Michael Billington

Standard Name: Billington, Michael


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Health Harold Pinter
A year or two into the new millennium HP began to get indigestion and to feel weak and exhausted. An endoscopy revealed oesophagal cancer. He planned for chemotherapy, then surgery. In February 2002 he learned...
Literary responses Frances Burney
The reanimation of FB 's comedies is a happy story. Tara Ghoshal Wallace edited A Busy Day in paperback in 1984. A fringe production performed in Bristol in 1993, then in Islington, London, in...
Literary responses Louise Page
Most reviewers preferred the first part. Michael Billington , reviewing for The Guardian, praised the play as less an anti-war diatribe than a feeling of the texture of ordinary lives.
Eisen, Kurt. “Louise Page”. British Playwrights, 1956-1995. A Research and Production Source Book, edited by William W. Demastes, Greenwood Press, 1996, pp. 291 -00.
Literary responses Caryl Churchill
Nearly forty years on, critic Michael Billington wrote that Owners had announced the arrival of a major talent I signally failed to recognise.
Billington, Michael. “The room that roared”. The Guardian, pp. G2: 19 - 20.
G2: 20
Literary responses Louise Page
LP was so moved that she wept as she wrote this play. She later perceived an autobiographical element in it.
Page, Louise. Plays: 1. Methuen, 1997.
Reviewers were on the whole less impressed than they had previously been by Page...
Literary responses Timberlake Wertenbaker
Some reviews (from Michael Billington , for instance) were favourable; others were stinkers, complaining of melodrama and missed opportunity. Since the critics' night followed the Evening Standard theatre awards (a notoriously boozy mid-day occasion),...
Literary responses Winsome Pinnock
In 2018 critic Michael Billington described the play as insightful, honest, and shocking. Its shock was topical: audiences gasped when a character told he can escape deportation by securing his citizenship for fifty pounds bitterly...
Literary responses Timberlake Wertenbaker
Reviewer Michael Billington thought highly of this exciting, provocative play, in which he discerned the same epic reach as in TW 's recent radio adaptation of War and Peace.
Billington, Michael. “Jefferson’s Garden review—Timberlake Wertenbaker’s American tragedy”. theguardian.com.
Literary responses Caryl Churchill
The author said her play was a political event, not just a theatre event.
Brown, Mark. “Royal Court acts fast with Gaza crisis play”. The Guardian.
She was proved right. The Court's artistic director said that an apolitical, escapist period in the theatre was ending: People really...
Literary responses Winsome Pinnock
Michael Billington wrote that Wine in the Wilderness is about the moral value of personal truth, while Wateris about the commercial value of artistic lies.
Billington, Michael. “White out”. theguardian.com.
Kate Kellaway discerned in this play a rage over...
Literary responses Gillian Slovo
Michael Billington wrote that Slovo's skillfully edited pieceasks the right questions in a way that is clear, gripping and necessary. He also wrote: It is fascinating. But is it theatre? He then answered his...
Literary responses Winsome Pinnock
Michael Billington in the Guardian called the whole ensemble an engrossing evening and a potent reminder that theatre, among its myriad other functions, has a mission to inform.
“Winsome Pinnock”. Playwrights.
Literary responses Gillian Slovo
Michael Billington found this play richly informative and utterly compelling.
Billington, Michael. “Another World review—compelling insights into Islamic State”. theguardian.com.
But Nadia Latif and Omar El-Kairy (whose own play about the radicalisation of young British Muslims, Homegrown, was banned—unjustly, said Billington) questioned the objectivity...
Literary responses Caryl Churchill
Michael Billington found the final section reminiscent of Samuel Beckett. He wrote: While initially it seems slight, I find it's grown steadily in the mind since I saw it.
Billington, Michael. “Here We Go review’Caryl Churchill’s chilling reminder of our mortality”. theguardian.com.
Literary responses Pam Gems
This play brought PG 's work to the attention of critics and playgoers alike. While reviews were generally quite positive, some had difficulty accepting the play's feminist perspective. For instance, Ted Whitehead in The Spectator...


By 13 May 2007
The director of London's National Theatre , Nicholas Hytner , alleged that critics (whom he called dead white men) showed misogyny in reviewing plays by women.