Lisa Goldman

Author of The No Rules Handbook, Director, Writer & Script Consultant

REVIEWS

On Artistic Directorship at Soho 2006-2010

Goldman has transformed the venue, making it a home to radical international drama, where exiled Iraqi authors hobnob with the dissenting Belarus Free Theatre (banned in its home country), where a Gen-X Polish wunderkind gets her British premiere and where a troupe of Anglo-German performance artists (Gob Squad), renowned across Europe, is given a rare UK outing. That does not surprise anyone who knows Goldman – who previously ran the politicised Red Room company, and who from 2001 was active in the establishment of Artists Against the War. New Statesman 2009

In her first year in charge Lisa Goldman has re-energised the Soho Theatre….she is fast making her theatre the capital’s centre for international drama, having scored a significant hit with Baghdad Wedding. Evening Standard 2008 (Lisa listed in top 1000 Influentials in London)

 Soho Theatre nowadays feels like a place that realises completely that it’s sitting at the heart of a world city with gateways into all kinds of cultures… To be a theatre that’s plugged into such diversity, without dissipating its personality - that’s a difficult mission, but Goldman and her team are carrying it out with real aplomb.Dominic Cavendish (citation Peter Brook Award 2009)

 

PRODUCTION REVIEWS 

Martina Cole’s Dangerous Lady adapted by Patrick Prior  (Theatre Royal Stratford East 2012)

Cast included: Allyson Ava-Brown, Claire-Louise Cordwell, James Clyde, Dale Rapley, Alan Westaway, Paul Woodson, Veronica Quilligan

Designed by Jean-Marc Puissant Lighting by Mike Gunning Sound by Matt McKenzie

Another juicy chunk of soap-opera theatre, all big events and even bigger emotions… a slick filleting of the book by Patrick Prior.. a full-blooded down-the-decades performance from the reliably excellent Cordwell… Lisa Goldman’s virtually décor-free production whizzes us through everything with brisk efficiency, with changing styles of clothes and hair marking the passing of time, as the body count mounts and family loyalties are stretched to breaking point and beyond. Effective and eminently watchable.   Fiona Mountford Evening Standard                        

Nominated two Off-West End Awards

  

Inheritance by Mike Packer (Live Theatre 2010)

Cast: David Hargreaves, Melanie Hill, Steven Hillman, Martina Cole, Matthew Wait

Designed by Ben Stones  Lighting Philip Gladwell  Sound Matt McKenzie

Mike Packer's drama is a magnificently bitter and twisted saga about a fractious family whose occupations have evolved from shovelling shit to aromatherapy. By presenting the paradigm of two brothers blowing their inheritance before their father is in his grave, Packer finds a perfect metaphor for a country living on credit. Lisa Goldman's compelling production makes essential viewing for recession-hit times – beg, steal or borrow a ticket, or failing that, stick it on some plastic.    Alfred Hickling The Guardian ****  

Runner up Best Performance of the yearThe Journal Culture Award

 

Behud by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti (Soho Theatre and Coventry Belgrade 2010) 

Cast: Lucy Briars, Priyanga Burford,  Ravin J Ganatra, Shiv Grewal, John Hodgkinson, Chetna Pandya, Avin Shah

Designed by Hannah Clark  Lighting by Richard G Jones  Sound by Matt McKenzie 

It’s hard not to be impressed by the imaginative vitality and experimental daring of this work, which places the creative process - and the freedom of the artist - at the heart of what often feels like a witty modern-day answer to Pirandello. What’s finally striking about the show is its humour, pricking pomposity on all sides. If the white, middle-class establishment thinks it’s let off the hook here, it can think again. A potent, promising comeback.  Dominic Cavendish The Telegraph ****

Runner up Index on Censorship Award and nominated John Whiting Award

 

Everything must go! by Bola Agbaje, Megan Barker, Will Eno, Maxwell Golden, Paula Stanic, Marisa Carnesky,Steve Thompson, Kay Adshead,Roy McCants, Oladipo Agboluaje. (Soho 2009)

Cast: Jimmy Ackingbola, Ron Donachie, Ed Hughes, Jo Martin, Lara Pulver 

Designed by Chloe Lamford  Lighting by Christoph Wagner  Sound by Tom Gibbons

Ten short sharp responses to the current financial crisis that collectively blaze with anger, buzz with wit and crackle with acute anxiety. In Lisa Goldman and Esther Richardson’s stripped down staging they are vital and thrillingly inventive…The performers, particularly Jimmy Ackingbola and Lara Pulver, are cracking; and the writing is raw, rage filled and compassionate.. So much soaring talent is, even in these doom-laden days, cause for optimism.   The Times ****

 

Piranha Heights by Philip Ridley  (Soho Theatre 2008)

Cast: John MacMillan, Nicolas Tennant, Luke Treadaway, Matthew Wait, Jade Williams

Designed by John Bausor  Lighting by Jenny Kagan  Sound by Matt McKenzie           Fight Direction by Bret Yount

With this truly remarkable new play, Philip Ridley completes an East End trilogy of siblings and apocalypse - the others were Mercury Fur and Leaves of Glass - that will one day be rated as one of the high water marks of British drama in the first decade of this century. Every line and every scene has a raw, compelling vivacity and application for the here and now, and Lisa Goldman’s brilliant production, the audience ranged on two sides, proclaims a work of dark fantasy and genius. Michael Coveney, What’s On Stage *****    

runner up WOS Award Best Production

 

A Couple of Poor Polish Speaking Romanians by Dorota Maslowska translated by Lisa Goldman and Paul Sirett (Soho Theatre 2008)

Cast: Ishia Bennison, Valerie Lilley, Andrea Riseborough, John Rogan, Andrew Tiernan, Howard Ward

Designed by Miriam Buether Lighting by Jenny Kagan Sound by Matt McKenzie Choreography by Rosie Kay

Wow factor – Hunter S Thompson meets Sex Pistols. Lisa Goldman and Paul Sirett’s excellent idiomatic translation….Andrea Riseborough and Andrew Tiernan are brilliant….The Soho Theatre should be congratulated for serving up this dark gem. This is international theatre at its most contemporary and an exciting work that screams of the now. Aleks Sierz Arts Desk

 

Baghdad Wedding by Hassan Abdulrazzak (Soho Theatre 2007)  

Cast included: Silas Carson, Emilio Doorgasingh, Annie Hemingway, Cosh Omar, Matt Rawle, Sirine Saba, Nitzan Sharron

Designed by Jon Bausor  Lighting by Jenny Kagan  Sound by Matt McKenzie     Fight Director  Brett Yount   Composer  Keith Clouston   Dialect  William Conacher 

Baghdad Wedding, a first play by Hassan Abdulrazzak, a London based Iraqi is exhilarating. Lisa Goldman, the new artistic head of the theatre directs with flair; it’s a flying start to regime change at Soho.   Susannah Clapp Observer ****   

George Devine Award and Meyer Whitworth Awards for best play, runner up Evening Standard Award

Baghdad Wedding (BBC Radio 3)   A privilege to listen to.  Daily Telegraph

 

Leaves of Glass by Philip Ridley (Soho Theatre 2007)

Cast: Trystan Gravelle, Maxine Peake, Ruth Sheen, Ben Whishaw 

Designed by Laura Hopkins Lighting by Jenny Kagan  Sound by Matt McKenzie

For Liz (Ruth Sheen) and Steven (Ben Whishaw) memories are poison; you erase them like graffiti. Lisa Goldman’s production is lucid and restrained. The writing is packed with meaning. Listen hard. Every word matters.

John Peters, Sunday Times ****

 

Hoxton Story by Lisa Goldman (Site specific – The Red Room 2005) 

Cast of professional actors and locals. Included: William Adomako-Opuko, Leon Ajikawo, Paula K Bardowell Linda Broughton, Tam Dean Burn, Rachel Essex, Taylan Halici, Patrick Hayes, Marsha Henry, Tia Martin, Femi Oguns, Deborah Omolade, Jim Pyke, Michael Quartey, Sean Shote, Michael Vidal, Danielle Vitalis

Designed by John Bausor  Lighting by Jenny Kagan  Film by Leo Asemota   Composer Mat Fox   Costume Sally-Ann Dixie

Regeneration is a dirty word for the residents of Hoxton’s Arden estate. The divisions between the two worlds are sharply realised in this brilliant walkabout performance created by writer/director Lisa Goldman and the Red Room. Hoxton Story is the bastard child of fashionable verbatim theatre and today’s many life is shit council estate plays. It has absolutely no manners and is all the better for it….in weaving stories it reveals truths…. the divisions between art and life blur, in a show that is rooted in the community and probes the very nature of community itself. Lyn Gardner, The Guardian  ****

 

Playing Fields by Neela Dolezalova  (Soho Theatre 2003)

Cast: Jimmy Ackingbola, Adam Deacon, Tisha Martin, Sid Mitchell, Phoebe Thomas

Playing Fields is dazzlingly inventive. With a bold mix of home video, word games and free-ranging slang, Dolezalova demonstrates a sharp ear for the comic bizarreness of everyday speech. Although it pivots around what it is to grow up you never feel that you are listening to ‘issues’. Her real subject is emotional fragility – a girl’s struggle for emotional and sexual self- acceptance – all of which simply glows in Lisa Goldman’s fluid production.

Kate Stratton, Time Out Critics Choice

 

The Bogus Woman by Kay Adshead (The Red Room at Bush/Traverse/national and international tour 2000- 2002)

Cast: Noma Dumezweni

Designed by Ti Green  Lighting by Simon Macer Wright  Sound by Jules Shapter 

So meticulously well done, so superbly performed and so manifestly based on the indefensible facts about what is happening in British detention centres now, that even the most dedicated reactionary would find it difficult to turn away in indifference.  This a beautifully crafted work, designed to make British people feel sick with shame at what is being done in our name; and by God, it succeeds.    Joyce MacMillan, The Scotsman *****

The Scotsman Fringe First Award; Manchester Evening News Award best performance; runner up Susan Smith Blackburn Award and EMMA Award

 

EX by Rob Young (BAC Opera season 1999)

the latest collaboration between promising playwright Rob Young and hotshot director Lisa Goldman is this sweet musical sketch on the perils of rekindling old flames accompanied by live piano. The show is suffused with a melancholy charm and its polish is peppered with some very funny writing  Time Out Critics Choice

 

Leave to Remain by Leon London   (BAC 1999)

By turns moving, amusing and genuinely shocking, the writer lays bare the friendships, loves and animosities of a group of refugees in a London hostel. He is aided by a very talented cast guided by a sure-footed and inspired director, Lisa Goldman…. the cumulative effect builds magically… the piece is filled with moments of great theatrical and political resonance. Jack Straw should clear a space in his busy schedule and go and take a look.  Whats On

 

Made in England by Parv Bancil (BAC and tour 1998)

 Parv Bancil confronts his Anglo-Asian tag in a provocative new play… a witty gritty story… Bally swaps his guitar for a sitar and re-invents himself as Billy India, a monster ego who churns out imitation Asian pop. In the unforced authenticity of Lisa Goldman’s production it is the truthfulness of the writing that creates the most forceful impression.   Time Out Critics Choice

 

Obsession by Rob Young  (BAC Critics Choice season 1998)

 Lurid emotional intimacy combines with strong dramatic conceit in a story of a young man’s sado-masochistic relationship. Young’s language is alternately sensual and surgical. Under Lisa Goldman’s austere, subtle direction, even the two chairs come to symbolize the doomed relationship. Obsession ruthlessly exploits the relationship between actor and audience: a fine blend of art and matter.              Time Out Critics Choice

 

Surfing  by Rob Young  (Finborough and Assembly Rooms 1997)

A story of love on the Net. Young evokes a strangely affecting world, part fantasy, part cry from the heart – brought into sharp focus in Lisa Goldman’s production which delicately exploits the tonal variations and leaves just the right amount to the mind’s eye. Time Out Critics Choice

 

Sunspots by Judy Upton 1996 (The Red Room and BAC Critics Choice season)

 Lisa Goldman’s detailed and deeply sympathetic direction of Judy Upton’s latest play keeps every moment of the ensuing drama alive. Raquel Cassidy (Pola) turns the stage into a playground for her fantasies. Never improbable or exaggerated, the production achieves an intensity of desire and longing and a mood of enduring affection. Goldman and her cast have explored and developed an intriguing world. Well worth seeing.   Time Out Critics Choice

 

 On The No Rules Handbook for Writers 2012

Lisa Goldman’s book is like the best of British new writing: it is personal, well written, clearly thought out and resonant. Its advice is passionately felt but perfectly controlled. And its ideas sing and inspire.  Alex Sierz, author of In-Yer-Face Theatre

Reading just one book about the craft or theory of playwriting is the worst thing a playwright can do – far worse than reading none. Lisa Goldman’s book is an exception.  Fraser Grace, Playwright and Convener of MPhil Playwriting Studies, Birmingham University 

 

 

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