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Theatre Review

Theatre Review: 'State of Revolution'

History Lesson

'State of Revolution', by Robert Bolt, at the Lyttelton Theatre.

“But, Comrade Lenin”, says Anatoly Lunacharsky, “that would not be Socialism—but a blind peasant revolt!”

In those few revealing words is summated the rest of the play, and the inevitable tragedy (and death) of Vladimir Ilyitch Ulianov= 'Nikolai Lenin'. This play is a masterpiece, sticking consistently to facts and dramatically portraying the heroism of the Russian people against both Czarist and Bolshevik tyranny.

Theatre Review: 'Blinded By The Sun'

Publish and be damned

'Blinded By The Sun', by Stephen Poliakoff (National Theatre)

Many people have very strange ideas about the nature of science and the behaviour of scientists. Television adverts, for example, tend to perpetuate the myth of scientists as seekers after “the truth”; dressed in spankingly-clean white coats, wearing regulation horn-rimmed glasses they stride the floors of massive laboratories piled to the roof with complex pieces of glass apparatus from which emerge ominous gurgling noises. More generally scientists are still seen as essentially impartial, rational, dispassionate individuals, engaged in uncertain laboratory experiments. The reality, however, is very different.

Theatre Review: 'An Epitaph for George Dillon'

'An Epitaph for George Dillon', by John Osborne

'Look Back in Anger', 'The Entertainer' and now 'An Epitaph for George Dillon': John Osborne's trilogy of failure. Jimmy Porter is a failure, Archie Rice is a failure, and George Dillon is a failure. This cannot be without significance, the question is—why? The remarkable success if these plays is largely due to a strong sense of identification that many people have with them. They unconsciously or otherwise see something of themselves in the problem children John Osborne has set before them on his stage.

Theatre Review: 'The Knocky'

Rocked by poverty and despair

'The Knocky', by Michael Wynne (Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court)

Michael Wynne—a young graduate in politics—comes from Birkenhead, and his first play The Knocky is set in a council estate in his home town. Tommy Kelly and his two older children are out of work; another child, traumatised by a personal assault, remains forever indoors; but mother and young son, Stephen—two wonderful performances—remain optimistic, dreaming their dreams.

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