thu 22/02/2018

Theatre Reviews

Frozen, Haymarket Theatre review - star cast explores the reality of evil

aleks Sierz

Whatever the weather, this week is Frozen. On Broadway, the Disney musical of that name begins previews, but let’s let that go. In the West End, our Frozen has no Elsa, no Anna and no glittery gowns. Although it does have plenty of ice imagery.

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Angry, Southwark Playhouse review – wondrously roaring Ridleyland

aleks Sierz

Monologues are very much the flavour of the start of this theatrical year. At the Royal Court, we have Carey Mulligan in Dennis Kelly’s brilliant Girls & Boys, coming hot on the tottering heels of Anoushka Warden’s My Mum’s a Twat, while at the Bush a season of solo plays is currently disturbing psyches with Monica Dolan’s B*easts.

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Girls & Boys, Royal Court review - Carey Mulligan is stunningly brilliant

aleks Sierz

This is Carey Mulligan week. She appears, improbably enough, as a hard-nosed cop in David Hare’s BBC thriller Collateral, as well as onstage at the Royal Court in London’s Sloane Square (she’s much better live than on film).

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The York Realist, Donmar Warehouse review - a miniaturist masterpiece

matt Wolf

Peter Gill has been a quiet if invaluable mainstay of the Donmar over time. But the Welsh playwright-director has rarely been better served than by this emotional stealth bomb of a revival of his 2002 Royal Court play, The York Realist, presented here as a co-production with the Sheffield Crucible, where it will transfer following the London run.

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All or Nothing: The Mod Musical, Arts Theatre - plenty of room for ravers

adam Sweeting

If the Small Faces weren’t quite The Beatles or the Stones, they were one of the classic British bands of their era, and their recordings are treasured by ancient Mods, Damon Albarn, Noel Gallagher and even discerning representatives of today’s youth.

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The Divide, Old Vic review - Alan Ayckbourn’s overblown dystopia

aleks Sierz

Playwright Alan Ayckbourn basically comes in two flavours: suburban comedies of embarrassment and sci-fi fantasies. His latest, The Divide, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival last year in a two-part six-hour version, has been now been trimmed down to a single very long evening for its short stay at the Old Vic in London.

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Gundog, Royal Court review - tedious and inconsequential

aleks Sierz

First the goats, and now the sheep – has this venue become an urban farm? Rural life, which was once so central to our English pastoral culture, is now largely absent from metropolitan stages. And from our culture.

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Long Day's Journey Into Night, Wyndham's Theatre review - Lesley Manville hits ecstatic, fatal highs

ismene Brown

Eugene O’Neill’s 1945 play Long Day’s Journey Into Night is famously a portrayal of the hellish damage that a sick person can wreak on their family, closely based on his own family.

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Collective Rage, Southwark Playhouse review - a rollicking riot

Katherine Waters

“Pussy is pussy” and “bitches are bitches” but Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage at Southwark Playhouse smashes such tautologies with roguish comedy in a tight five-hander smartly directed by Charlie Parham.

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Paines Plough Roundabout, Orange Tree Theatre review - too brief to really rock

aleks Sierz

Hype is a dangerous thing. It often raises expectations beyond the reasonable, and disappointment inevitably follows. It also prioritises PR over artistic activity, putting the publicity cart before the creative horse, sucking energy away from plays to feed the marketing machine.

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