Terri’s Blogs: Theatrical

My theatre blogs are usually in response to something in the news or to something I’ve seen or read. For my “Terri’s Top Picks” click on the Recommendations tag. Other regular tags that I use including Inspiring People and Inspiring Projects. For the very latest news, gossip and all-round theatre buzz, check out my Tweets page or follow me on Twitter @TerriPaddock.

Personal |  Theatrical

Beirut Q&A video and photos: When is an AIDS play not really about AIDS at all?

A warning to start: Beirut is not for the prudish. In this two-hander, Robert Rees' Torch starts the evening buck naked (doing pull-ups) and he and co-star Louisa Connolly-Burnham, as his lustily willing-to-risk-anything girlfriend Blue, spend the next 65 minutes in various stages of undress, tumbling in and out of bed (well, a single mattress on the floor). Even the erotic poster, with its female lips a-licking and male butt-cheeks, has proved too racy for Facebook's automated sensitive-content algorithms. Premiered Off-Broadway in 1987, there is no doubt that the story of Beirut is…
By Terri Paddock | 15 June 2018 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

The Yellow Wallpaper Q&A video and photos: What does a 19th-century American short story tell us about modern misogyny and mental health?

Audience member Jessica McClellan at the Omnibus Theatre tweeted that last night's post-show discussion for The Yellow Wallpaper was "deep AF" (I'll assume you know what the AF stands for in social media speak...). It was pretty deep, in keeping with the extraordinary performance we'd just witnessed of Gemma Yates-Round as Alice, a woman suffering from post-natal depression after the birth of her first child, and Charles Warner as the various characters (her husband, doctor, housekeeper) who help accelerate her mental decline and who, in this feminist update on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 19th-century…
By Terri Paddock | 14 June 2018 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

Q&A video and photos: Why has Italy largely forgotten what happened at San Domino?

Before the performance at Tristan Bates Theatre, the 16-strong company of San Domino entertain theatregoers in the bar with some jaunty patriotic songs, with which they lead them into the auditorium. It's somewhat akin to the chilling scene in Kander and Ebb's Cabaret when the Hitler Youth sings "Tomorrow Belongs to Me". Inside the auditorium, we learn more about how a fascist state treats those for whom, in their opinion, the future does not belong - including the "degenerates" who are unwilling to perform their duty of providing their nation with…
By Terri Paddock | 10 June 2018 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

Schism Q&A video and photos: Talking feminism, diversity, accessibility and toxic relationships with author-actor-activist Athena Stevens

Two scratch-your-head stats shared during my post-show Q&A for Schism last night at London's Park Theatre: one, less than five percent of the UK population has dated someone with a disability, and two - wait for it - only one in four have even had a conversation with a disabled person. Is it any wonder that diverse voices go unheard in theatre when, in real life, so few of us make an attempt to listen? Schism is not a play about disability. It's a play about, amongst other things, emotional unavailability and power dynamics in…
By Terri Paddock | 1 June 2018 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

One Minute Q&A video and photos: Who’s offended by bad language onstage and why?

When I first saw the Barn Theatre revival of Simon Stephens' 2003 play One Minute, the things that struck me most were, in no particular order: the ground-breaking video projection design (by PJ McEvoy, film sequences by Ben Collins), the delicate performances of the five-strong cast, the seamless-but-sinister weaving of social media into a story written pre-social media ubiquity, and the stunningly assured direction of Barn artistic director Iwan Lewis making his directorial debut. So the day before I was due to return to Cirencester to host my second post-show discussion…
By Terri Paddock | 27 May 2018 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

Q&A podcast and photos: How has Anthony Horowitz lent his support to Mindgame revival?

A keen audience of Anthony Horowitz fans and super sleuthers last night at Mindgame made for a highly revealing post-show Q&A. How many set secrets did we correctly identify? And which character, plot and research twists? Warning: if you want to be surprised when you see this mind-bending thriller, absolutely DON'T listen to the podcast beforehand. But rise to the challenge. Go, then come back and listen and see what you got right? I guarantee, however perceptive you are, there will be some surprises here. Mindgame is the first of only three stage plays to date…
By Terri Paddock | 23 May 2018 | , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Q&A video and photos: Katy Brand and 3Women‘s stars on feminism and happiness

So much laughter at last night's post-show Q&A for Katy Brand's debut play 3Women, now running at the West End's Trafalgar Studios 2 until 9 June 2018! Brand's 80-minute comedy-drama explores what it means to be a woman in the 21st century and the consequences of the generational gap on attitudes, cultural expectations and family dynamics. It's set in a luxury hotel room, where Eleanor (Anita Dobson), her daughter Suzanne (Debbie Chazen) and granddaughter Laurie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) gather for a night of female family bonding (revelations and recriminations) on the eve of 40-year-old…
By Terri Paddock | 18 May 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 >

The Big Things Q&A photos and podcast: How can theatre better raise awareness about autism?

The Big Things, currently running at Barons Court Theatre, brings us into the world of Grace who, after meeting and falling in love with Malcolm and becoming a parent, is diagnosed with autism. The London premiere is presented by Kibo Productions, who selected it from some 200 scripts received after an open submissions call. It's directed by artistic director Sharon Willems and stars May Cunningham as Grace and Matthew John Wright as Malcolm. The marketing for The Big Things' London season provoked a backlash online from the autistic community, many of…
By Terri Paddock | 29 April 2018 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

Q&A video and photos: Discussing racism & representation at Rasheeda Speaking

What a provocative play and post-show discussion! Are we all racist? How different are racial relations in 21st-century America versus Britain? How do we get more unheard voices onstage? Can white men tell valid stories about minority groups? Should they? Joel Drake Johnson's four-hander Rasheeda Speaking caused a stir when it was first seen in Chicago and New York (where it was directed by Sex and the City star turned gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon), and, based on last night's discussion, the stir most definitely continues here in London, where the European premiere, directed…
By Terri Paddock | 26 April 2018 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >