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Review: The Matchgirls

Posted on 07 July 2013 by Julia Rank

The swinging sixties might have launched the Beatles and the Stones and the Age of Aquarius, but it was also a time in which musicals with Victorian or Edwardian settings were a dime a dozen on Broadway and the West End. My Fair Lady and Oliver! are the most enduring and finest examples of these […]

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Review: London Wall

Posted on 02 February 2013 by Julia Rank

The synopsis of John Van Druten’s 1931 play London Wall (filmed twice for television, but rarely seen since) calls to mind a British Mad Men. It’s telling that Matthew Weiner’s series begins on new secretary Peggy Olson’s first day, where, under the guidance of worldly office manager Joan, she quickly discovers that there’s no such […]

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Review: The Turn of the Screw

Posted on 31 January 2013 by Julia Rank

[CONTAINS SPOILERS] Henry James’s 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw is one of the ripest pieces of fiction for re-reading. One never ceases to marvel at Henry’s genius in creating a never-ending debate about whether the notoriously unreliable narrator’s charges were possessed by ghosts, or if she fabricated the whole thing from her repressed […]

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Review: 55 Days

Posted on 26 October 2012 by Julia Rank

The stereotypical image of the English Civil War is that of clumsy Roundheads and graceful Cavaliers – when I think of this period, it’s Keeping Up Appearance‘s pageant, in which Hyacinth Bucket’s slovenly brother-in-law is deemed a perfect Roundhead, that comes to mind. In Howard Brenton’s densely written play, however, the more aesthetically pleasing Charles […]

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