We're quite chuffed to tell you that Tiny Kushner met Big Ben this week, and the British press is buzzing about Berkeley Rep. It's the second time that Tony Taccone has taken one of our shows to London, and we're bloody proud.
A co-production between Berkeley Rep and the Guthrie Theatre, Tiny Kushner began a limited run at London's Tricycle Theatre on September 1 with its original cast and creative team intact. The Tricycle is the renowned theatre that is bringing us The Great Game: Afghanistan next month. For more information about this terrific transatlantic exchange, read our press release on crossing the pond.
Or check out what they're saying about us:
"A fireworks display of invention and erudition... Real-life characters and events receive typically surreal, freewheeling treatment from the playwright best known for his gay fantasia Angels in America. And Tony Taccone's Guthrie/Berkeley Repertory Theatre production zips along... The result is a quirky combination of biography and political and social history, in which the most colourful details often turn out to be true." – Time Out London
"Small but perfectly performed... If you've a taste for left politics, trippy fantasy, intellectual exhibitionism and kvetching New York-Jewish comedy, this is your night... This sporty premiere, directed by Tony Taccone, brings over from the US five mini-plays in one evening. The performers are beautifully balanced: Valeri Mudek in innocent blonde parts, Kate Eifrig edgy and alarming, Jim Lichtscheidl doing narratives and uncanny imitations of teenage girls, and JC Cutler in wilder character parts. They all play in perfectionist, passionate accord with Kushner’s intense style and wild imagination." – London Times
"This is fierce, strange and clever theatre. It isn't 'tiny' at all... Tony Taccone's production sustains a nice rhythm across the five constituent parts, yet it's Kushner's linguistic dexterity that impresses most. There's a quality of abstract oddity in his writing that, surprisingly, begets not a sense of cerebral hauteur but instead a humorous and heartfelt appreciation of the moral ambiguities of modern American life." - Evening Standard
"Don’t be deceived by the title. Tiny Kushner actually offers a lot of Tony Kushner... Flip Flop Fly proves a comic delight. In contrast, the final play is darker and more disturbing... This is Kushner at his best – original, uncomfortable and revealing a genuine compassion for the former First Lady while savaging the folly of US military action... Tony Taccone directs with wit and precision, and the four-strong company perform with panache." – Daily Telegraph
"Verbally extravagant and full of one-liners... Ms Eifrig is magnificent in the haunting, climactic play in which Laura Bush, then First Lady, travels to paradise to read The Brothers Karamazov to a trio of Iraqi children who perished because of American aggression. The premise is uncomfortable; the moral (that killing children is wrong) incontestable. But Kushner turns potential queasiness to dramatic advantage. We watch Mrs Bush's gracious smile congeal to a stricken stare as a guardian angel relays the tragic facts. The resulting conflict creates a painfully moving, speculative portrait of a decent, divided soul." – London Independent
"A playful, political evening performed with elan... In these five short plays imported from the Guthrie Theatre and Berkeley Rep, Kushner reveals his gift for blending the hallucinatory and the political... Tony Taccone's production saves the best till last: a playlet, which caused a scandal in America, in which Laura Bush treats a group of dead Iraqi children to a summation of the Grand Inquisitor's speech from The Brothers Karamazov." – London Guardian
"I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. I really loved the combination of political theater and comedy and the absurdism that Tony Kushner does so well." – BBC
"Entertaining and stimulating... The title is not just a pun, but almost an oxymoron. Tony Kushner is not a playwright renowned for his terseness: think of the great sprawling dramatic duvet that is his Angels in America diptych. Even in this collection of one-act plays, his prolixity keeps bursting out... As is typical of Kushner at his best, the piece's attitudes may be obvious but their expression is richly complex and insightful, and Eifrig is excellent as Mrs Bush. Tony Taccone's production for Berkeley Repertory Theatre is unfussy, with the four actors reciting set-up stage directions, and Kushner's material resonates with the Tricycle's policy of engaged participation in public issues.” – Financial Times
"It's the sharpness of the writing that powers through this British premiere of five short plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Kushner. There is such clarity conveyed not just in the language but in the rhythm and the nuance. Ideas and phrases honey drip from the script. Listening is an indulgence. This is enriched by the four strong performances from the small cast.” – The Stage
"Feisty... It’s always a pleasure to welcome actors as good as these from the other side of the pond: Tony Taccone, one of Kushner's longtime associates, directs a versatile quartet in some acidic, fantastic collisions between Richard Nixon's therapist and the Recording Angel; a bizarre St Louis beauty queen turned entertainer and the scary real-life Queen of Albania; and Laura Bush and three invisible dead Iraqi children. This latter sketch is easily the best, profoundly squirm-inducing as Kate Eifrig's Laura offers false comfort and apology while reading from her favourite author, Dostoevksy.” – What’s On Stage
"Kushner's subject is no less than the US itself and here he exposes its many modern paradoxes through fantastical flights across time and space... Tony Taccone's Berkeley Rep ensemble production is as tight as a drum." – Metro London
"As a treat for English viewers, this production has moved from the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and Berkeley Repertory Theatre lock stock and barrel, under the direction of Tony Taccone. He has the benefit of four extremely versatile and very witty actors who will not be familiar to British audiences and make the most of the chances provided by so many different roles.” – British Theatre Guide
Top: JC Cutler in Tiny Kushner (courtesy of mellopix.com)
Center: Taccone and Kushner at Berkeley Rep (courtesy of Cheshire Isaacs)
Bottom: Tony Taccone talking to his cast (courtesy of Michal Daniel)
Way to go Tiny, congrats are in order. Great reviews too...
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