wed 24/04/2024

Theatre Reviews

Welcome to Thebes, National Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

“Tragedy reminds us how to live,” declares Moira Buffini’s democratically elected heroine, Eurydice. It’s a reminder the playwright herself and her latest work, Welcome to Thebes, is eager to provide. Following on the well-worn heels of last season’s Mother Courage at the National comes a new play that once again places women in the front line.

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Sucker Punch, Royal Court Theatre

Matt Wolf

The poster for Sucker Punch, Roy Williams's ambitious new play about boxing and race during the schism-prone age of Margaret Thatcher, promises a sort of black British Raging Bull: There in one graphic image are the blood and sweat, the bravado and the pain, of a sport that for self-evident reasons makes it to the stage relatively rarely. How do you set...

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Lulu, Gate Theatre

james Woodall

What kind of play is Frank Wedekind's Lulu? The answer is a very odd one, with a fractured writing history. Wedekind subtitled his original five-act exploration of raw femininity, in 1894, "A Monster Tragedy", then divided it into two: Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box.

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Through a Glass Darkly, Almeida Theatre

Matt Wolf

Perhaps it's because the Almeida had a major hit with Festen (well, everywhere but Broadway) that the Scandinavian back catalogue of movies seems every bit as ripe for plunder as is mainstream Hollywood when it comes to feeding musicals on Broadway and the West End.

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Like a Fishbone, Bush Theatre

aleks Sierz Sarah Smart (Mother) and Deborah Findlay (Architect): who is best authorised to represent a grieving community?

One of the many absent friends in contemporary British drama is the play that tackles questions of religious belief. At a time when more and more people take their faith more and more seriously, this lacuna at the heart — or should that be soul? — of new work is surely regrettable. But perhaps the tide is now turning: in May, Drew Pautz’s Love the Sinner at the National examined belief and sexuality; now Australian playwright Anthony Weigh, whose new play opened last night, wrestles...

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The Fantasticks, Duchess Theatre

Matt Wolf

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the musical theatre (Paradise Found, anyone?), along comes The Fantasticks, and we are returned to square one.

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After the Dance, National Theatre

David Nice

A pall of ennui hangs over the 1930s drawing room of the National’s latest Rattigan revival, as deadly as the boredom its burnt-out party people all dread.

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The Crucible, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

alexandra Coghlan

Usually a seasonal home for the pastel-coloured delights of drawing-room farce, musical comedy and the odd Shakespeare pastoral, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is this year offering a programme of rather darker hue.

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The Late Middle Classes, Donmar Warehouse

aleks Sierz Helen McCrory and Laurence Belcher: upper-middle-class characters and their difficulties with communication

The late Simon Gray, who died in 2008, lived a ragged, bruised and battering life. I usually think of him as the John Prescott of playwrights, except that he was miles more articulate, and eventually rewarded by a CBE rather than a peerage. Anyway, he was pugnacious and out of step with playwriting trends. In an age of lefty state-of-the-nation dramas, Gray explored the emotions of upper-middle-class characters and their difficulties with communication. Although he could be irascible, and his...

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All My Sons, Apollo Theatre

Ismene Brown

A young Arthur Miller wrote this highly moralistic, redemption-seeking play soon after the Second World War, a parable about an older generation’s dubious pragmatic principles versus the bewildered idealism of their children who were Miller’s generation, the soldiers’ generation.

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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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