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Lyn's Picks: 21 Dec

Lyn's Picks: 21 Dec

Lyn's Picks: 21 Dec cover photo on Stagedoor
What's caught the attention of our resident critic this week?

A Gambler’s Guide to Dying (Traverse on-line until 27 Jan)

Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre has been both ambitious and ingenious with its on-line offerings this year. This filmed version of Gary McNair’s wonderful 2015 hit is testament to just that; it both celebrates the art of storytelling and reminds us that fact and fiction are the closest of cousins. The gambler at the centre of the story is the narrator’s grandad, a lucky man who apparently placed a bet on the outcome of the 1966 World Cup. But can he beat the odds when he is diagnosed with cancer and bets that he will survive to see the year 2000?Filmed on location around Glasgow and the Traverse itself, this is a warm and knotty piece that asks all the big questions about life, its purpose, and the ways we try to outwit death, not least by passing on our genes.

Sunset Boulevard (Curve on-line, 22 Dec - 9 Jan)

Leicester is in Tier 3, preventing live performances in front of an audience, but this staged concert version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical take on the old Gloria Swanson movie goes ahead online with the magnificent Ria Jones as Norma Desmond and Danny Mac as Joe Gillis. Jones, you may recall, was justifiably feted when she took over the role of fading movie star Norma Desmond from an indisposed Glenn Close in 2016. Jones and Gillis reprise their roles from the Curve’s 2017 revival which was showered with praise. It’s a show with big emotions and a big score to match.

Peter Pan(Available on-line from 24 Dec)

There is an all-star line up for this audio version of JM Barrie’s story about the boy who refuses to grow up, and the girl—Wendy—who can’t help but become an adult. Delivered in four 30 minutes instalments, Barrie’s magical but undoubtedly disturbing story is produced in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and features Olivia Coleman, Bertie Carvel, Jane Horrocks, Sharon D Clarke, Clive Rowe and Kenneth Branagh. As long as it’s not weighed down by the weight of all that talent, it should fly.

You can find hundreds of streaming theatre shows - many of them available for free - in our Streamdoor guide

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Written by

Lyn Gardner

New tips and reviews every week. If you're looking for innovative theatre, you've come to the right place.
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