wed 30/09/2020

Theatre Reviews

Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's Globe

alexandra Coghlan

Everybody’s talking about Much Ado About Nothing. At dinner tables, the pub and on the Bakerloo Line the only cultural conversation to be overheard having is whether David Tennant and Catherine Tate will be as wonderful as we all want them to be as Shakespeare’s feuding lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Their West End show opens next week, and among all the hype and headlines another production (and it was always going to be the “other production”) has quietly opened down at Bankside –...

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Pygmalion, Garrick Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

With The Cherry Orchard just opened at the National Theatre and The School for Scandal at the Barbican, summer is quickly proving itself the season for classic theatrical revivals. The latest to join the London line-up is Shaw’s perennially beloved comedy of love and the English language, Pygmalion.

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One Man, Two Guvnors, National Theatre

Matt Wolf

Dropped trousers, audience participation and an onstage skiffle band fronted by a singer/songwriter boasting specs by way of Buddy Holly: what has become of the National Theatre's Lyttelton auditorium? Well, let's just say that for the entire first act of One Man, Two Guvnors, it's got to be easily the giddiest theatrical address in town. And when the momentum flags, as it does somewhat after the interval, not to worry.

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The Acid Test, Royal Court Theatre

aleks Sierz

Anya Reiss must be the most precocious playwright in London. Her 2010 debut, Spur of the Moment, written while she was just 17 and still studying for her A levels, won two Most Promising Playwright awards, from the London Evening Standard and the Critics’ Circle.

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The School for Scandal, Barbican Theatre

alexandra Coghlan Social graces: Alan Howard delights as the elderly cynic Sir Peter Teazle

"There’s no possibility of being witty without a little ill-nature,” preaches the Gospel according to Richard Brinsley Sheridan. What the playwright omits to mention, however, is that it is possible to be ill-natured without in fact being terribly witty, a flaw that proves almost fatal for Warner’s acerbic, alienated new production of The School for Scandal. Overstyling Sheridan’s most stylised of comedies, Warner turns what Hazlitt described as the most “finished and faultless”...

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Total Football, Barbican

Jasper Rees 'Total Football' is not a play about football (or not totally): Theatre company Ridiculusmus play up

Which came first? The low national self-esteem or the shit national football team? Is it possible, in the interests of blending in with one’s countrymen, to stimulate in oneself a love of the beautiful game? And can Britishness be boiled down to an application test? Total Football, from the two-man company Ridiculusmus, is a fleet-footed comedy which investigates the shifting parameters of what it means to belong in a country where symbols of national pride are hard to come by...

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Silence, Royal Shakespeare Company/Filter, Hampstead Theatre

Matt Wolf Making noise quietly: Katy Stephens plays the tinnitus-stricken Kate in 'Silence'

If your heart breaks a continent or more away from home, does it make a noise? Very much so in the scintillating Royal Shakespeare Company/Filter collaboration Silence, the second in a series of three RSC premieres at the Hampstead Theatre. Wedding Filter's interest in the synergy between technology and text with a subset of Shakespeareans who have been wandering...

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The Cherry Orchard, National Theatre

Sam Marlowe

A stench of decay rises from Howard Davies's production of this 1903 drama by Anton Chekhov. Ranyevskaya’s wooden home, designed with characteristic visual eloquence by Bunny Christie, is quietly rotting. Weeds sprout through cracks, the windows are filthy; an ugly pylon raises its arms in the foreground, its wires stretching into a future of seismic political and social change for which the family – and Russia itself – are so ill prepared.

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Macbeth, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

philip Radcliffe

Has the King of Knotty Ash been usurped? I saw him embrace Shakespeare and play Malvolio here just 40 years ago. I’m talking about Ken Dodd, more used to playing the fool. Now, another upstart from Knotty Ash is even more ambitiously playing the King of Scotland. I’m talking about David Morrissey. No fool he.

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A Delicate Balance, Almeida Theatre

Matt Wolf An alcohol-fuelled Imelda Staunton lets rip as niece Lucy Cohu looks on

Serenity hangs by a fraying thread in the thrilling Almeida Theatre revival of A Delicate Balance, Edward Albee's 1966 Pulitzer Prize-winner about remembrance, fear, and somehow facing a new day. This particular playhouse has long been associated with Albee, from its (overrated) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? through to various UK and even world premieres. But...

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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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