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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Donmar Warehouse | reviews, news & interviews

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Donmar Warehouse

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Donmar Warehouse

Broadway hit crosses the Atlantic, its charm (mostly) intact

How do you spell win? Steve Pemberton brings on the next contestant, while Katherine Kingsley looks onHugo Glendinning

Just in time to capitalise - is that how that word is spelled? - on awards season, along comes the latest Broadway-to-Britain transplant, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical all about a culture that likes to win, win, WIN! Does William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's surprise 2005 New York hit go to the top of the London class?  Intermittently, yes. Charming and cheeky at its best, repetitive and sentimental elsewhere, the piece may simply be too echt-American to repeat its success here, though it certainly marks a change at the Donmar from the daunting fare this playhouse has favoured of late.

The contestants constitute a motley cross-section of American misfits, from the tousle-haired Leaf Coneybear to the singularly named Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere

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A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



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