Emilia, Vaudeville Theatre

“We are only as powerful as the stories we tell.” So proclaims poet and activist Emilia Bassano, as she wrestles back her own story in Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s 2018 Globe hit – its raw, feminist, revolutionary power just as potent in this West End transfer.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Downstate, National Theatre

Pulitzer-winner Bruce Norris once again challenges audiences with a play built around a difficult topic – in this case, asking whether paedophiles are irredeemable, how they should be punished, the distinction between justice and vengeance, and whether an empathetic response betrays our support of their victims.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre

The grand finale to Jamie Lloyd’s remarkable Pinter at the Pinter season is this starry production of one of the writer’s greatest – and certainly most personal – works, inspired by his extramarital affair with Joan Bakewell. The 1978 play is famous for its reverse-chronological structure, however Lloyd’s stylish, expressionistic take emphasises the daring not just of the formal trickery, but of the unsparing scrutiny of humanity.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Admissions, Trafalgar Studios

News emerged today that Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 50 wealthy people charged in a college cheating scam dumbed “Varsity Blues”, in which they allegedly paid bribes of up to $6 million to secure places for their offspring at top universities.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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CD Review: Follies, National Theatre cast recording

The National Theatre’s Follies (currently enjoying a well-deserved encore run) is something of a musical theatre miracle. Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s 1971 show has endured almost as much existential angst as its characters, endlessly chopped and changed, but Dominic Cooke’s production – appropriately enough – succeeds by both taking a new tack, and by going back to the beginning.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Waitress, Adelphi Theatre

Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s 2015 musical adaptation of Adrienne Shelly’s film, about a small-town waitress who processes her feelings via her skilful baking, brings its sugar and spice concoction to the West End. The result is a tasty treat – albeit with the odd ill-mixed ingredient.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Alys, Always, Bridge Theatre

Harriet Lane’s memorably unsettling 2012 novel, about an overlooked sub-editor who infiltrates the literary elite, has been adapted for stage by Lucinda Coxon. Its combination of psychological thriller and industry satire is decently translated, but a conservative production from Bridge boss Nicholas Hytner (who, astonishingly, is here directing his first ever play by a female writer) makes a middling case for the virtues of a theatrical version.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Betrayal leads March’s Top 10 new London shows

From a starry Pinter and tasty musical treat to a portrait of grief.

Read my full BroadwayWorld article here

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Follies, National Theatre

This is a golden age of London Sondheim revivals, with Marianne Elliott’s thrilling Company still playing in the West End, and Dominic Cooke’s Follies getting a hugely welcome second run at the National – both testament to a director’s transformative vision. A few key cast changes add extra incentive to this Follies encore, although the sheer level of detail in Cooke’s production should be more than enough to tempt a second (or third, or fourth) visit.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Home Futures, The Favourite, Michelle Obama and inspiring libraries

In my February MoveTo Town and Country Arts pages:

  • Exhibition Avant-garde visions in Home Futures at the Design Museum
  • Film A right royal romp in award-winning The Favourite
  • Theatre Sondheim reborn in the sensational musical Company
  • Commuter corner Candid reflections from Michelle Obama in Becoming
  • Festival Support creatives directly at Parallax Art Fair
  • Dance Contemporary circus meets musical drama in Cirque Éloize’s Hotel 
  • Opera Rising stars tackle Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at the Royal Opera House
  • 6 of the best… inspiring libraries in London

Read the full article here

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