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The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute techincal delay on opening night of this substantially revised musical – a stage adaptation of the 1998 DreamWorks animated movie. But nothing could entirely halt this juggernaut; fittingly, for a show that earnestly values persistence and the unstoppable power of the epic.
London Theatre Week runs 24 February to 8 March, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the West End’s best plays and musicals – with tickets from just £15, £25 and £35! You can even nab some of the best seats in town at only £45. So, get booking now and enjoy the finest shows that the capital has to offer.
Among the heartfelt tributes to the late Caroline Flack in recent days was a message from Strictly Come Dancing, praising the former contestant’s “infectious energy and passion for dance”. Flack won the 12th series of the show in 2014 with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, and her “journey” (in Strictly parlance) was a truly beautiful one – gradually growing in confidence and ballroom skill to rightly lift that Glitterball trophy.
Three years after the National’s enthralling revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, the playwright returns with his new adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s tragicomic 1956 parable – which has also been turned into an Ingrid Bergman-starring film and a Kander and Ebb musical.
Tom Stoppard’s latest – and possibly final – play has few of the dramatic hallmarks you might expect from him: the dazzling linguistic flourishes, the formal trickery, the knotty metaphors and giddy metatheatricality. Instead, we have a relatively straightforward, linear piece, initially overburdened by information, but with an immense accumulative power that leaves audiences awed and tearful.
With counter-terrorism an urgent concern – and specifically how best to find, track and use the data of suspected threats, without sacrificing our privacy and civil liberties – it’s excellent timing for a meaty drama about the surveillance state. And the second half of this debut full-length stage work from Al Blyth, helmed by Hampstead AD Roxanna Silbert, comes excitingly close to being that play for today.
“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Director Richard Jones has certainly taken Beckett’s words to heart in this vividly comic, star-cast Old Vic double bill, pairing Endgame with a lesser-known short play – which acts as a sort of stylistic and thematic amuse bouche. The result is a richly engaging evening, though one that skirts real profundity.
Changing the gender of the title character “highlights the way in which women still operate in a world designed by and for men,” argues Chris Bush, whose reimagining of Marlowe’s play premieres at the Lyric ahead of a UK tour. It’s certainly a compelling idea – albeit one already explored in previous productions like Pauline Randall’s 2018 gender-swapped Faustus at the Globe – but the resulting piece, though impassioned, is unfortunately rather a muddle.