wed 22/11/2017

West End

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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'This is how it happened': Tom MacRae on writing Everybody's Talking About Jamie

I’d always wanted to write a musical, but I didn’t start actually trying until four years ago. Now four years on, my first show, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, is about to hit the West End –  that’s four years to go from no show, no idea and...

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Venus in Fur, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - pain and pleasure in a starry two-hander

A hit on Broadway, David Ives’s steamy two-hander now boasts Natalie Dormer and David Oakes, well-known for their screen work, in its West End cast, with Patrick Marber on directing duties. That plus the tabloid panting over Dormer’s skimpy S&M...

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A Woman of No Importance, Vaudeville - Eve Best is superb as a woman scorned

In a rather clever wheeze, Dominic Dromgoole, former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe – who therefore knows a thing or two about historically accurate stagings – has established Classic Spring, a new company dedicated to celebrating work by...

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David Oakes: 'I haven’t done anything as bad as my characters'

“He has something of Dillane about him.” Thus Patrick Marber on David Oakes. “I rate him very highly indeed. One of the very best of his generation.” Audiences at the Theatre Royal Haymarket will be able to judge for themselves this autumn. Oakes,...

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Young Frankenstein review - Mel Brooks musical is blissfully bonkers

What a difference an ocean and a change of scale can make. When I saw the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein on Broadway a decade ago, the show seemed to take its cue from the lumbering monster contained within it, who stutters and sputters...

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Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, Wyndham’s Theatre review – paradoxically predictable

Playwright Simon Stephens and director Marianne Elliott are hyped as a winning partnership. Their previous collaborations include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a massive Olivier award-winning hit, and her sensitive revival of...

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'First read-throughs have magic': Simon Stephens on Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle

All theatre workers have a day that they dread. For actors there is a particular terror about a first preview that can fuel those performances with adrenaline. For playwrights - well, for me at least - it is the first time a play is ever read out...

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre review - Sienna Miller lets rip

"Maggie the cat is alive: I am alive," or so remarks the feline, eternally frustrated heroine of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. That self-assessment has rarely been truer than as spoken by Sienna Miller in the terrific West End...

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The Wind in the Willows, London Palladium review - an effortful slog

An enormous amount rides on a musical's opening number. Without explicitly expressing it, a good opener sets tone, mood and style. Take The Lion King, where "Circle of Life" so thrillingly unites music, design and direction that nothing that follows...

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10 Questions for George Stiles and Anthony Drewe: 'we are optimistic people'

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe – Stiles and Drewe, as the songwriting partnership is universally known – are responsible for one of theatre’s most memorable acceptance speeches. Their show Honk!, staged at the National Theatre after an initial run...

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Kiss Me, Trafalgar Studios review - Richard Bean two-hander is affecting if slight

Hampstead Theatre Downstairs' habit of sending shows southward to Trafalgar Studios continues with Richard Bean's Kiss Me. A character study set in post-World War One London, it's a two-hander concerning the attempts of a war widow to conceive a...

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