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Love, Love, Love: A Play-by-Play Look at Mike Bartlett

Posted on: December 17th, 2016 by Roundabout

In under 10 years, Mike Bartlett has emerged as “one of our superstar playwrights,” according to the London Guardian. These are some of the milestone productions—from intimate chamber plays to ambitious epics—that brought his work to the attention of London and New York audiences.

MY CHILD — ROYAL COURT THEATRE, LONDON 2007

“A mother denies her ex-husband access to their nine-year-old son when he brings the boy back from a parental outing with a damaged arm. Derided by his former wife, who questions his paternal rights, the man decides to take the law into his own hands... Bartlett, in his first play, pins down with horrific accuracy the way children become the victims of warring parents. But he never lets you settle into easy moral judgments.”  Michael Billington, The Guardian

COCK — ROYAL COURT THEATRE, LONDON 2009 / DUKE ON 42ND, NEW YORK 2012

“You may, according to taste, find the title a come-on or a turn-off. But, far from being a sensational shocker, Mike Bartlett's play is a sharp, witty study of a man helplessly torn between his longtime male partner and a loving woman. Bartlett's theme, in fact, is less tortured bisexuality than the paralysing indecision that stems from not knowing who one really is.”  Michael Billington, The Guardian.

EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON — NATIONAL THEATRE (COTTESLOE), LONDON 2010

“Mike Bartlett has made his mark as a laser-sharp minimalist. Now he's been encouraged to ‘think big’ … in a sprawling, three-and-a-quarter-hour, five-act epic that, while set mostly in the present, spans the late Sixties and 2525 as it examines how life is lived under the threat of climate change and impending catastrophe.” Paul Taylor, Independent.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE— ROYAL COURT THEATRE, LONDON 2012

“Compared with Bartlett’s big, baggy state of the nation dramas at the NT, this is a chamber piece, with just five characters. But it strikes me as Bartlett’s best work to date, with deeper characterisation, more personal themes, and scenes of extraordinary intensity and emotional truth shot through with dark humour.”  Charles Spencer, The Telegraph.

BULL — YOUNG VIC, LONDON / 59 E 59 ST, NEW YORK 2013

“Told in a brisk 55 minutes and without a trace of irony or a twisty turn ... Bartlett seizes upon essential truths. Perceptions matter. Be on the offensive. People are more savage than you can imagine. And although it has become a popular rallying point for sympathy, cries of bullying will get you nowhere in business — that’s the way it is.” Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News.

KING CHARLES III — ALMEIDA THEATRE/WEST END, LONDON 2014 / MUSIC BOX THEATRE, NEW YORK 2015

“How do you write a play about the British royal family without making its members seem risible, banal or irrelevant? … [Bartlett] imagines a shaky monarchy thrown into crisis after the death of Elizabeth…by employing the language of Shakespeare to transform his protagonists from cardboard figures of ridicule into full-blown characters of tragedy and pathos.”  Sarah Lyall, New York Times.

GAME — ALMEIDA THEATRE, LONDON 2015

“The audience (is) divided into four discrete zones, each looking into a central glassed space in which an ordinary couple, trying to beat the housing crisis, has moved into a flat that could have come out of an Ikea catalogue or been computer-generated ... Mike Bartlett explores the numb thrills of video-game violence and the relationship between virtual assassinations and the extermination of real people in an ingeniously executed evening.”  Kate Kellaway, The Guardian.

 


Love, Love, Love is now playing at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Visit our website for tickets and more information.



Related Categories:
2016-2017 Season, Education @ Roundabout, Love Love Love, Upstage


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