mon 04/03/2024

Theatre Reviews

A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic review - older, wiser, and yet more moving

Matt Wolf

Familiarity has bred something quite fantastic with the Old Vic Christmas Carol, which is back for a seventh season and merits ringing all available bells - those and a lost love called Belle being crucial to the show. Matthew Warchus's staging at this point seems a seasonal imperative, and in a wild-haired Christopher Eccleston, Jack Thorne's adaptation of Dickens's 1843 call to empathic arms has its most emotionally piercing and resonant leading man yet. 

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The Witches, National Theatre review - fun and lively but where's the heart?

Matt Wolf

The National Theatre these days seems to be going from hit-to-hit, with transfers aplenty and full houses at home. And there's every reason to expect that this fizzy adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1983 creep-out, The Witches, has the West End and further in its sights.

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Oh What A Lovely War, Southwark Playhouse review - 60 years on, the old warhorse can still bare its teeth

Gary Naylor

In Annus Mirabilis, Philip Larkin wrote,


"So life was never better than 

In nineteen sixty-three 

(Though just too late for me) – 

Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban 

And the Beatles' first LP."

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Ghosts, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - a claustrophobic descent into purgatory

Demetrios Matheou

Henrik Ibsen may well have wanted to shake things up, to rile against the social mores of his time. But his visionary critiques didn’t usually come with anything as radical as, say, optimism. And there’s no more of a downer than Ghosts.

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She Stoops to Conquer, Orange Tree Theatre review - much-loved classic rumbustiously updated

Heather Neill

Oliver Goldsmith was a literary all-rounder – novelist, poet and playwright – remembered chiefly for one example of each discipline, respectively The Vicar of Wakefield, "The Deserted Village" and, of course, above all, She Stoops to Conquer.

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The Mongol Khan, London Coliseum review - unique operatic spectacle utterly overwhelms flaws in pacing and story

Gary Naylor

“But that’s what they’re paying for!” replied my son as we, a little shellshocked by the previous three hours, skirted Trafalgar Square on the way home. I had reservations about some key components of the alchemy that produces great theatre, but none about the spectacle, even more impressive (as we subsequently agreed) than the big Cirque du Soleil extravaganzas that cost a helluva lot more for a seat in Vegas.

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Passing, Park Theatre review - where do we go from here?

Laura De Lisle

“It’s nothing like Christmas,” Rachel (Amy-Leigh Hickman) hisses at her brother David (Kishore Walker). She’s trying to wrangle her family into their first ever Diwali celebration, but everything’s going wrong. Her dad Yash (Bhasker Patel) is getting on far too well with her boyfriend Matt (Jack Flammiger). And to top it off, mum Ruth (Catherine Cusack) has found everything but the most important item on Rachel’s meticulous shopping list: the matches.

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Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen, Bush Theatre review - charismatic stand-up routine

aleks Sierz

The Comedian runs, bounces even, onto the stage. The audience immediately applauds. He seizes the mic and makes self-deprecatory gestures. Then he rubs the mic stand suggestively. We laugh. When he turns around we can see a laughing mouth printed on the back of his shirt. It’s Samuel Barnett – former history boy and star of stage and screen – and the audience instantly warms to him. He’s that kind of guy.

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Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius, BBC Two review - the Bard's soul bared in hybrid drama-documentary

Gary Naylor

Four centuries on from the publication of the First Folio, is there anything new to be said about William Shakespeare?

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The Time Traveller's Wife, Apollo Theatre review - blockbuster 2003 novel does not quite land as blockbuster 2023 musical

Gary Naylor

You really don’t want to pick up The Time Traveller’s Wife in a game of charades. Half the clock would be run down just showing that it’s a novel, a film, a TV series and a musical.

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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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