Love London Love Culture (Emma Clarendon) 'Interview with...Atticist's Bridie Bischoff' 4 August 2018
Reviews for EAST (2018, London)
Off West End Award nominations 2018/19: Best Ensemble, Best Director, Best Movement Director, Best Lighting Designer, Best Female in a Play
★★★★★ Broadway World 'Raw, sleazy, provocative, delicious, and gritty...I felt repulsed, humoured, excited, but more importantly, overjoyed that such a crazy and unpredictable machine is allowed to be on stage.'
★★★★★ London Pub Theatres 'This excellent revival captures East’s articulate anarchy...Not to be missed.'
★★★★ The Stage 'Berkoff's play remains a remarkable work...Jessica Lazar's inventive production is no less remarkable. Her five-strong cast wriggle and writhe, spit and snarl their way across the intimate, sparse space like grotesque marionettes, all to a cheery Cockney piano accompaniment.'
★★★★ Jewish Chronicle 'you can sense the hand of director Jessica Lazar preventing the evening from being taken over by the gurning and grotesquerie that so often defines a Berkoff show. …[the] final flourish — a rush of sound that transports you through time — reinforces the impression that Berkoff’s xenophobic East Enders are not extinct. Mostly they just moved. Then they voted for Brexit.'
★★★★ London Theatre 1 'Some of what goes on is far from comfortable viewing but, goodness me, what a startling and yet beautiful reminder this is of the power of words – and the power of theatre.…Full of energy, this is an uncompromising and dynamic production.'
★★★★ West End Wilma '[this] passionate production brings Berkoff’s portrait of the East End in the mid-century screaming into a contemporary relevance, working the tension between the funny, the offensively funny, and the just plain offensive.'
The Blog of Theatre Things 'The cast excel in physically and emotionally demanding roles, and the production maintains a constant drive and energy from the first moment to the last...It may not be everyone’s cup of tea; if you’re easily offended then you may want to steer clear. But for anyone who’s excited by bold, striking theatre that’s not afraid to go its own way, this is a must-see.'
British Theatre Guide 'This is like crossing Auden and Isherwood with Edward Bond, an Eastenders staged by Frantic Assembly. No it’s not. It’s Berkoff with a fine cast and an understanding director and you should see it.'
Camden New Journal 'EAST had its London debut at Islington’s King’s Head in 1975. It caused a sensation. Jessica Lazar’s production is likely to do the same. ...Repulsive, brutal, thuggish, EAST is also funny, lyrical, topical and very exhilarating. A must see.'
Morning Star Online 'a staging which makes the very best of Berkoff’s work.'
Tribune Magazine 'This revival...shows the play has lost none of its rage and rollocking power.'
A Younger Theatre 'raucous, energetic and enthralling...The direction is unbelievably tight. There are beautifully choreographed moments of physical theatre...and other moments that can best be described as impeccable chaos.'
Reviews for LIFE ACCORDING TO SAKI
'first-rate puppetry, masked theatre and slick ensemble choreography...alive with energy.' (The Telegraph)
Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award 2016
-- 2016, Edinburgh
★★★★★ British Theatre Guide a 'show to savour'
★★★★★ Broadway Baby 'pitched perfectly...the cast are exceptional'
★★★★★ Box Dust 'a profound play that is beautifully executed to the highest professional standards.'
★★★★★ Ed Fringe Review 'darkly funny and unexpectedly uplifting'
★★★★★ Edinburgh49 'Simply, a triumph.'
★★★★★ Fringe Guru 'a show I didn't want to end - a true delight to watch.'
★★★★★ Plays To See 'Brilliant stuff.'
★★★★★ Sincerely Amy the 'script is a masterpiece...the whole physicality of the production is triumphant and excellently polished'
★★★★ All Edinburgh Theatre 'a wonderfully staged, hugely appealing production'
★★★★ Broadway World a 'well-disciplined ensemble' and a 'highly-entertaining production'
★★★★ The List 'a grand tour of the human condition...Deftly blending joyful surrealism with existential pause'
★★★★ Grumpy Gay Critic 'effortless charm by the gilded spoonful'
★★★★ SG Fringe 'an immersive theatrical experience, with darn good, inspiring performances'
★★★★ The Telegraph a 'subtle, thoughtful adaptation...first-rate puppetry, masked theatre and slick ensemble choreography...alive with energy.'
Included in The Week's 10 Shows Not To Miss and The List's Theatre Hitlist Week 3
-- 2017, New York
★★★★1/2 Show Score ('a Rotten Tomatoes for theater'). Aggregate reviews including:
'This production reassures the audience that this man’s work is not to be missed. Jessica Lazar’s direction reassured us that this show is not to be missed, either.' (Manhattan With A Twist)
'Consistently delightful to watch… Walking [an] elegant tightrope between escapism and ever-present darkness' (Exeunt Magazine)
'a breath of fresh British air that has infiltrated the East Village and charmed the pants off us all' (NY Theater Guide)
'Macabre and whimsical, dark and comic at the same time… a delicious evening of theater' (New York Theatre Wire)
'Those that love independent theater will be regretful indeed to miss out on this fine production' (Theatre Is Easy)
'The blithely protean ensemble offers many charming acts of instant metamorphosis' (New York Times)
'velvety charm and plenty of dry and sometimes Monty Python-esque humour...razor-sharp' (Blogcritics)
'The cast dart in and out of identities and worlds fluidly and with total conviction' (New Republic)
'a pleasurable evening of wit, story-telling, and truth' (Theater In The Now)
'a marvelous piece of work told marvelously' (Woman Around Town)
About the Carol Tambor Award 2016
The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award was established in 2004 by The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation. It is awarded annually at the Edinburgh Fringe, sponsoring a production to transfer to New York. To read more about the award, and the wonderful people behind it, visit www.bestofedinburgh.org.
'We were so touched and overwhelmed even to be on the shortlist for this award. It’s always lovely when anyone likes your show. To get this kind of support for a really young company like ours is just incredible.'
(Jessica Lazar in The Scotsman, 26 August 2016, Brian Ferguson - Fringe tribute to writer Hector Hugh Munro set for New York)
Life According to Saki, a Play Set in World War 1, Wins Edinburgh Award (New York Times, 26 August 2016, Steven McElroy)
Life According to Saki Wins Top Edinburgh Prize at Edinburgh Fringe; New York is Next (Playbill, 26 August 2016, Olivia Clement)
The Edinburgh cast, 26 August 2016 (Photo: Florence Walker)