Dysfunctional and histrionic

Leo Tolstoy famously said, in the opening lines of his novel Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” That may not be quite true, seeing people laugh with a sense of recognition at the play The Last of the Haussmans. No-one’s family can be quite like…

Anthem for a Doomed Youth

Rappers write rubbish lyrics, right? No, that’s not a tongue twister, but it’s pretty much what I thought until I happened upon Kate Tempest, and her play Wasted which is on at the Roundhouse Studio Theatre until next Saturday. It’s some of the most inspiring, energetic and poetic new writing I’ve seen in a long…

Savage comedy about Stalin

A comedy about Stalin? It sounds outrageous, and in fact it is. Dark, bitter, savage, and very clever, Collaborators is a new play by John Hodge about the Russian playwright Mikhail Bulgakov, who was given a poisoned chalice by the regime when asked to write a play celebrating the life of Stalin. The time was…