fri 01/07/2022

Theatre

Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe review - unashamedly vulgar take on our last split with Europe

Boris Johnson was of course not the first British leader to engineer a split with Europe for personal gain. This strikes you with full force halfway through this production. While there are no photos of Johnson rushing around at a Downing Street...

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Legally Blonde, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a joyous Gen-Z musical makeover

The 2001 Reese Witherspoon-starring film Legally Blonde, upon which Heather Hach, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s peppy Broadway musical is based, was something of a Trojan horse: a bubblegum-pink comedy with a feminist spine.Now Lucy Moss, co-...

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Bliss, Finborough Theatre review - bleak but tender

When Bliss, a new play adapted from an Andrei Platonov short story by Fraser Grace, made its debut in Russia in early 2020, Cambridge-based company Menagerie were told that their production was “very Russian”.I’m no expert on Russian culture, but I...

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Lotus Beauty, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review – uneasy mix of comedy and tragedy

Theatre is slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and many shows which were cancelled because of the first lockdown are now finally getting a staging. The latest is Satinder Chohan’s Lotus Beauty, her loving portrait of a Punjabi family...

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My Fair Lady, London Coliseum review - tasteful revival powered by stirring performances

First staged in 2018, Bartlett Sher’s Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady is London’s latest import from Broadway, coming here hot on the heels of Oklahoma!. In returning to the city where its story is set, Lerner and...

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The Father and the Assassin, National Theatre review - Gandhi's killer puts his case in a bold, whirlwind production

The young Indian man stepping towards us on the vast Olivier stage is unremarkable enough, slight and boyish in manner. When he speaks he is direct, even cheeky: he wants us to like him. But this is Nathuram Godse, Gandhi's blood-stained murderer....

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The House of Shades, Almeida Theatre review - Anne-Marie Duff blazes in Beth Steel's excoriating new drama

Anne-Marie Duff blazes across the stage like a meteorite in Beth Steel’s excoriating drama about the changes sweeping through a Northern mining town over the course of five decades. As Constance Webster, a frustrated miner’s wife, her angry energy...

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Grease, Dominion Theatre review - a super night out, great songs well sung and spectacular dancing

Barry Gibb was at the considerable peak of his era-defining songwriting powers when he provided the song that played over the opening titles of the iconic 1978 film, so it's a wise decision by director, Nikolai Foster, to go straight into "Grease is...

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The Breach, Hampstead Theatre review - profoundly uncomfortable work that burns like ice

Jude is the kind of girl that no-one would want to mess with – she can dance like a demon to Eric Clapton, skewer an ego in seconds and hit an apple from thirty feet with a knife. Yet in a play that’s so uncompromising it could give Neil LaBute a...

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Julius Caesar, Shakespeare's Globe review - the Bard buried in bad choices

With tyrants licking their lips around the world and the question of how to respond to their threat growing ever more immediate, Julius Caesar director Diane Page eyes an open goal – and misses. A statue stands alone on the stage (this touring...

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The Patient Gloria, Brighton Festival review - an electric exploration of the control and manipulation of women

The psychology of female desire in 1960s California, was a field awash with voyeurism and exploitation. This brilliant play uncovers not only the bizarre story of Gloria Szymanski, but catholic hypocrisy and everyday sexism too, with a nod to third...

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Unchain Me, Brighton Festival review - Dostoevsky-inspired theatre through the streets of Brighton

To take to the streets in Brighton in pursuit of a superior political ideology isn't unusual. What is unusual is that some of the young folk currently lurking about the Brighton Museum are part of dreamthinkspeak, an immersive theatre company taking...

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