Steve Barfield

Steve Barfield has taught English Literature in Universities for some twenty-five years ( BA, MA and PhD) and his research interests include contemporary drama and performance. He has taught courses on play reviewing to undergraduates at the University of Westminster and for visiting academics and has reviewed theatre for a number of publications. He is widely published and his books include: Teaching Contemporary British Fiction, Beckett and Death, and Critical Perspectives on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials: Essays on the Novels, the Film and the Stage Productions . He was managing series co-editor of the series Continuum Guides to Modern Theatre (9 vols.) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Asiatic Society.
Being Indian today in a globalized world: Salaam India at Watermans

If you have any interest in India at all, then Salaam India is four fascinating, funny and moving parallel stories of how Indian identity is being questioned as never before, 65 years after independence as it bustles towards global, superpower status. At Watermans.

Thursday 29th November 2012 Read more...
The English Civil War Revisited: Howard Brenton's 55 Days at the Hampstead Theatre

A stirring and provocative account of a seminal moment in Britain’s history after the English Civil War and one that the play has conjured into vivid, forceful and striking life. There are superb performances from Mark Gatiss as Charles I and Douglas Henshall’s riveting Cromwell. Ultimately, it is a play about those English revolutionaries who made our modern society. At the Hampstead Theatre.

Friday 26th October 2012 Read more...
Shopping-trolley realism: Timon of Athens at the National Theatre

This outstanding production of Timon of Athens resets it from ancient Greece to the present day of greedy city bankers, cultural oligarchs and the social unrest of the dispossessed. This makes it seem powerfully topical, combined with some sensible editing and intelligent rewriting. At the National Theatre.

Tuesday 16th October 2012 Read more...
Funnier Than Heston Blumenthal's Snail Porridge: Celebrity Night at Café Red at Trafalgar Studios

The targets of its satire are on the one hand celebrity chef and restaurant culture, and on the other, the extreme pretentiousness that seems sometimes true of things French, at least from the Anglophile perspective. If you’ve ever laughed about either of these then you’ll certainly enjoy this short play. At Trafalgar Studios.

Tuesday 25th September 2012 Read more...
An Entertaining But Thoughtful I Am A Camera: At Southwark Playhouse

This is a robust, physical, engaged and sensitively done production. Directed fluidly by Anthony Lau, it is always entertaining and particularly good as a depiction of the Bohemian lives of its two central British characters, Christopher Isherwood and Sally Bowles, caught up in history’s growing storm in 1930's Germany. At Southwark Playhouse.

Monday 10th September 2012 Read more...
Excellent Revival of Schiller's Mary Stuart: At the New Diorama Theatre

In this compelling revival of the play, the acting is frequently electric, the action tense and exciting, while the crucial debates and characterisation of the court intrigues and power politics are lucid. A fascinating study of the life or death conflict between two powerful and determined Queens. At the New Diorama Theatre.

Friday 7th September 2012 Read more...
The Bard and the Mime: Silent Shakespeare at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre

To the Moon have taken various scenarios from Shakespeare and explored what happens when you remove the language and play them as mime. At the moment it is more of a partly successful experiment than a fully effective production, though there were certainly some engaging moments. At the Lion and Unicorn.

Wednesday 5th September 2012 Read more...
Outrageous and Thought-Provoking: Troilus and Cressida at the Riverside Studios.

This is a fiercely engaged, deeply knowledgeable, extremely intelligent, coolly outrageous version of Troilus and Cressida which certainly deserves to be seen. At the Riverside Studios.

Tuesday 4th September 2012 Read more...
Brian Friel's Bitter-Sweet Story of Love, Sadness and Emigration: Philadelphia, Here I Come! at the Donmar Warehouse

A bitter-sweet, poetic tragi-comedy worthy of Chekhov, it is a sensitive, beautifully observed and riveting study of the relationship between a young man, Gar O’Donnell, and the taciturn, elderly father he is leaving when he emigrates from the fictional Ballybeg, Ireland, to Philadelphia. At the Donmar Warehouse.

Tuesday 4th September 2012 Read more...
Multiple Identities: Formal Abstraction and Visceral Realities

There is plenty of youthful talent here and some intriguing, sometimes innovative thinking through of themes commonly explored in performance work. Often raw and sometimes more puzzling than necessary, this is a sophisticated and intelligent group of performers to watch out for.

Friday 31st August 2012 Read more...
The Alchemist

There is much vitality in this production and an amusing modern set replete with lager cans. It is a genuine pleasure to see a new generation recognizing the satiric vitality of this timeless, universal tale of urban corruption. At Upstairs at the Gatehouse.

Thursday 12th July 2012 Read more...


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