sun 22/05/2022

West End

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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Best of 2021: Theatre

There was no live theatre at the start of 2021, just a return to the world of virtual performance and streaming to which we had become well accustomed, and very quickly, too. So imagine the collective surprise come the start of this month as show...

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Life of Pi, Wyndham's Theatre review - visually ravishing show uplifted by astonishing puppetry

When the Canadian Yann Martel went to India as a young adult backpacker he fell in love – not with one person but with the rich imaginative landscape opened up by its religions and its animals. A struggling writer at the time, he channelled this new...

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Stephen Sondheim in memoriam - he gave us more to see

It seemed impossible and yet, the other evening, while idly flicking through emails, I learned the unimaginable: Stephen Sondheim, age 91, had passed away. And very quickly by all accounts, given that he was reported to have enjoyed a Thanksgiving...

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Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Charing Cross Theatre review - Tony-winning play checks out Chekhov

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has taken eight years to reach the London stage, which is surprisingly long for the Tony Award winner for Best Play of 2013: the pandemic, unsurprisingly, didn't help. But in a burst of somewhat un-Chekhovian...

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Get Up, Stand Up!, Lyric Theatre review - knockout performance, undercooked book

Can we turn off the script and simply leave the music to do its soul-stirring bit?  That's likely to be a not uncommon response to Get Up Stand Up!, which gives Bob Marley much the same biomusical treatment currently on view in Tina across...

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The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre review - nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

The first two stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies – written by Mike Poulton, way back in 2014 - were a very different beast from the novels, but they were at least eyecatching plastinations...

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The Last Five Years, Garrick Theatre review - bittersweet musical treat gets West End upgrade

Much has happened in the five years since your reviewer braved the steep rake at The Other Palace and saw The Last Five Years (not least my now getting its “Nobody needs to know” nod in Hamilton – worth a fistful of Tonys in prestige, I guess) so it...

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