thu 05/08/2021

West End

Wonderville, Palace Theatre review - magic and illusion family show

Variety is a form of entertainment most usually seen on Saturday night television these days, but Wonderville is an attempt to bring it back into the West End. It's mostly a magic and illusion show, with a hefty slice of comedy, a bit of song and...

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ANNA X, Harold Pinter Theatre review - lacking in substance

There just isn’t enough there, with ANNA X. Daniel Raggett’s production is the third and final of the RE:EMERGE season at the Harold Pinter Theatre, with Emma Corrin of Lady Di fame in the lead. The graphic design – the brightly-striped faces of...

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Hairspray, London Coliseum review - brighter and more welcome than ever

A revival of a multi-award winning musical, with a big star or two, may look like a safe choice to re-open London’s largest theatre, the Coliseum, but there was a tingle of jeopardy in the air, exemplified when the show catches you by surprise...

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J'Ouvert, Harold Pinter Theatre review - formless yet fabulous

A welcome West End upgrade is the order of the day at J'Ouvert, the debut play from Yasmin Joseph whose 2019 premiere at South London's Theatre 503 additionally marked the directing debut of the actress Rebekah Murrell. And now here it is, all but...

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Jimmy Carr, Palace Theatre review - rape gags and risible claims

What to make of Jimmy Carr? He’s a fantastic gag writer and experienced stand-up who has made a hugely successful career on television. And yet... as Terribly Funny makes clear, you have to share what he calls his dark and edgy humour - or, as he...

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Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Mark Thomas comes on stage unannounced. It's not a show of humility – rather, he told us, amused at his own mistake, that his hearing isn't what it used to be and he had misheard his music cue. It was a modest start to his new show 50 Things About...

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A Christmas Carol, Dominion Theatre review - brash and bustling and snowy, too

The twelve days of Christmas have nothing on the flotilla of Christmas Carols jostling for view this season, each of which is substantially different enough from the next so as to give Dickens's 1843 story its prismatic due. Hailing from Broadway,...

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The Comeback, Noël Coward Theatre review - frantic farce with touches of vaudeville

Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen together form The Pin, a sketch duo who have won much critical acclaim and full houses in the Edinburgh Fringe shows. They have also added a huge social media following in 2020 with their lockdown skits spoofing the new...

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Album: Barbara Dickson - Time is Going Faster

It’s 45 years since the West End success of John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert put a young Scottish folkie named Barbara Dickson on the map, launching a career that brought richly-deserved success on stage and screen, as well as in music. She’s...

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Adam Kay, Apollo Theatre review - former medic tells tales from NHS front line

What a pleasure it was to step inside a West End theatre again, and what a different experience it was – temperature checks at the door, a one-way system through to the seats and an app to order drinks. While markedly smaller audiences are terrible...

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'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

"You talk like Marlene Dietrich, you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire, your clothes are all made by Balmain, and there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair…" . Peter Sarstedt may have been a one-hit wonder, but his 1969 pop song, "Where do you go to (my...

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The Last Five Years, The Other Palace Digital review - socially distanced heartbreak

A musical featuring two people who are physically separated? Jason Robert Brown’s work is a shutdown natural – as this new digital theatre version demonstrates. Lauren Samuels and Danny Becker, who play doomed lovers Cathy and Jamie, recorded their...

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