sat 28/01/2023

National Theatre

Kerry Jackson, National Theatre review - new writing nadir

Is British new writing in deep trouble? With the Arts Council defunding venues such as the Hampstead Theatre, the Donmar and the Gate, and past masters such as Terry Johnson underperforming, the signs are not good. But what about the National...

Read more...

Othello, National Theatre review - ambitious but emotionally underpowered

Clint Dyer is the first black director of Othello at the National Theatre, a venue that once staged the piece with its actor founder Laurence Olivier playing the lead role in blackface. We are reminded of this now-reviled practice before...

Read more...

Hex, National Theatre review - 12 months after being sent to sleep by Covid, Rufus Norris's show is back

Hovering way, way above us, three aptly named high fairies, in voluminous chiffon, open a show that may not be airy in the metaphorical sense, but invites us to cast our eyes upwards continually – no bad thing to do in the bleak midwinter of 2022....

Read more...

Blues for an Alabama Sky, National Theatre review - superb cast and production for this period hit

The cynical might think Pearl Cleage’s play had been expressly written to address the over-riding issues in today’s USA – abortion and contraception rights, gun control, homophobia, racism. But the cynical would be wrong, as Blues for an Alabama Sky...

Read more...

The Boy with Two Hearts, National Theatre review - poignant yet humorous story of family forced to flee Afghanistan

It’s particularly poignant to watch this story in the knowledge that a little over a year after US-led troops withdrew from Afghanistan, women and girls are enduring a renewed repression of their rights under the Taliban. The real-life story of The...

Read more...

The Crucible, National Theatre review - visually stunning revival of Miller's classic drama

How can this beauty arise from such ugliness? The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s 1953 drama about the Salem witch trials of 1692, is rife with unwavering prejudices, selfish slander, and sickening motives. But under Lyndsey Turner’s aesthetically...

Read more...

All of Us, National Theatre review - revelatory, but problematic

Has the pandemic made us more angry? Although Francesca Martinez’s debut play, which is at the National Theatre, was programmed before COVID, its belated opening has not dampened the playwright’s fiery criticism of the effects of Tory government...

Read more...

Much Ado About Nothing, National Theatre review - Shakespeare’s comedy goes Hollywood musical

After gender-flipping the National’s Malvolio, the director Simon Godwin might have been expected to be equally bold with Much Ado About Nothing at the same address. A same-sex Beatrice and Benedick romance? Dogberry in bondage gear, zonked out on...

Read more...

Jack Absolute Flies Again, National Theatre review - fluffy as a cloud but hugely entertaining

Can a comedy have too many jokes? That may seem an odd question, but one that applies to this latest high-octane, eager-to-please outing by Richard Bean, which flies out of the hanger at such high velocity that it’s in danger of crashing before it...

Read more...

The Father and the Assassin, National Theatre review - Gandhi's killer puts his case in a bold, whirlwind production

The young Indian man stepping towards us on the vast Olivier stage is unremarkable enough, slight and boyish in manner. When he speaks he is direct, even cheeky: he wants us to like him. But this is Nathuram Godse, Gandhi's blood-stained murderer....

Read more...

Middle, National Theatre review - a bit of a muddle

The traditional, and much derided, well-made play is meant to have a beginning, middle and end. Although playwright David Eldridge often writes in opposition to these outdate forms, his trilogy about relationships, which started in 2017 with the hit...

Read more...

The Corn Is Green, National Theatre review – Nicola Walker teaches a life lesson

Let’s talk repertoire. Over the past decade the range of British plays, especially those from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, has shrunk in state-subsidized theatres. You can no longer easily see work by Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Restoration...

Read more...
Subscribe to National Theatre