The Painter

On 12 January The Arcola opened the doors of its new home, the Colourworks building, to the public. In its heyday the factory supplied colour blocks to artists throughout England. So what better way of marking the theatre’s move here than premiering a play about one of its most famous … Continue Reading The Painter


Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Fabrication (Affabulazione), translated by Gillian Hannah and adapted by Jamie McKendrick, has never before been performed in the UK – and it launches The Print Room, the new not-for-profit Notting Hill theatre that is the brainchild of director Lucy Bailey and designer Anda Winters. As a declaration … Continue Reading Fabrication


There is something comforting about doctors. Even if they are unable to reassure you that nothing is wrong, they can provide you with answers; they can name your problem and in doing so bring welcome definition to the shapeless fear of the unknown that has been nagging away at you. … Continue Reading Blue/Orange

The Irish Curse

Does size really matter? That’s the question at the heart of Martin Casella’s play, which has just opened at the Above the Stag Theatre following an off-Broadway run earlier this year. The play takes place during a self-help session hosted by Father Kevin Shaunessey for four Irish- American New Yorkers … Continue Reading The Irish Curse

The Big Fellah

It’s very easy to get politics wrong in plays, and the road to failure is paved with good intentions. The desire to make a point, to comment on a situation, can result in the ditching of characterisation and plot in favour of something that comes across as simplistic or naive on … Continue Reading The Big Fellah

Pieces of Vincent

The Arcola’s production of David Watson’s third play is a sophisticated audio-visual affair. Its utilisation of wrap- around video footage, surround sound and physical effects is a media student’s dream. But does the production prioritise technical wizardry over substance? This is a real concern as the audience take their seats … Continue Reading Pieces of Vincent

In the Blood

For such a linguistically rich play, Suzan-Lori Parks’ In the Blood – an updated take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, here receiving its European premiere – is at its best when exploring the limitations, inadequacy and cruel fixedness of language. Words, sentences, labels, expressions and clichés – as wielded … Continue Reading In the Blood