sun 22/09/2019

West End

Big the Musical - sweet if wildly overstretched

The work isn't finished on Big, if this stage musical of the beloved 1988 Tom Hanks film is ever to, um, make it big. A Broadway flop in 1996 where it was among the last shows directed by the late, much-admired Englishman Mike Ockrent, the material...

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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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The Son, Duke of York's Theatre review - a piercing drama of depression

A tale of teenage depression and its family resonances, Florian Zeller’s The Son has a devastating simplicity. It’s the final part of a loose trilogy, following on from the playwright’s The Father and The Mother, but the new play eschews the...

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Fleabag, Wyndham's Theatre review - superb swansong for modern classic

We're saying goodbye to a much treasured friend. Fleabag will live on, of course – other actresses have and will inhabit the role – but Phoebe Waller-Bridge, its creator, has said this short run at Wyndham's Theatre is the last time she will perform...

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The Night of the Iguana, Noël Coward Theatre review - Clive Owen and Lia Williams burn bright

One of the glories of contemporary London theatre is its revivals of classic American drama. Year after year, audiences are able to revisit and enjoy the great landmarks of postwar American playwriting from greats such as Arthur Miller, Tennessee...

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, London Palladium review - bright, brash, largely irresistible

Cheeky and broad and (for the most part) as entertaining as seems humanly possible, this embryonic entry from the collaborative pen of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is back at its onetime London home, the Palladium. It's a production far...

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Harold Pinter Theatre review - smart stagecraft, skimpy script

Better than the 2001 film but likely to disappoint devotees of the book, Captain Corelli's Mandolin onstage works best as a reminder of the identifiable stagecraft of its director, Melly Still. Playful, non-literal, and often endearingly physical (...

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13-3/4, Ambassadors Theatre review - needs a chill pill

Time hasn't necessarily been kind to this slow-aborning West End transfer of a show first seen (and lauded) in its 2015 debut in Leicester and then again two years later for a summer run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The Secret Diary of Adrian...

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Dark Sublime, Trafalgar Studios review – sci-fi tribute is less rocket, more Reliant Robin

This lovingly lo-tech visit to galaxies far far away is a curious proposition, which, while neither dark, nor sublime, does have its moments. Framed as a tribute to Seventies sci-fi in all its polyester-clad absurdity, it in fact reveals itself to...

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On Your Feet!, London Coliseum review - Gloria Estefan bio-musical hits familiar notes

This well-meaning biographical jukebox musical about icons Gloria and Emilio Estefan, which did two years on Broadway and a US tour, is good summer scheduling, what with its Latin-pop bangers, infectious dance routines and “Dreams come true”...

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Three Sisters, Maly Drama Theatre, Vaudeville Theatre review - a Chekhov of luminous clarity

Lev Dodin has been artistic director of the famed Maly Drama Theatre for some three and a half decades now, over which time the St Petersburg company has earned itself the highest of international reputations. London audiences have been fortunate to...

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The Starry Messenger, Wyndham's Theatre review - Matthew Broderick gets all cosmic

A small-scale Off Broadway venture late in 2009, The Starry Messenger has arrived in London to mark the belated British stage debut of Matthew Broderick, the movie name much-loved on the New York stage. Reuniting the two-time Tony-winner with his...

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