tue 21/05/2024

Theatre Reviews

Fawlty Towers: The Play, Apollo Theatre review - lightning strikes twice

Adam Sweeting

There are many definitions of bravery, and taking on the challenge of embodying John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in Cleese’s own stage adaptation of Fawlty Towers would undoubtedly be one of them. But Adam Jackson-Smith pulls it off with aplomb, deftly nailing Basil’s every acidic aside, outburst of impotent rage or episode of manic terror. Or, indeed, silly walk.

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People, Places and Things, Trafalgar Theatre review - a scintillating shot in the arm

Demetrios Matheou

It’s unusual for a play to be revived with its original director and star, let alone a decade after they premiered the piece. But here we are, with Jeremy Herrin again steering Denise Gough through Duncan MacMillan’s thorny, provocative, exhilarating account of addiction, rehab and a kind of redemption.

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Withnail and I, Birmingham Rep review - Bruce Robinson’s 1987 film makes for a theatrical hit

Guy Oddy

Let’s put our cards firmly on the table here. I am a big fan of Bruce Robinson’s cinematic masterpiece about two out-of-work actors who live in Camden Town in 1969 and escape to the countryside for some rejuvenation, and must have seen it multiple times since it was released onto the big screen 37 years or so ago.

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Sappho, Southwark Playhouse Elephant review - a glitzy celebration of sapphic love

Jane Edwardes

Who is Sappho? What is she? Not much is known about the influential Greek poet who was born some 2500 years ago. Her poetry was celebrated during her lifetime, but very little has survived. Those fragments that do exist speak of love, passion and longing.

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Twelfth Night, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - burlesque overwhelms the darker notes in this mixed revival

Heather Neill

In Shakespeare's day theatre was regarded as "wanton" by those of a Puritan disposition who feared boys dressed as girls could engender wicked thoughts of same-sex love in players and audience. But such ideas are, of course, part of the story, especially in comedies such as As You Like It and Twelfth Night. Director Owen Horsley here celebrates the queerness rather than leaving it to the perception of the audience.

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Multiple Casualty Incident, The Yard Theatre review - NGO medics in training have problems of their own

Gary Naylor

We open on one of those grim, grim training rooms that all offices have – the apologetic sofa, the single electric kettle, the instant coffee. The lighting is too harsh, the chairs too hard, the atmosphere already post-lunch on Wednesday and it’s only 10am on Monday. We’ve all been there – designer, Rosie Elnile certainly has. 

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Spirited Away, London Coliseum review - spectacular re-imagining of beloved film

Gary Naylor

Legions of Ghibli fanatics may love the heartwarming My Neighbour Totoro and the heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies, but they revere Spirited Away, their, our, The Godfather and The Wizard of Oz rolled into one.

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Laughing Boy, Jermyn Street Theatre review - impassioned agitprop drama

Saskia Baron

On the morning of the press show of Laughing Boy, the BBC news website’s top story was about the abuse of children with learning disabilities by the staff at a special school.

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Minority Report, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre review - ill-judged sci-fi

Demetrios Matheou

Towards the end of David Haig’s new adaptation of Philip K Dick’s 1956 science fiction short story, someone asks if three humans who have been symbiotically connected to a massive AI computer for a decade can survive the experience.

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Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York), Criterion Theatre review - rueful and funny musical gets West End upgrade

Jane Edwardes

Small-scale shows, nurtured in offbeat places, are becoming all the rage in the West End. Red Pitch, Operation Mincemeat, For Black Boys… have already made their mark, and now this quirky musical for just two performers joins them.

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Pages

Advertising feature

★★★★★

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.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.


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