Bargain Theatreland

wild1The thin blue line
November 13, 2014

Roy Williams’ police drama Wildefire is blazing editorial in Maria Aberg’s operatic Hampstead production, but individuals are lost in the smoke.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Both with Owen plaque & remembrance bookArms and the man
November 12, 2014

Stephen MacDonald’s Not About Heroes at Trafalgar Studios is a safe frame for searing First World War poetry, but doesn’t match its creative audacity.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

SavedPicture-20149291792-600x300-300x150Arms and the man
October 28, 2014

Pat Barker’s Regeneration is effectively if conventionally translated to the Richmond stage via Nicholas Wright’s adaptation and Simon Godwin’s economical production.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Production photographs for The Distance by Deborah Bruce, directed by Charlotte Gwinner for Orange Tree Theatre, October 2014Mum’s the word
October 12, 2014

Paul Miller’s opening season at the Orange Tree gets a boost from Deborah Bruce’s empathetic gem The Distance.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

seminar-portraitSchool of hard knocks
October 2, 2014

Roger Allam relishes his monstrous writing teacher, but Theresa Rebeck’s industry satire Seminar at Hampstead Theatre offers terribly anaemic drama.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

April-in-Paris-300x199Lost in translation
September 10, 2014

Richard Gober’s revival of his 1992 work April in Paris at Richmond Theatre is a curiously inert theatrical time capsule.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

bright room as day picPlaying politics
July 26, 2014

Tony Kushner’s depiction of elegant inaction in A Bright Room Called Day at Southwark Playhouse makes for exceedingly wearisome drama.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Shakespeare in Love stage version londonThe Bard reborn
July 23, 2014

Lee Hall and Declan Donnellan’s stage version of Shakespeare in Love retains the film’s screwball charm while smartly upping the meta-theatricality.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

owen-teale-in-under-milk-woodSongs of innocence and experience
July 8, 2014

Terry Hands and Clwyd Theatr Cymru produce an affectionate if flawed version of Dylan Thomas‘s profoundly musical Under Milk Wood at Richmond Theatre.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Quietly-pic-300x200Trouble shared
June 2, 2014

Owen McCafferty’s spellbinding  at Soho Theatre, a study of violence, truth and forgiveness, has gained extra resonance since its Dublin premiere.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

ushers picI dreamed a dream
May 15, 2014

Ushers: The Front of House Musical at Charing Cross Theatre is an in-jokey romp, and, in its tale of thwarted ambition, occasionally offers something deeper.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

The age of wisdomCloser-Than-Ever
May 10, 2014

David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr’s wry, witty Closer Than Ever at Jermyn Street Theatre is a masterclass in storytelling through music.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

sunny afternoon picSwinging Sixties
May 9, 2014

Sunny AfternoonJoe Penhall and Ray Davies’ new musical about the Kinks at Hampstead Theatre, plays it too safe,
but guarantees a good time.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERSWild wild west
May 1, 2014

The dilemma of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Richmond Theatre: horrifying, anachronistic gender politics, but brilliantly fearless dancing.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

beautiful game picExtra time
April 10, 2014

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s problematic 2000 musical The Beautiful Game gets a spirited revival at the Union Theatre.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

6467 Neil McLaughlan King Lear poster v15Going through the motions
March 13, 2014

Darker Purpose’s King Lear at The Cockpit delivers
a solid rendering, but, with an uneven cast and lack
of cohesive vision, offers nothing new.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

the oneLove hurts
February 28, 2014

Vicky Jones’s taboo-puncturing debut
The One at Soho Theatre is a real high-wire
act – and an unexpected knockout.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

running on empty picMix and match
February 9, 2014

Running on Empty at the Soho Theatre explores unconscious states through drama, dance and music, but lacks the focus to combine its elements into a greater whole.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

blinkNow you see me
December 14, 2013

Phil Porter’s Blink at Soho Theatre serves
up contemporary romance with a dark twist
– a refreshing rejoinder to this season of boisterous cheer.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Strangers-on-train-300x199Dark night of the soul
November 22, 2013

The theatrical adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train is engrossing, but, in an overwhelming production, takes its ‘noir’ brief too literally.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

that faceThe war at home
November 16, 2013

Polly Stenham’s That Face, which exploded onto the Royal Court stage in 2007,gets a strong revival at the Landor Theatre.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

billy the girl

Crime and punishment
November 2, 2013

Katie Hims’ intelligent, refreshingly witty Billy the Girl at the Soho is a strong addition to Clean Break‘s repertoire.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

perleReality TV
October 26, 2013

Thomas Eccleshare’s Perle, a contemporary meditation on grief playing at the Soho Theatre, is a multimedia theatrical gem.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

black jesusSympathy for the devil
October 5, 2013

Anders Lustgarten’s intriguing Black Jesus, premiering at the Finborough, ultimately prioritises political polemic over drama.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

there has possibly been an incidentPast mortem
September 29, 2013

Chris Thorpe’s There Has Possibly Been An Incident at the Soho Theatre is a timely exploration of our need to create a narrative
for momentous events.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

scenes from a marriageTill death us do part
September 26, 2013

Scenes from a Marriage, a theatrical updating of Bergman’s 1973 classic, has lost none of its power to discomfit, despite a flawed production at St James Theatre.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

gotta singSing when you’re winning
September 6, 2013

Gotta Sing Gotta Dance at Richmond Theatre is a smart, feel-good compilation show and musical-theatre-geek heaven.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

armstrongs-war-300x200Holding out for a hero
August 14, 2013

Colleen Murphy‘s Armstrong’s War at the Finborough is a smart, witty examination of Canada’s role in Afghanistan and the healing power of storytelling.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

dirty dancingGive the people what they want
July 18, 2013

The musical version of Dirty Dancing is a faithful re-creation of the endearingly cheesy movie, but lacks theatrical flair.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

dusa-fish-stas-vi-topThe F word
July 13, 2013

The Finborough’s welcome revival of Pam Gems’ feminist classic Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi adds a brilliantly human dimension to the debate.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

american_plan-478x3591-300x225Perchance to dream
July 10, 2013

Richard Greenberg’s The American Plan offers a caustic dissection of 1960s social mores in a strong revival at St James Theatre.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

responsible-otherThe ties that bind us
July 4, 2013

In her début play Responsible Other at the HampsteadMelanie Spencer sidesteps cliché in delivering a witty, skilful examination of serious illness.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

charlieAll sugar, no spice
June 26, 2013

A new musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fails to capture the deliciously dark spirit of Dahl’s work.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

600x600.fitdown-300x300The writing’s on the wall
June 25, 2013

An adaptation of 1938 novella Address Unknown at Soho Theatre offers a compelling indictment of extremism.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

blue remembered hillsThe land of lost content
June 19, 2013

Northern Stage deliver a searing study of power dynamics at Richmond Theatre with Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

bloodwedding2-199x300Till death do us part
June 16, 2013

An uneven production of Blood Wedding at the Waterloo East struggles to deliver Lorca’s dramatic intent.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

marple_ambassador2-300x300Sweet as strychnine
June 13, 2013

The acerbic wit and thrilling twists of one-woman show Murder, Marple and Me at the Ambassadors do justice to the Queen of Crime.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Merrily-we-roll-along-010-300x180Shooting the past
June 11, 2013

Maria Friedman’s revival of Sondheim‘s  Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre reclaims the soul of the work.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

even-stillness-e1370171609286-300x203Modern warfare
June 2, 2013

Brad Birch’s cumbersomely titled Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against a Brick Wall at the Soho Theatre is a gripping portrait of 21st-century crisis.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

playing with grown-upsThe female of the species
May 23, 2013

Hannah Patterson’s ambitious Playing With Grown-Ups at Theatre503 has an original take on parenthood and sexual politics, but suffers from lack of focus.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

pastoralThe Green Menace
May 20, 2013

Thomas Eccleshare’s Verity Bargate Award-winning Pastoral brings an effective blend of black comedy and eco-horror to the Soho Theatre.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

heraklesLabour isn’t working
May 13, 2013

Baffling soundscape Herakles! at The Actors’ Church can’t find a satisfying execution for its ambitious ideas.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

320x320.fitandcrop-300x300Devilishly funny
May 11, 2013

Jo Caulfield‘s supremely confident Soho Theatre set proves she isn’t just flying the flag for female comedy, but for great comedy.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

sword and the dopeIn the shadow of Python
May 9, 2013

New musical The Sword and the Dope at The Courtyard Theatre doesn’t bring enough new material to the (round) table, but makes for a genial evening.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

The-Arrest-of-Ai-Weiwei-3The art of war
April 23, 2013

Howard Brenton’s politically charged The Arrest of Ai Weiwei at the Hampstead gains an extra dimension from its democratic global live stream.

Read my full review here

______________________________________________________________

Between-Ten-and-Six-212x300Can you tell what it is yet?
April 18, 2013

The eager imitation of every dramatic style known to man can’t salvage the bewildering Between Ten and Six at the Leicester Square Theatre.

Read the full review here

______________________________________________________________

My-Daughters-TrialLaw and disorder
April 17, 2013

Jabine Chaudri’s site-specific My Daughter’s Trial, relocated from the Soho Theatre to Browns Courtrooms, doesn’t quite do its riveting subject matter justice.

Read the full review here

______________________________________________________________

gibraltarBetween the Rock and a hard place
March 30, 2013

The Arcola Theatre‘s oddly topical Gibraltar strives for journalistic “truth”, but falls short of theatrical success.

Read the full review here

______________________________________________________________

peter alice

Growing up can be an awfully big adventure
March 29, 2013

John Logan’s Peter and Alice at the Noel Coward Theatre is a powerfully elegiac addition to Michael Grandage’s varied West End Season.

Read the full review here

______________________________________________________________

hello goodbyeNorthern lights
March 21, 2013

The Hampstead Theatre continues its dream run with Hello/Goodbye, Peter Souter’s confident debut and another downstairs sensation.

Read the full review here

______________________________________________________________

Advertisements