Jmc as writer in the press

White Bear Theatre, 2005
"The country house play is a dependable form for detailing the state of (part of) the nation, and it gets a vigorous outing here courtesy of James Martin Charlton... splendid catty dialogue... this entertaining bunch." Time Out.
"...a cross between Oscar Wilde and Luigi Pirandello... a kind of Walpurgisnacht for the soul." - What's On.
Maidstone Prison 2002
"Admiration was the dominant emotion as we watched imagination run riot…
Essentially A Twist of Oliver illustrated enormous effort and dedication, terrific enthusiasm and energy, and loads of potential talent on all levels. Thanks to all involved for an enjoyable experience. The church rocked to the rafters at the end as the audience burst out and shouted ‘PLEASE, GUYS, WE WANT SOME MORE!’ " – Jonathan King, The Maidstone Insider.
Pleasance Edinburgh 2002
"an ambitious attempt to drag Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein roaring into the new millennium. Writer James Martin Charlton sets the horror story in an inner city sprawl of high-rise dwellings and a high, rising crime rate." – The Stage.
"Dickensian grotesque, meaty method acting and French and Saunders" – The List.
"This very dark piece of theatre is interestingly staged and well performed, with most company members taking on two or more parts. It is not so much the traditional version of Frankenstein but more the realization that man’s creations can be turned against him with deadly results. For a break from the large comedy presence on the fringe. This show is definitely one for the more serious theatre viewer it certainly made me have a few serious thoughts. " One4review.
ecstasy + GRACE
Theatre 28 at Finborough Theatre 2001
"a deeply spiritual inner journey of despair and possible redemption…
as powerfully thought-provoking and emotion-stirring as the author could have wished." – The Stage.
"It neither flinches from its material nor seems emotionally dishonest… moments of genuine, unsettling force." – Metro.
"…it’s excellent… the writing is occasionally lyrical and even funny: broad literary allusions and historical references embrace the audience, and moments of humour provide safety valves… this play is well worth a visit." –
"Sharply unsettling" - The Independent on Sunday.
"Loopy" - The Guardian.
Warehouse Theatre, Croydon commission 1996 /
Produced Warehouse Theatre 1997; Premio Candoni Arta Terme, Italy, 1998
"…characters in plays by James Martin Charlton are given such rich, extraordinary comments
to express their feelings… a return to Fat Souls’ peculiar strengths: a passionate sympathy with the victims of abuse, and a readiness to exploit underused theatrical styles to present their story." - Jeremy Kingston, The Times.
"James Martin Charlton’s cleverly constructed new play about low life and high hopes on a council estate… this award-winning dramatist is a poet of the tower blocks and he comes at you with a ferociously funny and totally uncynical voice which, as well as being entertaining, boldly suggests a universal and uplifting message about bridging the spiritual gaps that exist in our lives… some riveting dramatic highlights… Tragic but uplifting." – Roger Foss, What’s On.
"Combining poetry and burlesque with social comment and naturalism, James Martin Charlton’s East End drama is a bold theatrical gambit… Charlton is undoubtedly a lively writer and his characters, their stories and his language hail from a fiery mind." – Patrick Marmion, Time Out.
"Charlton’s play impresses in how it never condemns any of its characters…
Much of the language reminds you of Shakespeare’s… He eschews realism in favour of poetry and there is a strangeness to the play… he articulates the often silent voice inside everyone who hates their situation and wants to escape." - The Stage.
Warehouse Theatre & Mermaid Theatre 1996
"The dream sequences, the character of the Guru and the summary progress through time are some of the play’s intriguing features…" - Jeremy Kingston, The Times.
"…a live-action cartoon… a feast for lovers of fast and furious theatre…
energy and visual brilliance… Charlton is an eloquent writer…" - What’s On.
"A picaresque piece of physical theatre… a poetical satire in the tradition of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress… ingenuous philosophising… plenty of fizz…" - Patrick Marmion, Time Out.
"Go and see this production. That’s the bottom line… Surreal, magical, disturbing, compelling, powerful and at times brutal, …a white-knuckle ride through man’s subconscious and society’s taboos. Riveting stuff." - News Shopper.
White Bear 1995
"…surreal pitch-black comedy of manners… shock tactic display of fancy dress and naked bollocks… high octane performances." - Time Out.
Warehouse Theatre 1993
"There is simply no mistaking a new voice in the theatre… Charlton’s is a quirky, assured creative voice, consistently theatrical." - Jeremy Kingston, The Times.
"…this remarkable piece delivers a parable on the need to confront the world without a mask. The author certainly does so… He has created something funny, touching and quite unlike anything else on the scene." - Irving Wardle, The Independent on Sunday.
"…a new playwright of great promise… a confident new theatrical voice…
energy, street language and dives into rhyming verse." - Ned Sherrin, Sunday Express.
"It’s a simple story, but a remarkable one. Charlton writes with energy and jauntiness, strapping ancient dramatic traditions to his modern tale with great success - the play is written in verse and the characters wear masks, yet this never appears gauche… evocative of Jonson in its relish for stereotype… a play about the redemptive power of love with distinctly Christian undertones, yet it is never mawkish, rather it is funny, touching and enjoyably theatrical." - The Independent.
"…sparkles with originality and life… Fat Souls, with its masks and preoccupation with the truth behind the hidden, is written almost entirely in a form of rhyming prose poetry that explodes as if Caryl Churchill and Ben Jonson had suddenly rubbed shoulders… An exciting and thrilling debut indeed." - Carole Woddis, What’s On.
"…visceral theatre in the Greek tradition… this is a play to be torn off and swallowed whole in bleeding chunks." - Time Out.
New Copenhagen Theatre 1991
"James Martin Charlton’s script (…) is well-written, makes all the right points and has a nifty line in tragic real lives… pretty powerful stuff." - The Good Times.
"a no-holds barred exposé… full marks for the ten-strong cast for keeping up the energy." - Time Out.
Etcetera Theatre 1988
Straight to the Top will satisfy the desire for laughter and emotion." - What’s On.
"…a gay version of a Brian Rix farce, full of dropped trousers, people popping in and out of wardrobes and the usual mix-ups and misunderstandings about sex… a clever send-up of a comic tradition from writer James Martin Charlton." - City Limits.
Fallen Angel 1985
"A wild, rabid farce… A cleverly written, quick-fire play…
if you like your theatre physically and visually exuberant, you’ll like it a lot." - City Limits.
"…the 19-year-old playwright-director shows considerable craft in the structure and pace of the play, as well as giving his cast some delightful comic one-liners…With police powers about to be vastly increased again, and democratic accountability a wistful dream, this serious warning is both loud and commendable… a genuine writing talent in the making." - Capitol Gay.