Aspects of Love, Southwark Playhouse

“Love Changes Everything”, as immortalised by Michael Ball, is the most enduring feature of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Charles Hart’s 1989 musical – a moderate West End success, and a Broadway flop. Jonathan O’Boyle’s production, seen last year at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre, follows the trend for stripping back big shows to get at the heart of them; a good tactic on the whole, though challenged by a work that’s ultimately more interested in dissecting love than sharing it.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Pinter Five and Pinter Six, Harold Pinter Theatre

Jamie Lloyd’s star-studded season of short Pinter plays continues with two more intriguing productions: one directed by Patrick Marber, the other by Lloyd himself. Among the subjects this time around are family, miscommunication, class and politics – plus an early bid for the most memorable wigs of 2019.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Aspects of Love leads January’s Top 10 new London shows

From a reborn Andrew Lloyd Webber to Cate Blanchett’s UK stage debut.

Read my full BroadwayWorld article here

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Strictly Speaking: The Final

Another year, another bloated final that winds up being totally irrelevant to the results. At some point, Strictly bosses might need to look into that… For my money, of the last four, Ashley was the strongest dancer, Joe the most improved, Faye the best on the night, and Kevin, I mean Stacey, won. Err, yay?

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Why do Strictly viewers hate Ashley Roberts?

This weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing semi-final saw a third consecutive trip to the dreaded dance-off for ex-Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts – despite topping the leaderboard with pro partner Pasha Kovalev after notching four nines for a fierce Paso Doble and a perfect score for her luminous American Smooth.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 12

Semi-final week saw the usual quality drop-off with two dances – although in some cases such technical lack was rebranded as “authenticity” by the ever-erratic judges. We also had the dance and music lottery either boosting or limiting celebs, depending on whether they lucked out with the last remaining caramel swirl in the Quality Street tin, or got stuck with that unwanted green triangle.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Is Strictly’s judging going to pot?

In these divisive times, we can count on the BBC’s sequin-fest to get all the generations round the telly on a Saturday night, becoming armchair experts on fleckerls and voltas. In this 16th series, however, the good ship Strictly has hit more icebergs than Ann Widdecombe’s Titanic rumba.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory

There’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the biting hardships of winter, and to the elegiac aspect of change, than to festive jollies. Which is not to say that there isn’t rousing fun to be had in many a slick set-piece, but this intimate, sensitive staging brings out the work’s soul, particularly its timeless call for empathy and compassion.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Musicals Week! The quarter-finals! All to play for on this jazz hands show, and the combination of high-stakes competition and rampant theming produced… mixed results. Some dances fit beautifully with their songs, others were swallowed whole – and the judges continued to be consistent only in their inconsistency.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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True West leads December’s Top 10 new London shows

From a starry revival to new plays and the return of a modern classic.

Read my full BroadwayWorld article here

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