fri 02/12/2022

Theatre Reviews

Arms and the Man, Orange Tree Theatre review - a rollicking take on Shaw's satirical classic

Helen Hawkins

For his final bow as artistic director of the Orange Tree, Paul Miller has decided to go out with a bang, amid much giggling and snorts of laughter. This isn’t George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man as a barbed but fairly conventional comedy: Miller and his excellent actors are really gunning for it.

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Baghdaddy, Royal Court review - Middle-Eastern magic realism

aleks Sierz

What is the best way of talking about the Middle East? Should plays take a documentary or verbatim approach, all the better to educate and inform, or is there another path, with includes entertainment, and that magic ingredient called theatricality?

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Elf, Dominion Theatre review - hit musical revival slays it again

Gary Naylor

Just about the three toughest tricks to pull off in the theatre are making a musical, making a family show and making characters so charming that even the most cynical in the house are pulling for the little guy (or not so little in this case). So if it takes the armature of a blockbuster Hollywood movie to buttress the production, who cares?

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Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe review - anatomy of a violent, murky world of leadership

Rachel Halliburton

It begins in darkness. All that can be heard is the sound of a human struggling painfully for breath so that even before the lights go up we have the sense of a life coming to an end. It’s a stark contrast to the triumphalism of the play’s original opening “Oh for a Muse of fire”.

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Dinner with Groucho, Arcola Theatre review - often opaque

Helen Hawkins

The set at the Arcola for Frank McGuinness’s Dinner with Groucho naturally features a table with two place settings and a backdrop of clouds in a blue sky. Overhead are pendant globe lights that will transform into stars. But the floor is a key feature too, covered in sawdust.

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A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic review - more poignant, and more joyous than ever

Demetrios Matheou

It’s been five years since I saw the Old Vic’s first Christmas Carol, adapted by Jack Thorne and directed by Matthew Warchus, with Rhys Ifans in the lead. It’s since become an annual affair, with a different actor in the lead each year, even beaming – without an audience – from this stage during the pandemic. I’m chuffed, and not a bit surprised to see that it’s lost none of its power and delight. 

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A Christmas Carol, RSC, Stratford review - family show eases back the terror and winds up the politics

Gary Naylor

Life is full of coincidences and contradictions. As I was walking to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on his feet in the House of Commons delivering yet another rebalancing of individual and collective resources. On reading a couple of fine essays in the excellent programme, I saw the acknowledgement of the production’s sponsor, Pragnell.

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The Sex Party, Menier Chocolate Factory review - disappointing detumescence

aleks Sierz

In the past, playwright Terry Johnson has mixed sex and comedy with hilarious results.

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Here, Southwark Playhouse review - award-winning kitchen sink drama goes down the drain

Gary Naylor

The kitchen sink drama has been a standby of English theatre for 70 years or more, but not always with an actual sink on stage. But there it is, in an everyday home that harbours a secret or two in Clive Judd’s debut play, the winner of the 2022 Papatango New Writing Prize. 

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Super High Resolution, Soho Theatre review - the NHS at breaking point

aleks Sierz

Every day there is bad news about the NHS — junior doctors are exhausted, nurses need foodbanks and the stats are hitting all-time lows. So a new play about a junior doctor facing the stresses of the job is certainly timely.

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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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