tue 16/10/2018

Theatre Reviews

The Inheritance, Noël Coward Theatre review - tangled knot of gay fairy-tale and reality

David Nice

Its roots are in an emotional truth: Matthew Lopez saw the film, then read the book, of Howards End when he was 15 and 11 years later came across Maurice. He joined the dots between an apparent period-piece offering timeless wisdom about the human condition and the gayness he found he had in common with E M Forster.

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Parents' Evening, Jermyn Street Theatre - chemistry so negligible it's antiseptic

Rachel Halliburton

The playwright Bathsheba Doran has blazed a stellar trail ever since graduating from Cambridge at the same time as David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

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The Height of the Storm, Wyndham's Theatre review - Eileen Atkins raises the elliptical to art

Matt Wolf

If you're going to write a play that traffics in bafflement, it's not a bad idea to have on hand one of the most beady-eyed actresses around.

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I'm Not Running, National Theatre review - puzzling political drama

aleks Sierz

Whatever you might think about Brexit, the dreaded B word, the current climate certainly seems to be reinvigorating both feminist playwrights and political playwrights. So welcome back, David Hare, the go-to dramatist for any artistic director wanting to stage a contemporary state-of-the-nation play.

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Twelfth Night, Young Vic review - Kwame Kwei-Armah makes a big-hearted return home

Matt Wolf

What better way to celebrate a homecoming than with a party? That is the capacious-hearted thinking behind this new musical version of Twelfth Night, which additionally marks Kwame Kwei-Armah's debut production at the helm of that undeniable dynamo otherwise known as the Young Vic.

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The Sweet Science of Bruising, Southwark Playhouse review - boxing clever

aleks Sierz

There are not that many plays about sport, but, whether you gamble on results or not, you can bet that most of them are about boxing. And often set in the past.

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Sketching, Wilton's Music Hall, review - less a dynamic babble than a disconsolate babel

Rachel Halliburton

It sounds like a marriage made in heaven. Charles Dickens and James Graham – both great chroniclers of the ambitions, hypocrisies, and eccentricities of their respective ages – have been brought together to tell London’s story through irreverent portraits of its high life and low life.

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Pack of Lies, Menier Chocolate Factory review - suburban spy story

aleks Sierz

We do love our spy stories, don't we? The idea of betrayal, both political and personal, seems to be a strong part of our national identity. And so is telling stories based on real events. Playwright Hugh Whitemore, who died in July, based his Pack of Lies on the Portland spy ring, a secret Soviet operation which was active from the late 1950s until 1961.

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Every Day I Make Greatness Happen, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - live-wire immediacy

Rachel Halliburton

"I’m not a number, I’m not a grade, and I’m not a failure." The 17-year-old girl stands in front of the small class, who gaze at her goggle-eyed. "A robot factory. That’s all you’ve got here." The teacher’s response is caustically admiring. "Why are you here, Alisha, if that’s what you’re capable of?

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Pinter at the Pinter, Harold Pinter Theatre review - harrowing and comic short pieces from the master

Heather Neill

Ten years after Harold Pinter's death, Jamie Lloyd has set about honouring the 20th century's outstanding British playwright in an ambitious West End season of his shorter works at the theatre which now bears his name.

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