Nominations for Olivier awards 2014, where did all go wrong?

I need to start with an overriding principle: all awards for artistic achievement are inherently flawed. They always represent a compromise and therefore can’t express the joy of personal experience. They are also needed in hundred different practical ways, no point bemoaning their sheer existence or the agenda a specific award represents. The Oliviers focus on mainstream productions, complaining they ignore obscure edgier offerings is pointless. What struck me with the 2014 Oliviers nominations though was how the list was underwhelming, even by the standards of the commercial mainstream agenda.

Let’s count the ways: Continue reading

All New People at the Duke of York’s theatre – Review

Zach Braff as Charlie and Paul Hilton as Myron in All New People. Photo by Alastair Muir

There is no getting away from the fact that All New People wants to be so much  more than it is (funnier, more profound, more interesting) but generally falls short of these intentions. On the other hand, there is something heroic in the effort.

Charlie is at a beach house in the middle of the winter, ready to kill himself. He is interrupted by Emma, an eccentric British real estate agent trying to rent the house, who brings along her friend Myron (an ex drama teacher turned fireman / drug dealer). At some point, Kim, a friendly escort sent to Charlie as a present, shows up and the four of them try to negotiate the rest of the evening, with Charlie determined to his course of action. Continue reading