mon 11/12/2017

Theatre Reviews

Jack and the Beanstalk, Lyric Hammersmith review - great fun for all ages

veronica Lee

Pantomime may be a very old art form, but the Lyric Hammersmith has been injecting some freshness into it each year since 2009, and this year's production, written by Joel Horwood and directed by Jude Christian and Sean Holmes, is no exception.

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The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall review - children's classic novel transferred to stage

Saskia Baron

Theatreland is currently awash with pantomimes and rehashes of A Christmas Carol, so all credit to this ambitious new production, an adaptation of the 1935 children’s book, The Box of Delights. Long before Narnia, poet laureate John Masefield was concocting tales of children dispatched to mys

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La Soirée, Aldwych Theatre review - flickers of brilliance in a patchy evening

Laura De Lisle

La Soirée is on the up-and-up. Beginning life as an after-hours show at the fringes of the Fringe in 2004, it won an Olivier in 2015 and has landed its first West End residency, a two-month run at the Aldwych Theatre over Christmas.

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The Melting Pot, Finborough Theatre review - entertaining morals

Katherine Waters

Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting Pot characterises Europe as an old and worn-out continent racked by violence and injustice and in thrall to its own bloody past. America, on the other hand, represents a visionary project that will “melt up all race-difference and vendettas” to “purge and recreate” a new world.

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Barnum, Menier Chocolate Factory review - a big, blowsy spectacle

veronica Lee

You have to hand it to Menier Chocolate Factory, a venue that doesn't let size matter as it stages an all-singing, all-dancing new production of Barnum, a musical about Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum – the 19th-century showman famed for staging “The Greatest Show on Earth”.

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Parliament Square, Bush Theatre, review – uncomfortable blaze of anger

aleks Sierz

The political story of our time is the upsurge in support for Jeremy Corbyn, leftwing leader of the Labour Party, mainly by young activists who are both idealistic and energetic. But what would happen if one of them decided to go freelance, and pushed their protest beyond the bounds of reason? James Fritz’s resonant and beautifully structured play explores this kind of question.

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Dear Brutus, Southwark Playhouse review - a judicious mix of comedy and sadness

Heather Neill

Confused people, some of whom may have made the wrong choices in life and love, find themselves in an enchanted wood at Midsummer. Dear Brutus has long been seen to echo Shakespeare’s comedy of metamorphosis, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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The Passing of the Third Floor Back, Finborough Theatre review - the better nature of Jerome K Jerome

tom Birchenough

Even by the standards of theatrical archaeology that the Finborough has made its own, The Passing of the Third Floor Back is a curiosity. Jerome K Jerome’s 1908 play was a long-running hit in the West End – with Johnston Forbes-Robertson, one of the leading English classical actors of his day, in the lead – before transferring to Broadway for a year.

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Goats, Royal Court review - unfocused and muddled

aleks Sierz

The civil war in Syria spawns image after image of hell on earth. Staging the stories of that conflict presents a challenge to playwrights: how do you write about horror in a way that is both accurate and entertaining?

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic review - Rhys Ifans takes on Scrooge, triumphantly

Saskia Baron

Fresh from the success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack Thorne now gives us his exuberant adaptation of another much-loved text. Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol is the well-worn morality fable seared into our collective memory by countless screen versions and stage musicals....

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