tue 29/09/2020

Theatre Reviews

Shakespeare Double Bill, Propeller, Hampstead Theatre

Matt Wolf Stealing a march, and then some, on Kevin Spacey: Richard Clothier plays Richard III

As further proof that Shakespeare plays come these days not as single spies but in battalions, the London leg of the all-male Propeller ensemble's lengthy tour has pitched up...

Read more...

Doctor Faustus, Globe Theatre

alexandra Coghlan Faustus (Paul Hilton) gets to grips with some of Mephistopheles's fleshier spirits

There be dragons aplenty, angels, demons and ghastly creatures both fleshy and feathered in the Globe Theatre’s inaugural production of Doctor Faustus. Christopher Marlowe’s take on the familiar Faust legend, bold in its religious content, was a controversial hit of its day, but the play’s almost medieval apposition of high thinking and knockabout farce by no means guarantees it success in the contemporary theatre. If...

Read more...

Being Shakespeare, Trafalgar Studios

alexandra Coghlan All the world's a stage: Simon Callow and Jonathan Bate bring Shakespeare to life

There’s a lovely moment in A Midsummer Night’s Dream where Peter Quince assigns roles to his company of rude mechanicals. Unsatisfied with the part of the hero, Bottom interrupts, insisting he be allowed to play not only Pyramus but heroine Thisbe too, as well of course as the murderous lion. It’s hard not to see just a little of Bottom’s eagerness in Simon Callow’s...

Read more...

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Matt Wolf

Lightning hasn't quite struck twice at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Trevor Nunn's dazzling reclamation of early Terence Rattigan (Flare Path) has been followed by the same director's transfer from Chichester of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard's first play. How does this 1966 gloss on Hamlet by way of Beckett hold up today? Engagingly enough, not least when its two tireless leads are in full existentialist flow.

Read more...

The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Vaudeville Theatre

ismene Brown The Flying Karamazov Brothers: The same routines for 30 years have done them no harm whatever

The Flying Karamazov Brothers give a new meaning to the word “practised”. Their first stage show in 1981 was called Juggling and Cheap Theatrics - a smart title that they could have kept for the show they bring to London’s West End, largely made of routines that this celebrated US comedy-juggling act have been doing for decades. It’s weird to see in YouTubes of their early performances some of the material I watched last night at the Vaudeville. Still, the fact is those old...

Read more...

The Infernal Comedy, Barbican Hall

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

The Barbican committed a grave sin last night. It forgot that people matter more than art. That their responsibility to the families of those who Jack Unterweger (the subject of John Malkovich's music drama, The Infernal Comedy) murdered trumps any interest in the dramatic potential of Unterweger's bizarre life. However constraining to the autonomy of creativity this may be, these are the rules of common decency.

Read more...

Where’s My Seat?, Bush Theatre

aleks Sierz Sharp satire in an empty room: Nina Sosanya in ‘Where’s My Seat?’

They say that moving home is always traumatic. So the Bush Theatre in west London must be feeling a wee bit fragile because it has recently upped sticks and taken up residence in the Old Shepherds Bush Library building just around the corner from its historic but rather leaky former home. Yet it’s typical of this spunky venue that it celebrates the first stages of the move with not only a trilogy of short plays, but also with an invitation to the audience to comment on its new space.

Read more...

Betrayal, Comedy Theatre

Fisun Güner

This is a play that begins after the end of an affair, and threads its precise, forensic way back to the very beginning of it. As the lovers are awkwardly reunited after two years, the theme of deceit as a web of competing and ambiguous claims is firmly established. Jerry, a literary agent, has learned that Emma, the wife of his oldest and dearest friend, with whom he had an affair for seven years, may now be having an adulterous relationship with one of his writers.

Read more...

Emperor and Galilean, National Theatre

Sam Marlowe

Miracles and omens, blind faith and free will: Ibsen’s epic 1873 drama sinks its teeth into some tough, meaty themes.

Read more...

Lend Me a Tenor - The Musical, Gielgud Theatre

David Nice Yes he can: Damian Humbley's Max Garber finds the tenor within while Michael Matus's Tito Merelli leaps for joy

Acid prophecies of this show’s swift demise, as with that of the great Italian tenor whose supposed transformation from il stupendo to il stifferino results in the debut of a surpise new Otello at the "Cleveland Grand Opera", turn out to be greatly exaggerated. Allora, the tunes and the lyrics aren’t prime cut, but it’s slickly done, strongly cast and contains enough frothy set pieces to earn its salt. And any musical which has stylish fun with both the most...

Read more...

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.


latest in today

Bach’s The Art of Fugue, Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall – the m...

How do they do it? Bach and Angela Hewitt, I mean, transfixing and...

Bob Woodward: Rage review - terror and tyranny in the White...

“Build the wall!” exhorted Trump, at rally after rally back in the days when we’d all acknowledged his moral repugnancy but still believed he...

Blu-ray: Beau Travail

This fifth feature from...

Ottessa Moshfegh: Death in Her Hands review - a case of murd...

Death in Her Hands was a forgotten manuscript, the product of a...

Sudhir Hazareesingh: Black Spartacus review – the life, and...

The former slave, and coachman on a sugar plantation, began one of his early public proclamations in a typically defiant vein: “I am Toussaint...

Ian Williams: Reproduction review - a dazzling kaleidoscope...

Ian Williams’s writing is always in motion. For his 2012 poetry...

Academy of St Martin in the Fields review - from solo medita...

Clearly it takes peculiar circumstances for some of us to hear the Academy of St Martin in the Fields within its eponymous church – that’s a first...

Emma Cline: Daddy review - scintillating short stories by th...

The Girls, Emma Cline’s acclaimed debut novel of 2016, was billed as a story based on the Manson murders. But in fact, like some of the...

Album: Groove Armada - Edge of the Horizon

Alongside Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada were one of the last big acts to blossom from the...

Bernard Haitink: The Enigmatic Maestro, BBC Two review - say...

Before his retirement last summer at the age of 90, Bernard Haitink worked magic on the podium, no one is in any doubt about that. Lining up one...