedman's revival of Richard Harris' 1984 comedy Stepping Out, which revolves around a weekly tap dance class help in a north London church hall. On the evening I attended The Girls, I was in a particularly low place, not helped by…
By Terri Paddock | 2 April 2017 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Q&A photos and podcast: A return to Brechtian politics via The Caucasian Chalk Circle

What would Bertolt Brecht have made of Donald Trump? Brecht's "epic theatre" was sparked by the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Many pundits have likened the political period we've now entered - with Trump in the Oval Office, Brexit under way and hard-right populism on the rise across Europe - with that dark decade of the twentieth century. Are modern theatremakers up to the Brechtian challenge? And can theatre actually make a difference in the face of such upheaval? After an acclaimed season at Brockley Jack last January, Lazarus…
By Terri Paddock | 31 March 2017 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >