Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp, Jack Studio Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until February 22, 2020


Charlie Chaplin was a complicated person and a tortured artist. He took his impoverished childhood in which he had absolutely no control over his circumstances and spun it into the character of the little tramp that charmed the world. When finally he was in control of his destiny as an artist he became a perfectionist, if not a martinet. And then as, perhaps the first victim of the cult of film celebrity, he began to feel that he was a prisoner of that character he had created. The greatest film star of his age was trapped and controlled by his own success, and at the same time, the era of silent film was on the wane. But then, when Chaplin did find his voice it was unsurprisingly to offer a clarion call against those who would control others. His attack on Hitler was impassioned and prescient. This production gets it right in every way. Charlotte Cooke's economical set is beautifully conceived and versatile. She picks up on the cabin in The Gold Rush and uses it to demonstrate visually how Chaplin transmuted his life into all aspects of his art. The mime sequences capture the spirit of silent film and work seamlessly to advance the story. Lucy Ioannou is wonderfully expressive as the tramp and she makes a great team with Conor Moss' Charlie. Benjamin Garrison as the drunken father is spot on and Toby Wynn-Davies does a fine turn as sympathetic brother, Sydney. Laurel Marks is perfect as Virginia Cherrill, and Clare Aster is simply brilliant as Charlie's mother, Hannah. This production is in a theatre slightly off the beaten path, but we certainly advise beating your way to the box office to see it!

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Davor Tovarlaza.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 22, 2020
Tue - Sat: 7:30 pm
Jack Studio Theatre
Nearest station: Crofton Park

Most Popular

Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep ★★★★ Southwark Playhouse | Apr 27 - May 21, 2022

Future Shock ★★★★ 180 The Strand | Apr 28 - Aug 28, 2022

Space Station Earth ★★★★ Royal Albert Hall | May 15, 2022

Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show ★★★★★ Richmond Theatre | May 23 - 28, 2022

Busman's Honeymoon ★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Apr 28 - Jun 25, 2022

Bad Nights and Odd Days ★★★★ Greenwich Theatre | June 23 - July 10, 2021

What the Ladybird Heard ★★★★★ Palace Theatre | Jul 15 - Aug 29, 2021

Shackleton's Carpenter, The Jermyn Street Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until August 17, 2019

The Human Connection ★★★★ Omnibus Theatre | June 22 - July 4, 2021

Disney's The Lion King ★★★★ Lyceum Theatre | Extended Run

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings