wed 03/06/2020

Theatre Reviews

This House, National Theatre at Home review – timely revival of brilliant House of Commons drama

Rachel Halliburton

There is a line of argument that – unfairly – blames playwright James Graham for Dominic Cummings. Would Cummings, some might ask, have achieved the influence he has now if it hadn’t been for his depiction in Graham’s brilliant TV drama Brexit: The Uncivil War in which he was played as an obsessive genius by Benedict Cumberbatch? 

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A Streetcar Named Desire, National Theatre at Home review - world on fire

aleks Sierz

The National Theatre’s triumphant march through its archive of NT Live recordings continues this week with a glorious blaze of a show.

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The Understudy online review - entertaining adaptation of David Nicholls' novel

Veronica Lee

A running gag in David Nicholls' novel The Understudy is that its main character is called Steve McQueen. Not that Steve McQueen, the multi-award-winning, critically acclaimed, rich and successful one. 

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

Marianka Swain

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”.

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Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre at Home review - still lively after all these years

Rachel Halliburton

Barber shops – as we are all starting to appreciate in this time of lockdown – fulfil an emotional as much as a cosmetic role: having a haircut can represent a new beginning, a moment for reflection, or even an informal confessional.

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Midnight Your Time, Donmar Warehouse online review – intimate and quietly moving

aleks Sierz

During lockdown, some of the best online theatre has been shows that are specially created for this digital format. Much better than dull records of dramas that might have worked well on stage, but now seem sadly moribund and exceedingly slow on the laptop screen.

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Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre at Home review – Fiennes and Okonedo triumph in dragging tragedy

Laura De Lisle

Like an asp eating its own tail, the National Theatre's 2018 production of Antony and Cleopatra, streaming on YouTube until 14 May, begins as it will end.

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Re:Creating Europe, MIF Rewind review - last year's burning issue semi-dramatized

David Nice

Are we really past all this? From Ivo van Hove's 2019 polyphony of opinions and reflections down the centuries, so much has gone into the oven on a low heat while more Brits discover that "better together" in the European Union might be a better catchphrase than "take back control".

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Frankenstein, National Theatre at Home review – creature discomforts

aleks Sierz

So far, it could be said that the National Theatre is having a good lockdown. Every week, this flagship streams one of its stock of NT Live films, which are always a welcome reminder of the range of its output over the past decade or so.

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Theatre Lockdown Special 3: Mary Shelley twice over, Europe writ large, and one day more for a mega-musical

Matt Wolf

Time is moving in mysterious ways at the moment. It's been possible over the last month or so to mark out the beginning of each week with the arrival online of a different production streaming from the Hampstead Theatre archives.

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Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.


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