sun 06/12/2020

Theatre Reviews

London Road, National Theatre

Sam Marlowe

The murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich: it’s hard to imagine a less likely subject for a musical, not least because the memory of the crimes of forklift-truck driver Steve Wright, committed in late 2006, is still so horribly fresh. But there is nothing lurid about this exceptional piece of theatre, created by Alecky Blythe and composer Adam Cork, and directed with restraint, tenderness and potent simplicity by Rufus Norris. It’s moving, fascinating and even funny.

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Betty Blue Eyes, Novello Theatre

Matt Wolf

Foot fetishists will have a field day at Betty Blue Eyes, given that the producer Cameron Mackintosh's latest venture is also the first in my experience to sing of bunions, calluses and corns, the last encompassing a passing reference to a lyric from Oklahoma!: another show on Sir Cameron's CV.

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Moonlight, Donmar Warehouse

james Woodall Trying but mainly failing to connect: David Bradley and Deborah Findlay in 'Moonlight'

One wants to be antagonised by Harold Pinter. In his substantial early dramas (The Homecoming, The Caretaker, The Birthday Party), aggression and menace coil through the texts like rattlesnakes. He was, then, revolutionary. Maybe it's glib - critical shorthand - to suggest that there were, thereafter, two to three decades of falling away; but some of us...

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Thrill Me, Tristan Bates Theatre

Matt Wolf Fatal attraction: Jye Frasca and George Maguire plot the perfect murder

Does the perfect murder make for the perfect musical? One doesn't have to make undue claims for the work's chamber-size appeal to warm to Thrill Me, the American two-hander that has arrived at the Tristan Bates Theatre as this season's entry in retelling the story of the Chicago killers, Leopold and Loeb. (Last season's was the superb Almeida Theatre revival of Rope...

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The Tempest, Cheek By Jowl, Barbican Theatre

james Woodall

Tradition, in the form of Victorian performance, conferred on The Tempest the VC of Highest Shakespearean Poetry, though it probably wasn't Shakespeare's final play. John Gielgud was in an important sense the last great Victorian English thesp and, in the apparently valedictory role of Prospero, took the island parable to an Olympus of rhetoric.

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Brontë, Tricycle Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

“Too fat, too miserable, too pinched” for love and life, the Brontë sisters famously made a kingdom out of their dingy rectory home in rural Yorkshire. Denied not just a room but an existence of their own, these three Victorian spinsters found authority and expression in novels the world would have them unfit to read, let alone write.

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Wastwater, Royal Court Theatre

Sam Marlowe

Wastwater is the deepest lake in England, overshadowed by rugged Cumbrian screes and described by Wordsworth as “long, stern and desolate”. In this new play by Simon Stephens, directed by Katie Mitchell, it becomes a central metaphor: terrors may lie beneath its dark, still surface, like the violence and secret suffering behind a suburban front door.

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Terminus, Young Vic

Veronica Lee The compelling power of good acting: Declan Conlon and Catherine Walker in 'Terminus'

Mark O’Rowe is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary playwrights, and Terminus was first produced in 2007 by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. It transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008 and is now being revived by the Abbey in an international tour. His play charts another ordinary night in Dublin city, but as this captivating triptych unfolds the events his characters - simply named A, B and C - describe are anything but. A man and two women deliver a series of overlapping...

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The Mill - City of Dreams, Drummonds Mill, Bradford

graham Rickson Cardboard city: In 'The Mill - City of Dreams' a property developer shares his plans for swish civic reinvention

Bradford, once the worsted capital of the world, now employs fewer than 1,000 workers in the textile industry. Some of the disused mills have been transformed into tourist attractions – nearby Salts Mill has a huge collection of artwork by David Hockney and a posh bistro. Drummonds Mill has lain silent since closure, to be reopened...

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Smash!, Menier Chocolate Factory

David Nice Seventies dilemma: Natalie Walter and Tom Conti

If you're going to put on a show about putting on a show, you gotta get a gimmick, as a wise man not unconnected with the late Jack Rosenthal's autobiographical comedy once wrote. Put it another way: if the show/film/TV series depicted is compromised, you need something or someone off-centre to stand out from the crowd. In Barton Fink, it was a hotel corridor and what the Coen...

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★★★★★

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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