mon 27/06/2022

Theatre Reviews

Mad House, Ambassadors Theatre review - David Harbour is magnificent in Theresa Rebeck's family drama

Tom Birchenough

For sheer extremes of family dysfunction Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House must be aiming to set new records in American drama. The latest in a line that stretches back to Eugene O’Neill, the plentiful other contenders that have appeared over the decades mean that it’s become a crowded field but, on the cantankerous patriarch front at least, Bill Pullman’s performance as Daniel, Rebeck’s cussed paterfamilias, trumps most of its predecessors for sheer malevolence.

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A Doll's House, Part 2, Donmar Warehouse review - Noma Dumezweni nails it

Matt Wolf

Slamming the door on experience comes with repercussions in A Doll's House, Part 2, the thrilling Broadway entry from American writer Lucas Hnath that has arrived at the Donmar as part of an America-friendly season at that address including Marys Seacole (already finished) and The Band's Visit (still to come).

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Bangers, Soho Theatre review - sizzling gig theatre

aleks Sierz

Is gig theatre the latest sugar rush? Okay, it ups the brain’s serotonin levels and charges around your body like a crazy electric current, but amid the joyous nerve reactions does the music speak louder than the words?

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King Lear, Shakespeare's Globe review - eviscerates emotionally while illuminating a society rotten with lies

Rachel Halliburton

Kathryn Hunter’s performance as Lear forges its heat from contradictions. She is as frail as she is strong, as detestable as she is loveable, as powerfully charismatic as she is physically diminutive. That she is a woman playing a man is the least extraordinary aspect of what she achieves in this production.

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That Is Not Who I Am, Royal Court review – gimmicky post-truth spoof

aleks Sierz

What is the shelf life of a theatre gimmick? In April, the Royal Court announced that they were going to stage a debut play by an unknown writer, Dave Davidson, who has worked for decades in the security industry. His drama was hyped up, helped by Time Out magazine, and by fellow playwrights Simon Stephens and Dennis Kelly.

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Jitney, Old Vic review - a directorial delight

Tom Birchenough

It’s great to see August Wilson’s early play – the first of his “Century Cycle”, that remarkable decalogy that explored a century of Black American experience through the prism of the playwright’s native Pittsburgh – back on the London stage. It’s been two decades since it premiered at the National Theatre, winning the 2002 Olivier Best New Play award.

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Ulysses, Abbey Theatre / The Tin Soldier, Gate Theatre, Dublin review - peerless Joyce marathon, Andersen squashed

David Nice

A pot plant on a stand, two tables with glasses of water, two chairs – one plush, one high – are all the props needed on the stage of the Abbey’s second theatre, the Peacock, for the ultimate complete reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses in its 100th year. For Barry McGovern is a master: one of Beckett’s favourite actors, on a par with Billie Whitelaw, and immersed in all things Joycean over the past 30 years (★★★★★).

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The False Servant, Orange Tree Theatre review - Marivaux's cruel comedy gets a modern spin

Helen Hawkins

There probably isn’t a more able translator of vintage drama than Martin Crimp, the playwright whose 2004 version of Pierre Marivaux’s 1724 play about deceit, greed and sexual politics has been revived at the enterprising Orange Tree. The finale has been slightly tweaked now, which helps repurpose the play as a work with today’s interest in gender fluidity in its sights.

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The Wedding, Gecko Theatre, Barbican review - eccentric, ebullient exploration of our contract with society

Rachel Halliburton

You never forget your first Gecko production. I experienced mine almost 20 years ago at the Battersea Arts Centre, when the company performed Tailors’ Dummies, its ingenious surreal show about obsession. This had all the hallmarks that would make Gecko one of our most distinctive physical theatre companies; gravity-defying choreography, a quasi-acrobatic exploration of concepts of the body, and scenes that were as elliptical as they were absurd.

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The Glass Menagerie, Duke of York's Theatre review - memories flare and fade

Gary Naylor

The stage is cluttered with objects; a pianola sits stage left; a large cabinet, soon to be revealed as a display case for tiny glass ornaments, dominates the centre. A man, gaunt, in his 40s perhaps, wanders among this stuff.

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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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