sat 07/12/2019

Hampstead Theatre

Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which...

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Botticelli in the Fire, Hampstead Theatre review - history mash-up burns bright

Botticelli is a household name, but who knows the true story behind his most famous painting? The painter's 1480s masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, is one of the most striking images of Renaissance Florence – and has achieved iconic status. Because...

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Either, Hampstead Theatre review - funny, ingenious investigation of gender and love

This ingenious short work deftly investigates themes of love and identity with a breezy assurance that marks first time playwright, Ruby Thomas, out as a daring and exciting new voice. In an age where gender fluidity and polyamory are becoming...

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The King of Hell’s Palace, Hampstead Theatre review - Chinese scandal freezes the blood

New artistic directors are popping up all over British theatre. Every week seems to usher in a refreshingly versatile talent taking the reins of a major theatre. Tonight, veteran new writing advocate Roxana Silbert, the new head of Hampstead Theatre...

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Cash Cow, Hampstead Theatre review - timely look at pushy tennis parents

“How much does she owe us?” So ponder the now estranged parents of a former tennis pro, as they calculate the very literal investment they’ve put into their daughter. This probing new play from Oli Forsyth – well timed for Queen’s and Wimbledon –...

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The Firm, Hampstead Theatre review - ferociously funny exploration of gang culture

We are living in a time when gang culture rips and roars its way down London streets, and through newspaper headlines, at increasingly alarming levels. Recent news reports revealed how a surge in knife and gun crime is leading to more young black...

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Jude, Hampstead Theatre review - Greek tragedy for today

Edward Hall bids farewell to this venue, where he has been artistic director since 2010, with this production of a new play by Howard Brenton. The playwright has been a regular at the Hampstead Theatre, and he has enjoyed stagings of his history...

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Wilderness, Hampstead Theatre review - stark portrait of modern divorce

“We don’t love you any less.” A natural sentiment to express to your child when you’re separating from your partner, but the very fact of saying it plants doubts in the child’s mind as to whether you really mean it. As the audience of Wilderness at...

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

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...

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Eden, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - thoughtful commentary on people and principles

"It's gonna be the best golf course in the world," a man in an Aertex shirt and a bright red baseball cap is assuring us. "The best. I guarantee it." You can tell he's the kind of person who thinks talking quickly and loudly is the same thing as...

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Cost of Living, Hampstead Theatre review - tough but tender

The Off Broadway production of Cost of Living two years ago brought Martyna Majok the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the height of acclaim of which most new writers – Majok, with four plays behind her, has yet to turn 35 – can only dream. High...

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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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