Review: Purple Heart by Bruce Norris – Gate Theatre

Purple HeartI first came across Bruce Norris through the Royal Court production of The Pain and the Itch in 2007. As good as that play was, the real revelation came with Clybourne Park three years later, a sharp dissection of race, happiness, and the middle classes. His new play The Low Road premieres at the Royal Court Upstairs in a couple of weeks. He seems to feel totally at ease in that theatre, as a result I always felt he was one of our own: as much a british playwright as he is american.

So it was fascinating to see Purple Heart, one of his earlier plays, in this interesting if not perfect revival directed by Christopher Haydon at the Gate theatre. The play, written in 2002 but set in 1972, explores the dark heart of american small town communities, where respectability, patriotism and religion can create an airless prison of secrets and crimes. Continue reading

Casting news: David Tennant in Richard II, Paul Ritter in The Audience and more

David Tennant as Hamlet. 2008. Photo Ellie Kurttz

Let’s take a moment to savour this: David Tennant as Richard II directed by Greg Doran. There have been rumours for a while but lately the discussion has been louder and it seems it will happen: David Tennant will play Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Company some time in late 2013 or early 2014, under the direction of Greg Doran in the new artistic director’s first season. David Tennant is in no small part responsible for my theatre obsession the last few years and my excitement for this news is unfettered. I will be clearly spending the next eighteen months dreaming of the Deposition Scene and who will play Bolingbroke. Chiwetel Ejiofor is my choice. It’s perfect and it needs to happen. Continue reading