sat 28/05/2022

Theatre Reviews

Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe review - unashamedly vulgar take on our last split with Europe

Rachel Halliburton

Boris Johnson was of course not the first British leader to engineer a split with Europe for personal gain. This strikes you with full force halfway through this production. While there are no photos of Johnson rushing around at a Downing Street party wearing an erect golden phallus, we are living in a world where – as Peter Pomerantsev has said of another leader – "nothing is true and everything is possible".

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Legally Blonde, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a joyous Gen-Z musical makeover

Marianka Swain

The 2001 Reese Witherspoon-starring film Legally Blonde, upon which Heather Hach, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s peppy Broadway musical is based, was something of a Trojan horse: a bubblegum-pink comedy with a feminist spine.

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Bliss, Finborough Theatre review - bleak but tender

Laura De Lisle

When Bliss, a new play adapted from an Andrei Platonov short story by Fraser Grace, made its debut in Russia in early 2020, Cambridge-based company Menagerie were told that their production was “very Russian”.

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Lotus Beauty, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review – uneasy mix of comedy and tragedy

aleks Sierz

Theatre is slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and many shows which were cancelled because of the first lockdown are now finally getting a staging. The latest is Satinder Chohan’s Lotus Beauty, her loving portrait of a Punjabi family-run beauty parlour in west London’s Southall, which is now being staged in the Hampstead Theatre’s Downstairs studio space.

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My Fair Lady, London Coliseum review - tasteful revival powered by stirring performances

Mert Dilek

First staged in 2018, Bartlett Sher’s Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady is London’s latest import from Broadway, coming here hot on the heels of Oklahoma!. In returning to the city where its story is set, Lerner and Loewe’s iconic musical from 1956 receives a dashing treatment from a cast and creative team in their top form.

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The Father and the Assassin, National Theatre review - Gandhi's killer puts his case in a bold, whirlwind production

Heather Neill

The young Indian man stepping towards us on the vast Olivier stage is unremarkable enough, slight and boyish in manner. When he speaks he is direct, even cheeky: he wants us to like him. But this is Nathuram Godse, Gandhi's blood-stained murderer. He surely has a tough task ahead if he is going to persuade his listeners that he had the least justification for brutally killing the father of his nation (Bapu to his followers), the universal byword for peaceful protest.

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The House of Shades, Almeida Theatre review - Anne-Marie Duff blazes in Beth Steel's excoriating new drama

Rachel Halliburton

Anne-Marie Duff blazes across the stage like a meteorite in Beth Steel’s excoriating drama about the changes sweeping through a Northern mining town over the course of five decades. As Constance Webster, a frustrated miner’s wife, her angry energy simultaneously lights up every room she appears in and sets it on fire; the more strongly she tries to escape her world, the closer she comes to destroying it.

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Grease, Dominion Theatre review - a super night out, great songs well sung and spectacular dancing

Gary Naylor

Barry Gibb was at the considerable peak of his era-defining songwriting powers when he provided the song that played over the opening titles of the iconic 1978 film, so it's a wise decision by director, Nikolai Foster, to go straight into "Grease is the Word" after a brief prologue.

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The Breach, Hampstead Theatre review - profoundly uncomfortable work that burns like ice

Rachel Halliburton

Jude is the kind of girl that no-one would want to mess with – she can dance like a demon to Eric Clapton, skewer an ego in seconds and hit an apple from thirty feet with a knife. Yet in a play that’s so uncompromising it could give Neil LaBute a sprint for his money, what happens on the night of her seventeenth birthday raises questions that tear through the lives of her closest friends for decades.

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Julius Caesar, Shakespeare's Globe review - the Bard buried in bad choices

Gary Naylor

With tyrants licking their lips around the world and the question of how to respond to their threat growing ever more immediate, Julius Caesar director Diane Page eyes an open goal – and misses. 

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Pages

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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