At the start of this year I made the conscious decision to go to the theatre more in 2015. Theatre is my first love and for one reason or another my visits slowed down over time. So a couple of months ago, I started booking tickets and as soon as I learned about Damian Lewis and John Goodman appearing in American Buffalo at Wyndham’s Theatre, I booked my ticket for the first night possible, which was last Thursday.American Buffalo at Wyndham's Theatre

Wyndham’s Theatre has been a hit and miss place to watch plays for me so I went along hoping, really hoping, this wasn’t going to be one of those ‘miss’ experiences.

After all, Damian Lewis, John Goodman? I love those guys. Plus it was a David Mamet play. Expectations were high and after watching Antigone with Juliette Binoche last month I really wanted a reason to fall back in love with the stage. So was it any good?
American Buffalo at Wyndham's Theatre
It was very good and after all I’ve just said, surprisingly good.

American Buffalo develops with the witty, sharp dialogue that you can only expect from David Mamet. The lines were slick and the characters were affecting and engaging in their own way.

Damian Lewis looked like he had stepped out of Carlito’s Way, oversized sunglasses included, in his role as “Teach” Cole whilst John Goodman was well-drawn as the tender yet scheming Don Dubrow. But the biggest surprise of all was Tom Sturridge who I only mention now because when I booked my ticket I had no expectation of him at all. I’d never seen his acting anywhere so I assumed he would be at best ok. Tom Sturridge was the surprise of the evening. His acting talent was superb, flawless and very convincing as the ‘junkie’ Bob. He broke my heart every time he spoke. You could hear the years of pain that makes Bob who he is.

But American Buffalo isn’t what you expect. It’s full of laughter, heart and most of all, it explores the friendships between three unlikely comrades.

If you can get a ticket, do. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Chelsea Girl

The latest SACRED season has kicked off at Chelsea Theatre and on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th, this King’s Road theatre sees the return of Stacy Makishi with her world premiere of VesperTime.

Vesper Time – Stacy Makishi

What strikes me about VesperTime is the influences of Moby Dick, Hitchcock and Bjork’s album Vespertine that apparently create a striking performance where rock concert meets subversive sermon.

If you’ve read my previous reviews on productions at the Chelsea Theatre, you will have noticed that the element of surprise is very much at work when you walk through their doors. And each time you leave feeling moved.

VesperTime was developed with the support of the National Theatre Studio and commissioned by Chelsea Theatre and Colchester Arts Centre.

For more information and tickets, see Chelsea Theatre’s website.

To mark World Theatre Day yesterday I went to see Best Before End at the Chelsea Theatre, which I found to be both mesmerising and full of quirky surprises.

Best Before End

Best Before End is the London première of Curious theatre company’s latest piece that questions the power and vulnerability of language and love.

A one-woman show that takes the audience on a journey which contemplates the ultimate and inevitable frailty of the human condition, Helen Paris’s performance is hypnotic. Everyday objects such as an armchair and pieces of chalk embody various roles and meanings as they become props for the most unlikely of situations.

© Richard Davenport

© Richard Davenport

Returning to London for the first time in two years Curious theatre company are Leslie Hill and Helen Paris, who for seventeen years have created inventive and powerful performances that blend intimate, everyday experiences with a darkly comic edge.  They have performed worldwide, creating distinctive work which frequently provides a sense of intrigue and adventure. And now they are here on the King’s Road. But if you’d like to see them, you don’t have much time. Tonight (28th March 2014) is their final performance so hurry and book yourself a ticket – and of course, enjoy!

Disclosure: My ticket was complimentary for the purpose of the review.

It’s July 1st 2013 and it is a gorgeous morning! So here’s hoping the summer weather continues and here are some ideas of what you can do locally during the month.

1. Are you planning on celebrating 4th July? If so, American Girl in Chelsea is putting on a bash which you are invited to. The evening at No. 11 Pimlico Road will start at 6:30pm, with mini-burgers, hot-dogs, coleslaw, and other American-style nibbles and drinks being served. For more information, click here.

2. Watch the Wimbledon finals at Duke of York Square from 5th until 7th July 2013. With so many big names already out of the competition, this could be a very exciting year for the finals. New stars could be formed and this could also be Andy Murray’s year.

If you missed out on tickets, you can still book yourself a complimentary cushion by calling 0203 675 0645. Needless to say, strawberries and cream as well as Champagne will be available to buy during the screenings.

Duke of York Square - Wimbledon

3. On July 6th 2013, LUSH are celebrating International Kissing Day by attempting to set the new Guinness World Record of the most lip prints collected in 12 consecutive hours. Starting at 11am, customers will be able to step into LUSH’s King’s Road store (as well as other branches around the country) and use LUSH’s products to prepare their lips for some kissing action with their cruelty free products. To keep up to speed with the day’s events, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #crueltyfreekisses.

Cruelty Free Kisses updated image

4. RBKC’s contemporary culture festival, InTRANSIT, is back for another year from 20th until 27th July 2013. Live events in the borough include street theatre, interactive performances and orchestra, art installations, outdoor tea dances and story telling events. These events are free and if you want to find out more, click here for InTRANSITs webpage.

5. If you have little ones who enjoy creative writing, The Hollywood Arms is running a couple of writing workshops this month, which are being organised by the Chelsea Young Writers Club on 2nd and 9th July 2013, from 4.30pm until 6.30pm. To find out more about the Chelsea Young Writers Club, click here. I think this is a fab idea!


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