Theatre and #MeToo: ‘There’s a new anger in women’s stories’

The Weinstein scandal has inspired several new plays ranging from sharp satire to crass comedy. As the mogul heads to trial, we gauge theatres response Katie Arnstein tells a story of a day at drama school when a tutor told her to perform her graduation show in a bra because Im a blonde with a big chest. It is one of several experiences that informed Arnsteins solo show #MeToo numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault levelled at Harvey Weinstein since 2017. (Allegations he continues to deny in the run-up to his trial in September.) I was inspired by the strength shown by people who have called out abuse in the acting industry, Arnstein says. This play is my version …

Lucy McCormick review caustically candid comedy about history’s famous women

McCormick rips up the rulebook with Post Popular, a hedonistic history lesson that is trashy, volatile … and honest Utterly indelicate and completely unpredictable, Post Popular is a wild ride. Lucy McCormicks ludicrous performance-lecture-cum-cabaret-cum-rage-room is built with so many layers of irony and mockery that its core would be rotten by the time you dug down to it. If only more history lessons were like this. McCormicks work stems from the live art scene, where she worked as part of the provocative duo Triple Threat, an X-rated take on the New Testament. She quickly outdoes herself in Post Popular; within minutes shes intimately licking one of her backing dancers. But far more than a gratuitous joke, this singalong search for …

Rupert Graves: ‘Genuinely, it helps in this business being called Rupert’

Costume dramas cast him as a floppy-fringed dreamboat even though he wasnt actually posh. Now Rupert Graves is playing a rapping Roman in the latest Horrible Histories romp Rupert Gravess eldest son got a nasty shock recently when he went on a school trip to see the 1987 Merchant Ivory adaptation of EM Forsters gay love story A Room with a View, which his father made with the same team two years earlier his film debut, in fact and in which he is seen throwing off his clothes to cavort in the lake and scamper through the undergrowth. Hes not prudish. But seeing your dad naked is a lot for a lad to take. Some people would be positively thrilled …

Moulin Rouge review high-kicking Broadway remix is hard to resist

A glitzy, silly stage version of Baz Luhrmanns 2001 pop musical doesnt have much of a plot but it glides thanks to its infectious energy A keg-stand when the keg is filled with absinthe, a banquet of drug-laced truffles, a riot, a wallow, a leg show and an all-time greatest hits radio countdown run amok Moulin Rouge has arrived on Broadway. An adaptation of Baz Luhrmanns 2001 movie, apparently so beloved that at a recent performance about a third of the audience seemed to be cosplaying its characters, the musical is a high-sheen gloss on the Camille story, in which a courtesan with 14-karat heart is maybe kind of redeemed by the love of a good man and then expires …

Bernadette Peters: ‘Every role I’ve played, I’ve thought that’s me!’

The Broadway powerhouse talks about trusting Sondheim, hearing others sing her songs and waiting to be taken seriously Cafe Luxembourg, the closet-sized New York bistro Bernadette Peters chooses for our lunch, opened in 1983 and seems almost unchanged. That also goes for Peters, although she has been in business longer. As a child actor, she made her New York debut more than 60 years ago in a revival of The Most Happy Fella and has rarely been off the stage or screen since. A gift to musical comedy, in some very dishy wrapping, she synthesises sex, sophistication and emotional nuance. Has another Broadway baby made it to the cover of Playboy? Just Ethel Merman, she quips. At 71, she looks …

‘I’m not a gay writer, I’m a monster’: did James Purdy foresee Trump’s America?

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous authors time finally come? On 6 August 2015, the American author and playwright Cabot Wright Begins. A scabrous satire about three of New Yorks sacred cows publishing, politics and psychiatry the novel concerns the battle for the biographical rights of the titular Wright, a handsome, Yale-educated stockbroker and serial rapist. New York Times book critic Orville Prescott called it the sick outpouring of a confused, adolescent, distraught mind. A counter-attack from Susan Sontag hailed it as a bravura work of satire, but the damage was done. If my life up to then had …

Fiona Shaw: Im delighted to be in with the young crowd!

The acclaimed stage actor on the joy of her spymaster role in Killing Eve and playing a therapist in the new series of Fleabag For an actress best known for her classical stage work, Fiona Shaw is suddenly all over our screens. In the last six months, she has popped up on TV in Mrs Wilson, and in cinemas in Colette. Now shes about to make a guest appearance in the feverishly awaited second series of Fleabag. Born in Cork, Shaw left for London in her mid-20s and trained at Rada. Now 60, she made her name at the RSC and the National Theatre, where she shone in some of the great tragic roles, including Medea, Electra, Richard II, Mother …