Daniel Hutton

Dan is a freelance theatre critic and maker. He blogs at www.dan-hutton.co.uk

August 2013

I like complex simplicity

There’s something incredibly odd about experiencing a mute man talking to an audience through a disembodied voice. The reason he’s made this choice, apparently, is so he has ‘something to talk about’ and because he doesn’t ‘want to bore the language thinkers’ in the audience.

Theatre

Candid comedy

It’s an extraordinary piece of writing, making us guffaw with laughter one minute and then become pensive at the thought of what it means to be a ‘bad feminist’ the next. She rattles through stories with a gallop, only pausing to stroke her neck or consider whether or not she has a ‘massive arsehole’.

Theatre

Contemplating communication

Some believe that finding out how things work takes away their beauty, but when Robin McLoughlin discusses the science behind his monitoring of the whale and the way these huge mammals communicate with each other, the whole thing seems all the more perfect.

Theatre

Tiny and epic

This is a world made of gorgeous, visceral images. Two massive treadmills on Rhys Jaman’s surprisingly minimalist set are used throughout, allowing quick shifts in tense and location, ensuring everything is always moving. When they stop, it feels like the whole world has ceased to turn.

Theatre

Nods to audience

After pulling a pained expression, for example, Priestley then looked proud of herself, pointed to her face and shouted ‘Acting’. It’s a tiny gesture, but I genuinely wish we’d get these nods to audience more when at the theatre.

Theatre

The drone is emasculating

Lucy Ellinson as the Pilot pretends for a long while that it is she who has the power, portraying confidence and gumption, but right from the off it’s clear this character is not as comfortable as she’d like us to think

Theatre

Academic performance

This lecture-demonstration is an interesting experiment in form, but you need every area of your brain to be engaged to even begin to follow Victoria Miguel’s academic text.

Theatre

Inherent fear

On the face of it, Ballad of the Burning Star is a seemingly broad and vulgar presentation of a highly complex subject, but in fact there is a lot more depth here than meets the eye, in this sharp and nuanced critique of a war which forever feels completely unnecessary.

Theatre

Theatre for trauma

It’s difficult to know quite how much Have I No Mouth? is about this mother and son helping themselves understand their losses and how much it is about healing in general, but Gary Keegan’s direction manages to create some powerful images regardless.

Theatre

Must try harder

Anoesis clearly comes from a place of anger and emotion for Junction 25, but as it stands it needs to do a little bit more work in class if it’s to get good feedback at parents’ evening.

Theatre

Spin tales forever

Perhaps, it suggests, in a world which seemingly features too much choice, we are forgetting that there are a few things we have absolutely no say over. A gloriously uplifting ending, complete with multi-coloured balls, subverts all this.

Theatre

Beautiful fakery

This difficulty in understanding and grasping reality in our current context is highlighted by placing ‘postmodern’ in opposition to ‘genius’ and including the glorious phrasing ‘Metanarrative - get it up ye’ in a way which both utilises and ridicules contemporary discourse about art.

Theatre

We need to talk about democracy

At this stage, the question which perhaps sums up the fundamental problem with our version of democracy is asked: ‘Do you trust the majority of this audience?’

Theatre

One thing colliding with another

Marcin Bartnikowski and Marcin Bikowski work up a sweat as they span almost sixty years of human history, and perform in a suitably knowing way considering the hypertheatrical style, but their performances lack heart and precision

Theatre

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