Saturday 23rd October

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Naomi Sheldon: “I’d love a world where we reclaim our emotions, not wait for them to affect our mental health.”

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Naomi Sheldon’s an ideal inspiration for anyone stuck in a rut.  In just two years, she’s gone from frustrated actress to creator and star of one of the most powerful, talked about plays in London.  

Good Girl, which Sheldon wrote in 2016 and debuted at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, runs for five nights at Vault Festival from tomorrow before transferring to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios for four weeks.  And in between performances, she’s busy penning the screenplay for a TV adaptation in conjunction with Clerkenwell Films, the company behind the highly acclaimed Misfits and The End of the F*cking World.

It’s quite a turnaround for the engaging Sheldon who, despite learning drama at the same school as Dame Judi Dench, had grown disillusioned by the lack of “juicy, meaty parts” available.  “I felt unsatisfied as an actor,” she says, “so thought about writing my own solo show.  I quickly realised that’s relatively easy to do, as you don’t need to wait for permission from the industry.  It’s an incredibly empowering process.”

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Category: Comedy

‘The Maids’ at Trafalgar Studios

Rating:

By Shannon Rawlins

The Maids is an energetic, tense, self-loathing tale of revenge and desperation.  Loosely based on Christine and Lea Papin’s real-life murderous revenge on their employer, Jean Genet’s play returns to London after a twenty-year absence, revived by The Jamie Lloyd Theatre Company, paired with translation from Benedict Andrews and Andrew Upton.

The gifted cast command Genet’s play in a new direction.  Claire (Zawe Ashton, Fresh Meat, Misfits) and Solange (Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black) are the titular characters, portrayed for the first time as maids of colour, adding an interesting aspect to an already intriguing story.

The servants switch from role-play to their true selves throughout, crawling into the mistresses’ dresses, using foul language to convey their downtrodden lives to the audience.  It’s sometimes difficult to differentiate who is mimicking whom.  Having said that, this is the only fault I can pick out of the superb stage show.

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Category: Art
The Ruling Class. The Trafalgar Studios.
The Ruling Class. The Trafalgar Studios.

The Ruling Class: James McAvoy is simply mesmerising in Jamie Lloyd’s intoxicating revival

Rating:

Jamie Lloyd’s adaptation of Peter Barnes revolutionary assault on the upper class is an ingenious production that just keeps on giving. Given that it stars Scottish and Hollywood heart-throb James McAvoy it seems that Barnes’s story is in safe hands. And boy did McAvoy give the performance of his career. This revival of an old classic is as much mesmerising as it is astonishing, it’s funny and playful, but above all The Ruling Class is a triumph, in every sense of the word.

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Category: Theatre