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 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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


Limehouse asks both ‘what if?’ and ‘why not now?’ Urgent questions

Steve Waters’ Limehouse is as much a rallying call as a play: a rallying call for those of us left politically homeless by Jeremy Corbyn’s failed Labour Party. It takes its name from the east London district where the “Gang of Four” – then-Labour politicians Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers and David Owen (played respectively by Roger Allam, Debra Gillett, Paul Chahidi and Tom Goodman-Hill) - met in 1981 (at Owen’s home) and announced to the press that they were breaking away from Michael Foot’s left-lurching Labour to form the…
By Terri Paddock | 19 March 2017 | , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


The ‘will of the people’? London has no place in My Country

I’ve never voted Conserative. Indeed, the morning after the 2015 General Election, I was so horrified that, after five years of austerity, the Tories had not only got back in but had done so with a majority, that I immediately joined the Labour Party and vowed to get the Tories out at the next election. As then Prime Minister, David Cameron was clearly no friend of mine. Then the EU Referendum happened. I won’t quote recent history back to you chapter and verse or pretend that Cameron, leading the Remain side…
By Terri Paddock | 12 March 2017 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Where were you on 9/11? How about 7/7? BU21 brought it all back

What were you doing on 9/11? And, if you were in London, on 7/7? I thought about this recently when watching Stuart Slade’s excellent new play BU21, which this weekend completes its West End run at Trafalgar Studios 2 after last year’s premiere at Theatre503. The play centres on a group of Londoners who were survivors (or possibly not in one case) of a contemporary terrorist attack in which a plane bound for Heathrow is shot down. One of the play’s characters explains why he wasn’t immediately affected at the…
By Terri Paddock | 18 February 2017 | , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Tanya Moodie on Trump: ‘We need to keep marching together, every day’

This week the president of the United States Donald Trump said (or rather tweeted) that those who participated in protests against his administration fell into one of three categories: “professional anarchists, thugs or paid protestors”. His White House Secretary Sean Spicer reiterated the last in a television interview, insisting that protestors are definitely paid, that protest has indeed become a "profession" (to which, I asked whether I should send him an invoice as I hadn’t yet received any money in my account). Rather than pick apart these two latest, egregious lies (so…
By Terri Paddock | 7 February 2017 | , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >