sat 23/10/2021

West End

Jimmy Carr, Palace Theatre review - rape gags and risible claims

What to make of Jimmy Carr? He’s a fantastic gag writer and experienced stand-up who has made a hugely successful career on television. And yet... as Terribly Funny makes clear, you have to share what he calls his dark and edgy humour - or, as he...

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Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Mark Thomas comes on stage unannounced. It's not a show of humility – rather, he told us, amused at his own mistake, that his hearing isn't what it used to be and he had misheard his music cue. It was a modest start to his new show 50 Things About...

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A Christmas Carol, Dominion Theatre review - brash and bustling and snowy, too

The twelve days of Christmas have nothing on the flotilla of Christmas Carols jostling for view this season, each of which is substantially different enough from the next so as to give Dickens's 1843 story its prismatic due. Hailing from Broadway,...

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The Comeback, Noël Coward Theatre review - frantic farce with touches of vaudeville

Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen together form The Pin, a sketch duo who have won much critical acclaim and full houses in the Edinburgh Fringe shows. They have also added a huge social media following in 2020 with their lockdown skits spoofing the new...

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Album: Barbara Dickson - Time is Going Faster

It’s 45 years since the West End success of John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert put a young Scottish folkie named Barbara Dickson on the map, launching a career that brought richly-deserved success on stage and screen, as well as in music. She’s...

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Adam Kay, Apollo Theatre review - former medic tells tales from NHS front line

What a pleasure it was to step inside a West End theatre again, and what a different experience it was – temperature checks at the door, a one-way system through to the seats and an app to order drinks. While markedly smaller audiences are terrible...

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'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

"You talk like Marlene Dietrich, you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire, your clothes are all made by Balmain, and there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair…" . Peter Sarstedt may have been a one-hit wonder, but his 1969 pop song, "Where do you go to (my...

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The Last Five Years, The Other Palace Digital review - socially distanced heartbreak

A musical featuring two people who are physically separated? Jason Robert Brown’s work is a shutdown natural – as this new digital theatre version demonstrates. Lauren Samuels and Danny Becker, who play doomed lovers Cathy and Jamie, recorded their...

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Cats, The Shows Must Go On review - a purr-fectly theatrical experience

Cats is, declares composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, a show that doesn’t really have a story, but was beloved on stage because it’s “the ultimate theatrical experience”. That’s the point which Tom Hooper’s grotesque, nightmarish movie adaptation so...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 5: A solo show for the ages, Ibsen refreshed, and yet more frolicsome cats

No one can accuse the gods of streaming of failing to cast a wide net. That's even more so with an array of streaming opportunities over the next week that ranges from Off West End Ibsen given a second chance to shine to an online encounter with,...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 1: Starry podcasts, late-career Shakespeare, a celebrity basement - and more

The lockdown has been extended, but here's the good news: each week whereby we are shut inside seems to bring with it ever-enticing arrays of theatre from across the spectrum, from online cabarets to freshly conceived podcasts and all manner of...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 1 - 'I'm Still Here'

Surely there’s never been a more apt time for Sondheim’s great cry of defiance? “I’m Still Here” is sung by showgirl-turned-actress Carlotta in Follies (1971) – added during the Boston try-out in place of “Can That Boy Foxtrot”. Loosely...

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