BREAST IN SHOW – 5 Stars at Capital Fringe

BREAST IN SHOW the musical gets a 5***** Review

(Best of the Capital Fringe)*****

At last. A show that has taken the Capital Fringe Festival 2014 theme to heart: Move Me.

Breast in Show – the musical, conceived and produced by Eileen Mitchard, is arguably the best titled and best marketed show in this season’s lineup. (Collecting Fringe buttons? Patrons get their own pink Breast in Show button to proudly pin to their chests.) It’s also likely the most aptly named, as it shall prove prophetic when it comes time to clinch the Best of Fringe.

Joe Brancato directs DROP DEAD PERFECT! opening July 20th, Off Broadway

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FAUNA and BLOOD, two short plays by Yasmine Rana, now published in Kenyon Review

In 2013 the playwright Yasmine Rana was invited to submit a short play for a ten-minute festival in New York. She responded with a piece that was, in part, a dramatic response to the art installation by Imran Qureshi at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Roof Garden Commission. We were seized with admiration for “Fauna and Blood” and accepted it for publication in KROnline. Ms. Rana then offered a companion piece, also of great power. We are delighted to present both short plays here, along with photos of Imran Qureshi’s The Roof Garden Commission, which inspired them.

Scholastic’s ASTROBLAST blasts on to television Saturday, July 12th. Stage rights available

Astroblast!, a new original animated series from Scholastic Media, is ready for takeoff!  Produced by Scholastic Media’s Soup 2 Nuts studio, the series (26 episodes) for pre-schoolers launches on Sprout  this Saturday July 12th.   The series will also air on NBC Saturday mornings starting in October.

Astroblast! is based on the Scholastic book series by Bob Kolar and follows the hilarious adventures of a crew of irresistible animals in outer space. Through the crew’s friendship, the series imparts important messages (Rocket Rules) to preschoolers about embracing differences, modeling positive relationships and fostering healthy habits

Stephen Sachs’ BAKERSFIELD MIST opens in London

The Times – 4 stars

“Odd couple’s row has comedy off to fine art”

(see full review)

Back in the West End for the first time in eight years, Kathleen Turner reminds us what a genuinely compelling stage star she is in this nimble, rewarding, new art-world comedy about faith, fakes and first impressions.

Yes, at first glance, Stephen Sachs’s one-act play appears amusing but a bit pat. It pits Ian McDiarmid’s prissy English art expert, Lionel, against Turner’s working-class bartender, Maude. Lionel has flown by private jet from New York to a trailer park in Bakersfield, California, to test Maude’s claim that the canvas she bought for three dollars from a local junk shop is an original Jackson Pollock (the show is inspired by a true story).

As he sneers at Maude’s cluttered trailer home — a marvellously intimate, convincing set by Tom Piper — and assures her that he is a connoisseur and she is a nobody, you wonder how much mileage Sachs will get from this odd couple of lonely, ageing abrasive types from opposite ends of the social scale.

Plenty, it turns out. “My first impression of you was completely inaccurate,” says Lionel after what turns into a thoroughly entertaining 85 minutes of quipping, arguing, boozing, opining, fist-fighting and soul-baring. Polly Teale’s well-paced production allows us to see that Lionel’s superciliousness is his barricade against the world, while Maude’s uneducated bluffness — “Well, who else would paint shit like that?” growls Turner, gesturing at the 5ft-high picture she has propped up for McDiarmid to inspect — conceals an intelligent, determined woman looking more for acceptance than money. Like Art before it, this play’s real canvas is not just artistic authenticity but human authenticity.

McDiarmid is a treat. Enthusing about Pollock’s “lariats of colour”, he renders the painter’s style in action, his body swirling around as if wielded by Pollock’s own hand. As Lionel gets blurred by booze, McDiarmid shows us a man whose determination to be a “fake-buster” is inseparable from the way he lost his pre-eminence in New York’s art scene.

Although Turner handles Sachs’s comic dialogue with zest, this American screen star makes a big character feel utterly true as she stalks around in jeans and plaid shirt, glass of bourbon in hand, uttering throaty put-downs and letting us in on her sadness without turning sentimental.

The title is a spin on a Pollock painting, Lavender Mist, that has a bearing on a plot that takes on a thrillerish knottiness as it goes along.

Yes, at this short length it’s impressionistic, finally offering more questions than answers about taste, expertise and artistry. No matter: this pithy, beautifully performed play put a smile on my face and kept my brain buzzing for a good while afterwards.

The Guardian (see front page):

Sachs TURNER PRIZE in West End

 

The Daily Mail – 4 stars

  “Gravel, wheeze and cigarettes … what a voice Kathleen has”

“an intellectual show full of shadings. Ad you are out in plenty of time for dinner.”

Not online yet

The Daily Telegraph – 3 stars

Turner and McDiarmid are terrific ..

Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid shine in Stephen Sach’s entertaining  play about the discovery of a possible Jackson Pollock”

“This odd couple are a work of art”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/10858064/Bakersfield-Mist-Duchess-Theatre-review-Turner-and-McDiarmid-are-terrific.html

 

 

 

 

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