fri 24/05/2019

Theatre Reviews

Top Girls, National Theatre review - dazzlingly perceptive classic

aleks Sierz

Caryl Churchill is a phenomenal artist. Not only has she written a huge body of work, but each play differs in both form and content from the previous one, and she has continued to write with enormous creative zest and flair well into her maturity. Now in her 80th year, she can look over her shoulder at a back-catalogue which is stuffed full of contemporary classics, and a handful of masterpieces.

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The Crucible, The Yard Theatre review - wilfully over-stirred

Tom Birchenough

The Crucible is a play that speaks with unrelenting power at times of discord, most of all when the public consciousness looks ripe for manipulation.

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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, Barbican Theatre review - Cillian Murphy soars and sweeps

aleks Sierz

Wow, what a collection of talent: this show stars Peaky Blinder Cillian Murphy, and Enda Walsh's adaptation, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, is based on Max Porter's award-winning novel of the same name.

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Fiddler on the Roof, Playhouse Theatre, review – energetic production whips up an emotional storm

Rachel Halliburton

In an age where political, social, and gender norms seem to be in perpetual meltdown, it should be pretty much impossible for a musical that begins with a song celebrating ‘Tradition’ to strike a chord.

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Local Hero, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh - captivating musical with a harder edge

David Kettle

“Cult” is probably an over-used adjective, especially when it comes to movies.

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The Phlebotomist, Hampstead Theatre review - thought-provoking dystopian thriller

aleks Sierz

Contemporary British theatre loves time travel — and not just to the past. It also enjoys imagining the future, especially the bad stuff ahead. So Ella Road's debut play, The Phlebotomist, is set in a convincingly coherent dystopia where genetic profiling reigns supreme, and one blood test can fuck up all your life chances.

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Mary's Babies, Jermyn Street Theatre review - rollercoaster investigation of early fertility treatment

Heather Neill

Obstetrician Dr Mary Barton had the best of intentions. As a missionary in India she had observed the poor treatment of childless women and, back home in England, she took positive action to help women who wanted babies. This being the period between the late 1930s and 1967, there was as yet no legal framework for artificial insemination; indeed it was disapproved of and kept secret.

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The Life I Lead, Park Theatre review - pleasant enough but lacks bite

Tim Cornwell

I am deeply jealous of Miles Jupp's dressing gown in The Life I Lead, the solo play at the Park Theatre. It's a silky-grey patterned number of exquisitely comfortable proportions, and just the sort of thing a chap should wear to tell the story of his life via some genial patter over an hour or two.

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Blood Knot, Orange Tree Theatre review - defining apartheid-era drama delivers afresh

Matt Wolf

London's impromptu mini-season devoted to the work of Athol Fugard picks up real steam with Blood Knot, Matthew Xia's transfixing take on one of the benchmark titles of the apartheid era and beyond.

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Emilia, Vaudeville Theatre review - shouting for change

aleks Sierz

Emilia Bassano Lanier is not a household name. But maybe she should be. Born in 1569, she was one of the first women in England to publish a book of poetry. And she was also a religious thinker, a feminist and the founder of a school for girls. Oh, and a mother too. And maybe, just maybe, at a long stretch, she was also the "dark lady" of Shakespeare's sonnets.

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