fri 03/02/2023

West End

Mother Goose, Duke of York's Theatre review - Ian McKellen returns as the Dame

When Ian McKellen, one of our greatest Shakespearean actors, gave us his acclaimed Widow Twankey at the Old Vic in 2004, some wondered why he had waited till he was in his sixties to perform in a leading role in pantomime (second comic policeman at...

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Elf, Dominion Theatre review - hit musical revival slays it again

Just about the three toughest tricks to pull off in the theatre are making a musical, making a family show and making characters so charming that even the most cynical in the house are pulling for the little guy (or not so little in this case). So...

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From Here to Eternity, Charing Cross Theatre review - Pearl Harbour musical fails to fly

Whorehouses, gay prostitution and suicide – you can see why James Jones’ bestselling 1951 novel was bowdlerised by the publishers and sanitised into subtext by Hollywood for the Oscar-laden movie released a couple of years later. As the extensive...

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Walking with Ghosts, Apollo Theatre review - a beguiling Gabriel Byrne opens up

Gabriel Byrne is not a typical film star. From his breakthrough as the lustful and doomed Uther Pendragon in Excalibur, via his iconic Prohibition-era gangster in the Coen brothers’ Miller’s Crossing and the wickedly twisty ...

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Wonderville Magic and Cabaret review - fast-paced show delivers the promised wonder

There’s nothing quite like magic, live, up close and personal. Sure there are the TV spectaculars, the casino resort mega-shows and even The Masked Magician to pull back the curtains, but there’s a frisson in the air when the card that’s in your...

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Mad House, Ambassadors Theatre review - David Harbour is magnificent in Theresa Rebeck's family drama

For sheer extremes of family dysfunction Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House must be aiming to set new records in American drama. The latest in a line that stretches back to Eugene O’Neill, the plentiful other contenders that have appeared over the decades...

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The Glass Menagerie, Duke of York's Theatre review - memories flare and fade

The stage is cluttered with objects; a pianola sits stage left; a large cabinet, soon to be revealed as a display case for tiny glass ornaments, dominates the centre. A man, gaunt, in his 40s perhaps, wanders among this stuff.He is our narrator (...

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Grease, Dominion Theatre review - a super night out, great songs well sung and spectacular dancing

Barry Gibb was at the considerable peak of his era-defining songwriting powers when he provided the song that played over the opening titles of the iconic 1978 film, so it's a wise decision by director, Nikolai Foster, to go straight into "Grease is...

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Katherine Ryan, London Palladium review - a softer comic emerges

A lot has happened to British-Canadian comic Katherine Ryan since she last toured and was expecting to go back on the road in 2020 – the “pandem”, which affected us all, of course, plus unexpected marriage and second-time motherhood. Updating us on...

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Catherine Bohart, Soho Theatre review - anatomy of a break-up

Catherine Bohart had a more eventful lockdown than most, as it marked the end of a five-year relationship and what she describes as a sort of breakdown followed. To add insult to injury, the break-up came not along after she and her girlfriend,...

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Saturday Night Fever, Peacock Theatre review - crowd-pleaser stays true to its roots

Wind the clock back 45 years and the Big Apple was bankrupt, the lights had gone out and many native New Yorkers were packing their bags. Gangs controlled whole neighbourhoods, drugs were the currency of choice and, for a kid with no college,...

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Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre review - spectacular escapism

One of the many theatrical casualties of Omicron in December was the official UK opening of Moulin Rouge!, the stage version of Baz Luhrmann’s indelible 2001 film that has already racked up 10 Tony Awards for its 2019 Broadway production (albeit in...

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