Theatre and #MeToo: ‘There’s a new anger in women’s stories’

The Weinstein scandal has inspired several new plays ranging from sharp satire to crass comedy. As the mogul heads to trial, we gauge theatres response Katie Arnstein tells a story of a day at drama school when a tutor told her to perform her graduation show in a bra because Im a blonde with a big chest. It is one of several experiences that informed Arnsteins solo show #MeToo numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault levelled at Harvey Weinstein since 2017. (Allegations he continues to deny in the run-up to his trial in September.) I was inspired by the strength shown by people who have called out abuse in the acting industry, Arnstein says. This play is my version …

‘Jewface’ row: West End musical accused of cultural appropriation

Jewish actors and playwrights criticise Falsettos for using non-Jews to play Jewish roles A West End musical about a Jewish family is at the centre of a row over cultural appropriation, with critics saying the lack of Jewish involvement in the production is typical of an industry that sidelines talent from the community. Falsettos, which is coming to London an open letter, which said the producers demonstrated a startling lack of cultural sensitivity and at worst, overt appropriation and erasure of a culture and religion increasingly facing a crisis. To the best of our knowledge, no one in the cast of the UK premiere is Jewish, and neither is the director or anyone on the team, the letter stated. The …

Sex, money and idiots in power: Restoration comedy’s endless appeal

These late 17th-century plays with their sea of unfamiliar words can be daunting for actors. But this disillusioned world speaks to our own age of uncertainty Its the most terrified Ive ever been on stage, Justine Mitchell says flatly. The Irish actor shudders at the thought of the elegant romcoms of the Restoration. She has triumphed over all kinds of dramatic challenges Russian epics, Trump-era satire but shes not alone in her uneasiness. Everyone I speak to admits to an apprehensive frisson in approaching plays from the foptastic, periwigalicious world of the late 17th century. Restoration plays come from the reign of Charles II and his immediate successors (roughly 1660-1710). In the wrenching aftermath of Britains civil wars and of …