Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is set in the fictional town of Megasaki in a Japanese archipelago of the near future, where the outbreak of dog flu has led the dogs of the city to be quarantined on the abandoned Rubbish Island. But is the director’s latest release a celebratory homage to Japan or just another western-centric indulgence, utilising cultural stereotypes as a backdrop for his own ends?
As a great lover of horror movies, it was with a jolt that I realised that A Quiet Place is the first horror movie I have seen in the cinema. And at first, I thought I’d made a huge mistake: the cinema was crawling with people. And this was supposed to be a film watched in silence, I was well aware. Perhaps I should have waited for it to come out on Netflix. I love horror. In the least pretentious way possible, I want a pure experience of a movie.
I went to the Edinburgh Fringe last summer for the first time, and while I was there, I wrote a lot of reviews. Because of that, I saw what most would consider an ungodly amount of theatre, most of which wasn’t very good. But when you roll the dice that many times, eventually you’ll end up with double sixes. Box Clever, by Monsay Whitney, is a play that sticks in the back of your throat like a word that you don’t want to say but feel like you have to. It’s rarer still to get to see a play you’ve seen at the fringe you actually liked soon after the fringe ends. But sometimes, you get lucky, and someone who you saw that play with thought so well of it that they wanted to do it themselves. Enter Hannah Ritchie, for whom Box Clever will be her swansong production in St Andrews, the last hurrah for someone whose career has been full of firsts and last hurrahs.
When you’re asked to review a production of a play like Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman, it’s difficult to tell if you should just review the production or attempt to make some comment upon the play itself. The problem is that Death of a Salesman is so embedded in western theatrical tradition, and even in the wider cultural imagination, making any attempt at criticism seem far outside the scope of this review. Suffice it to say that it’s a classic for a reason. To paraphrase W. H. Auden: Some plays are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
Having been awarded Best New Society last year and nominated for Best Society just last week, the University of St Andrews Opera Society (OpSoc) continues on its mission to bring opera of a high quality to the town’s student-run staged music scene, which, until recently, has been desperately lacking in opera.
With every year, a new class enters and leaves the St Andrews Theatre community, and as this year ends, the last productions of this year’s graduating class are beginning to come through. In this bittersweet moment, Louis Catliff, one of the most prolific actors, directors, and photographers in town is bringing Nina Raine’s Tribes to the StAge, a touching, funny piece about a dysfunctional family, and their Deaf Son. Owl Eyes sat down with Catliff and the play’s lead, Benjamin Osugo, for a quick chat.
It is rare that I find myself utterly wanting for words to express my feelings on anything, but Ubu Roi happens to have done just that. Usually, when I go to write a review, I consider the production within the context of all the theatre I have seen in my life. I set it within a certain paradigm, consider what effect it seems to have been aiming for, and try to assess it by the goals which it has set out for itself. This play is so utterly bizarre, so determined not to be analysed by conventional standards, that it is difficult to know by which standards to judge it.
I did not know that a fusion of Shakespeare and pop-punk bangers was missing from my life. I didn’t even realise I wanted it. And yet, Olli Gilford’s production of Twelfth Night hit that apparent gap in the market with such precision that I haven’t stopped listening to their chosen soundtrack since.
Picture that famous image: Tobey Maguire hurtling through the air; webbing slipping through his crimson fingers; the menacing reflection of Doc Ock through an amber lens. Cheesy, yes – but nevertheless, Spider-Man 2 became an instant classic, and remains to this day one of the best of its genre. It was, dare I say it, somewhat sincere.
Anna Tantillo, a 2017 graduate of University of St Andrews, recently started her own creative Instagram account, @disneycolorpalettes, and all while studying for her master’s degree! I got the chance to interview her on why she chose to start this account and received some tips on how we could start our own too.