Tag Archives: theartsdesk

Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in fact this scene … Continue reading

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Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which American challenger Bobby Fischer battled the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky. … Continue reading

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Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre

Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an institution in the States, running on Broadway since 2016 and currently on its second year of a national tour. It also made a star of original leading … Continue reading

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Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre

It’s been 15 years since Cameron Mackintosh’s stage musical version of P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins made its West End debut. Now, the magical nanny returns to the Prince Edward Theatre, with Zizi Strallen (who also headlined the UK tour) succeeding her sister Scarlett in the … Continue reading

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Ghost Quartet, Boulevard Theatre

London’s latest new theatre opens with an appropriately otherworldly Halloween offering: American composer Dave Malloy’s teeming 2014 song cycle, which played at the Edinburgh Festival in 2016. It’s a superb piece for demonstrating the benefits of this intimate, flexible cabaret-esque space – played … Continue reading

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The Man in the White Suit, Wyndham’s Theatre

A hit comedy about a textile scientist? It might sound unlikely, but Ealing Studios’ 1951 sci-fi satire, starring Alec Guinness, was one of the most popular films of the year in Britain. Now, Sean Foley hopes to repeat its success with his … Continue reading

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Noises Off, Garrick Theatre

“Doors and sardines. Getting on, getting off. Getting the sardines on, getting the sardines off. That’s farce. That’s the theatre. That’s life.” Michael Frayn’s laugh-til-you-weep backstage comedy transfers from the Lyric Hammersmith (where it first appeared in 1982), and Jeremy Herrin’s superb revival has … Continue reading

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What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre

It’s now Edinburgh Fringe transfer season in London, but here’s one they made earlier: Cora Bissett’s Fringe First-winning autobiographical play from the 2018 Festival about her time in 1990s indie band Darlingheart. Though the broad shape of this tale is familiar, Bissett’s gig-theatre … Continue reading

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Preludes, Southwark Playhouse

Where does music come from? That’s the vital question posed to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Dave Malloy’s extraordinary 2015 chamber work, as the great late-Romantic Russian composer – stuck in his third year of harrowing writer’s block – tries to relocate his gift. It comes … Continue reading

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Falsettos, The Other Palace

William Finn and James Lapine’s musical – which combines two linked one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, set in late 1970s/early 1980s New York – picked up Tony Awards in 1992 for its book and score, and was nominated again in 2016 for an acclaimed revival. Yet the UK … Continue reading

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