mon 21/01/2019

West End

James Acaster, Phoenix Theatre review - a masterclass in comedy

There's a story in James Acaster's superb new show at the Phoenix Theatre which hangs on him being the first UK comic to shoot several Netflix specials. He doesn't tells us this to boast; far from it. It's to set up another long-form gag, one of...

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The Catherine Tate Show Live, Wyndham's Theatre review - sketch show favourites on stage

In 2016 Catherine Tate performed live comedy for the first time since her Edinburgh Fringe days at the beginning of her career, and the show was deservedly both a critical and box-office success. She later took it to Australia and New Zealand and...

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The Best Plays in London

London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty National Theatre to the West End, the small powerhouses of the Donmar Warehouse and the Almeida and out to the fringe...

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Pinters Five and Six, Harold Pinter Theatre review - superlatively acted esoterica

The scintillating, commercially bold season of Pinter one-acts at the theatre bearing his name plays a particular blinder with Pinter Five (★★★★★), from which I emerged keen to engage with its mystery and breadth of feeling all over again. Pinter...

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Caroline, or Change, Playhouse Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke is superlative

With the politics of hate alive and well both sides of the Atlantic, this seems a good time to revive Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's 2003 musical, which is set in Civil Rights-era Louisiana. This production was first seen at Chichester Minerva...

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Piccadilly Theatre review - back for a heart-tugging encore

One emotional high point in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the much-lauded Simon Stephens adaptation that is back in our midst once more, comes when the teenage Christopher Boone is floated in the air as part of his dream of...

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True West, Vaudeville Theatre review - sizzling take on seminal Sam Shepard

Don't be deceived by Kit Harington's matted, slicked-back hair that is immediately visible the minute the audience enters the boisterous West End revival of True West. By the time the director Matthew Dunster's production has roared to a close two...

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Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory review - family matters in this sensitive musical revival

There’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the biting hardships of winter, and to the elegiac aspect of change, than to festive jollies. Which is not to say that there isn’t rousing...

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Summer and Smoke, Duke of York's Theatre review – Patsy Ferran's remarkable performance

This production of Tennessee Williams’ neglected classic, Summer and Smoke, arrives from the Almeida into the West End with five-star plaudits for its pitch-perfect performances and pressure-cooker intensity. In an ideal world, this should guarantee...

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Company, Gielgud Theatre review - here's to a sensational musical rebirth

The most thrilling revivals interrogate a classic work, while revealing its fundamental soul anew. Marianne Elliott’s female-led, 21st-century take on George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical comedy Company makes a bold,...

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The Inheritance, Noël Coward Theatre review - tangled knot of gay fairy-tale and reality

Its roots are in an emotional truth: Matthew Lopez saw the film, then read the book, of Howards End when he was 15 and 11 years later came across Maurice. He joined the dots between an apparent period-piece offering timeless wisdom about the human...

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The Height of the Storm, Wyndham's Theatre review - Eileen Atkins raises the elliptical to art

If you're going to write a play that traffics in bafflement, it's not a bad idea to have on hand one of the most beady-eyed actresses around. That would be Dame Eileen Atkins, whose keen-eyed intelligence cuts a swathe through the deliberate...

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