thu 17/01/2019

Hampstead Theatre

Best of 2018: Theatre

Will pride of place amongst theatre productions every year go in perpetuity to the work of Stephen Sondheim? One might be tempted to think so given the preeminence during 2017 of Dominic Cooke's breathtaking revival of Follies (due back in the...

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The Hoes, Hampstead Theatre review - sex and drink and grime

Because of the #MeToo movement, and the revival of feminist protest, the theme of sisterhood now has a much stronger cultural presence than at the start of the decade. It seems to be a great time to be a female playwright, and Ifeyinwa Frederick's...

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I and You, Hampstead Theatre review - Young Adult drama packs emotional punch

Here's a good pub quiz question: after Shakespeare, who was the most performed playwright in America last year? Arthur Miller? Tennessee Williams? David Mamet? None of those. It was Lauren Gunderson, and here is the UK premiere of her intimate two-...

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Every Day I Make Greatness Happen, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - live-wire immediacy

"I’m not a number, I’m not a grade, and I’m not a failure." The 17-year-old girl stands in front of the small class, who gaze at her goggle-eyed. "A robot factory. That’s all you’ve got here." The teacher’s response is caustically admiring. "Why are...

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The Humans, Hampstead Theatre review - a riveting family portrait

Transatlantic theatrical traffic is busier than ever, and now here at the Hampstead is not just Stephen Karam’s Tony-winning play, first seen in 2015, but director Joe Mantello and his full Broadway cast. It seems fitting that they should travel...

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Genesis Inc, Hampstead Theatre review - Harry Enfield in ungodly mess

We are now pretty familiar with the idea that human reproduction (making babies) has been turned into big business, and there have already been several good recent plays about desperate couples and surrogacy – Vivienne Franzmann’s Bodies and...

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The Strange Death of John Doe, Hampstead Theatre review - ambitious but not entirely successful

Regular air travel is a hassle. All that queuing, all that security, all those hot halls, and then the endless waiting, the bawling kids and the limited legroom. Basically air travel sucks. But at least it’s reasonably safe. The same cannot be said...

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Describe the Night, Hampstead Theatre review - epic take on the mythology of Putin

Five years ago, when New York playwright Rajiv Joseph started on his fantasy disquisition on truth, lies and the recent history of Russia, no one was talking about a new Cold War and trump was still a thing you did in a game of cards. Now, at the...

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Caroline, or Change, Hampstead Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke conquers

It's long been a theatrical given, especially in musicals, that characters need to be seen to change: a climactic duo in the eternally crowd-pulling Wicked makes that abundantly clear. ("Because I knew you," goes the lyric, "I have been changed for...

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Dry Powder/Yous Two, Hampstead Theatre review - Hayley Atwell has competition

Sometimes it pays to come in under the radar. By way of proof consider two simultaneous Hampstead Theatre premieres, one boasting star wattage courtesy Hayley Atwell fresh off TV's Howards End, the other a debut play from a young writer...

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Best of 2017: Theatre

Year-end wrap-ups function as both remembrances of things past and time capsules, attempts to preserve an experience to which audiences, for the most part, have said farewell. (It's different, of course, for films, which remain available to us...

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Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre review - intriguing yet opaque

The play that famously got away when one of its stars (quite literally) jumped ship is back. In 1995, Stephen Fry abandoned the West End premiere of Simon Gray's espionage drama Cell Mates, leaving co-star Rik Mayall in the lurch and prompting Gray...

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