sat 20/04/2019

Theatre Reviews

True West, Vaudeville Theatre review - sizzling take on seminal Sam Shepard

Matt Wolf

Don't be deceived by Kit Harington's matted, slicked-back hair that is immediately visible the minute the audience enters the boisterous West End revival of True West. By the time the director Matthew Dunster's production has roared to a close two hours later, pretty much nothing is still intact, its leading man's locks included.

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Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory review - family matters in this sensitive musical revival

Marianka Swain

There’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the biting hardships of winter, and to the elegiac aspect of change, than to festive jollies.

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Hole, Royal Court review - anger is not quite enough

aleks Sierz

Actor Ellie Kendrick is a familiar face on television, but it's only as a writer that she reveals the depth of her rage against the world. At least, that's what it feels like.

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Ralegh: the Treason Trial, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - gripping verbatim court case

Heather Neill

Forget the cloak in the puddle. Never mind potatoes and tobacco. The children's book cliché of Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh as he seems to have preferred in an age of changeable spelling) represents little of the real man and is at best misleading. The cloak incident was a later invention and potatoes and tobacco were already known before Ralegh's adventures in the New World.

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Dick Whittington, Lyric Hammersmith review - big-hearted fun

Veronica Lee

In 2009 Sean Holmes, then Lyric Hammersmith's artistic director, made a bold move by reintroducing panto at the lovely Frank Matcham house after a long break. It was a box-office and critical hit, bringing in young audiences and celebrating the theatre's roots in the community while producing a quality but unstarry show.

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Summer and Smoke, Duke of York's Theatre review – Patsy Ferran's remarkable performance

Rachel Halliburton

This production of Tennessee Williams’ neglected classic, Summer and Smoke, arrives from the Almeida into the West End with five-star plaudits for its pitch-perfect performances and pressure-cooker intensity.

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Dietrich: Natural Duty, Wilton's Music Hall review - elegy for one

David Nice

Getting the look right is half the battle: in that, Peter Groom's one-time-Captain Marlene Dietrich is a winner from the start. The looks at the audience nail it too, heavy-lidded and lashed but transfixing, charismatic, winning instant complicity. As with all the best one-(wo)man cabaret-style shows, though, this is no mere impersonation.

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Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - sexually-charged production draws power from the shadows

Rachel Halliburton

Macbeth has rarely seemed quite as metrosexual as in this gorgeous shadow-painted production that marks Globe artistic director Michelle Terry’s first production in the Sam Wanamaker theatre.

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Hadestown, National Theatre review - new folk musical is hotter than hell

Marianka Swain

The road to full musical theatre production has been a long one for Hadestown. It began back in 2006, with Anaïs Mitchell’s song cycle – a folk/jazz take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth – toured around Vermont in a school bus, then grew into an ecstatically received concept album in 2010, and has gone through further development with director Rachel Chavkin in Off-Broadway and Canadian stagings....

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Pinters Three and Four, Harold Pinter Theatre review - double bill boasts double acts to treasure

Matt Wolf

The West End is specialising in two-parters of late. To Imperium and The Inheritance we can add the latest duo of Harold Pinter one-acts that has opened in time to spread ripples of delight even as the nights draw in.

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