thu 20/06/2024

West End

Rachel Parris, Leicester Square Theatre review - smart observations and satirical songs

Five years ago, Rachel Parris tells us, she never thought she would one day be married, a mother and a home owner. Now she's all three – and a stepmother as well – and this year is about to turn 40. It's quite a journey, which she talks about in her...

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Jack Docherty, Soho Theatre review - warm and witty childhood memoir

For fans of a certain age the name Jack Docherty will always be associated with a very good run of chat shows on Channel 5; he was also the star of Channel 4's sketch show Absolutely and more recently the Scottish comedy Scot Squad. And now he's on...

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Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York), Criterion Theatre review - rueful and funny musical gets West End upgrade

Small-scale shows, nurtured in offbeat places, are becoming all the rage in the West End. Red Pitch, Operation Mincemeat, For Black Boys… have already made their mark, and now this quirky musical for just two performers joins them.It’s been a long...

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Jonathan Pie, Duke of York's Theatre review - spoof political reporter takes no prisoners

If you don't like sweary comics – Jonathan Pie uses the c-word liberally – then this may not be the show for you. In fact if you're a Tory, ditto, because it is 70 minutes of political invective, taking aim at a rogues' gallery of senior...

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Player Kings, Noel Coward Theatre review - inventive showcase for a peerless theatrical knight

Shakespeare’s plays have ever been meat for masher-uppers, from the bowdlerising Victorians to the modern filmed-theatre cycles of Ivo Van Hove. And Sir John Falstaff, as Orson Welles proved in Chimes at Midnight, can be the star of his very own...

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Long Day's Journey Into Night, Wyndham's Theatre review - O'Neill masterwork is once again driven by its Mary

Memory is a confounding thing. By way of proof, just ask the Mary Tyrone who is being given unforgettable life by Patricia Clarkson in London's latest version of Long Day's Journey into Night, which has arrived on the West End (and at the same...

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Opening Night, Gielgud Theatre review - brave, yes, but also misguided and bizarre

Is there a more purely likeable actress than Sheridan Smith, the performer who was still a teenager when she stole the show at the Donmar in Into the Woods and who managed, as Elle Woods in the West End premiere of Legally Blonde, to bring...

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MJ the Musical, Prince Edward Theatre review - glitzy jukebox musical with a superb star but a void inside

In a secret chamber somewhere, the producers of MJ the Musical may be keeping a portrait of the King of Pop that has acquired all his scars, physical and psychological.Few of them, though, are on show in this version of the ongoing Broadway hit...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Garrick Theatre review - exhilarating, moving show makes West End return

When For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy first moved to the West End in 2023, it felt like a risky venture. It had started in the tiny New Diorama, and later packed out the Royal Royal Court, but was a...

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Standing at the Sky's Edge, Gillian Lynne Theatre review - heartwarming Sheffield musical arrives in the West End

Can there be anyone from Sheffield who has not seen Standing at the Sky’s Edge, possibly several times? This is the once local show, opening at the Sheffield Crucible in 2019, playing at the National Theatre's Olivier in 2023, and now bringing a...

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Cruel Intentions, The Other Palace review - uneasy vibes, hit tunes and sparkling staging

Transgression was so deliciously enticing. Back in the Eighties when I saw Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the West End on three occasions, life was simpler – or so us straight white men flattered ourselves to believe. Consent was for unproblematic...

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The Merchant of Venice 1936, Criterion Theatre review - radical revamp with a passionate agenda

It’s an unhappy time to be staging Shakespeare’s problematic play, given its antisemitic content, so hats off to adaptor-director Brigid Larmour and actor Tracy-Ann Oberman for persevering with this updated version, now in the West End. Their...

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