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

An Honourable Man Q&A video and photos: Has there ever been a more poisonous time in UK politics? (Insiders’ views)

Populism, patriotism, political theatre, predictions for Brexit and the fast-paced nature of life-imitating-art-imitating-life were amongst the topics covered in an incredibly good-natured discussion across a wide partisan spectrum at the post-show debate I chaired on Wednesday night at the premiere of An Honourable Man. Michael McManus' play had a sell-out, try-out week in June, which attracted praise from political commentators including Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, Times columnist Matthew Parris, House of Cards author Michael Dobbs and Another Country playwright Julian Mitchell. It has since been revised and updated. In an imagined…
By Terri Paddock | 22 November 2018 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Where We Began Q&A video and photos: Should where we’re born define where we end up?

Should country of birth define your identity or determine where you end up?  Set in the near-future, Stand and Be Counted Theatre's highly political new play Where We Began imagines a world where a new universal law mandates that everyone must return to where they were born and stay there. Borders are built everywhere and strictly enforced: no communication, and absolutely no travel, across them is permitted. The piece, written by SBC co-founder Rosie MacPherson, was inspired by Tafadzwa Muchenje, who first came into contact with SBC after attending their last production,…
By Terri Paddock | 24 September 2018 | , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


The Swallow Q&A video and photos: How do homophobia and grief translate?

Another post-show Q&A first for me. Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Spanish playwright Guillem Clua had to cancel his flight to London to attend last night's performance of his acclaimed two-hander THE SWALLOW at the Cervantes Theatre, but he desperately wanted to take part in the post-show discussion - so the game team at the Cervantes slung up a big screen onstage and Guillem Skyped in from Madrid. Guillem sent his apologies and told us more about his inspiration for the play. The 2016 terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando,…
By Terri Paddock | 9 May 2018 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


History has its eyes on us all: My joy and 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 >