Saturday 23rd February

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30 CHRISTMASES - Promo Image (1), image by Anna Soderblom

Jonny Donahoe: “If Christmas resonates of loss, grief or even guilt, you can’t escape that.”

Next week, rebellious musical comedy Thirty Christmases makes its London debut.  The brainchild of playwright, actor and musical comedian Jonny Donahoe – who stars in the show alongside Rachel Parris and Paddy Gervers – offers an intriguing alternative to more traditional glitzy festive fare.  

Ahead of the three-week run at New Diorama Theatre, Ian Cater caught up with the engaging Donahoe to discuss the show’s origins, and a host of topics ranging from Victoria Wood to reindeer sex.

For Andy Williams, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  “But for a lot of people, it’s traumatic,” Jonny Donahoe explains, with the patient, persuasive voice of his Every Brilliant Thing character, rather than the booming baritone heard at a Jonny and the Baptists gig.  “If it resonates of loss, grief or even guilt, you can’t escape that.  And it’s compounded by the fact that everywhere you go people are signposting that they’re having a joyous time.”

That harsh reality forms the backdrop to Thirty Christmases, written and performed this month by Donahoe at Euston’s New Diorama Theatre.  If it sounds a heavy premise for a festive show, that was the 34-year-old’s intention.

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Category: Comedy
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Every Brilliant Thing review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

In a golden year for Fringe theatre, Every Brilliant Thing continues to lead the field with its superbly acted tale of suicide and loss that leaves you feeling oddly upbeat.

Jonny Donahoe excels in the one-man play, beginning as a six-year-old boy whose father says that his mother “has done something stupid”.  When the boy learns that she attempted suicide, he applies his mind to a heart-warming solution and makes a list of all the things worth living for.

“Number 1,” he begins, prompting an audience member to look at the card she received on the way in.  “Ice cream,” comes the answer.  “Number 2.”  “Kung Fu movies,” says another.  “3.”  “Burning things.”  He writes down over 100 brilliant things and places the list on his mother’s pillow.  He knows she reads it because he finds the grammar corrected.

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Category: Comedy
1984 at the Playhouse Theatre
1984 at the Playhouse Theatre

1984: A spine-tingling adaptation of an Orwellian classic

Rating:

1984 is a novel that has been read a countless number of times, it has been captured in motion picture, but Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s stage adaptation of 1984, captures the real gritty and surreal essence of George Orwell’s timeless classic. Orwell’s 1949 novel encapsulates a society where privacy and community of feeling are banished, love forbidden, history erased, language heavily distorted; at the core of this unforgiving totalitarian rule, the Party, attempting to control the thought-processes of each individual within its society, gradually eroding any sense of liberty, and freedom they may have thought they possessed. This is a fierce adaptation, which offers a new perspective on Orwell’s dystopian novel.

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Category: Theatre