tue 26/03/2019

Theatre Reviews

The Phlebotomist, Hampstead Theatre review - thought-provoking dystopian thriller

aleks Sierz

Contemporary British theatre loves time travel — and not just to the past. It also enjoys imagining the future, especially the bad stuff ahead. So Ella Road's debut play, The Phlebotomist, is set in a convincingly coherent dystopia where genetic profiling reigns supreme, and one blood test can fuck up all your life chances.

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The Life I Lead, Park Theatre review - pleasant enough but lacks bite

Tim Cornwell

I am deeply jealous of Miles Jupp's dressing gown in The Life I Lead, the solo play at the Park Theatre. It's a silky-grey patterned number of exquisitely comfortable proportions, and just the sort of thing a chap should wear to tell the story of his life via some genial patter over an hour or two.

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Blood Knot, Orange Tree Theatre review - defining apartheid-era drama delivers afresh

Matt Wolf

London's impromptu mini-season devoted to the work of Athol Fugard picks up real steam with Blood Knot, Matthew Xia's transfixing take on one of the benchmark titles of the apartheid era and beyond.

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Emilia, Vaudeville Theatre review - shouting for change

aleks Sierz

Emilia Bassano Lanier is not a household name. But maybe she should be. Born in 1569, she was one of the first women in England to publish a book of poetry. And she was also a religious thinker, a feminist and the founder of a school for girls. Oh, and a mother too. And maybe, just maybe, at a long stretch, she was also the "dark lady" of Shakespeare's sonnets.

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Downstate, National Theatre review - controversial but also clear-eyed and compassionate

Matt Wolf

"Some monsters are real," notes a retribution-minded wife (Matilda Ziegler) early in Downstate, Bruce Norris's beautiful and wounding play that has arrived at the National Theatre in the production of a writer's dreams.

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The Bay at Nice, Menier Chocolate Factory review - David Hare talkfest takes intermittent wing

Matt Wolf

David Hare knows a thing or two about sustaining an onstage face-off. Skylight and The Breath of Life consist tantalisingly of little else and so, for the most part, does his 1986 curiosity The Bay at Nice, which I caught back in the day during a premiere engagement at the Cottesloe that was given immediate lustre by the ravishing Irene Worth.

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The Rubenstein Kiss, Southwark Playhouse review - slick spy drama doesn't quite come together

Laura De Lisle

It's an ideal time to revive James Phillips's debut The Rubenstein Kiss. Since it won the John Whiting Award for new writing in 2005 its story, of ideological differences tearing a family apart, has only become more relevant.

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Richard II, Sam Wanamaker Theatre review - electrifying mixed-race all-female production

Rachel Halliburton

Richard II has become the drama of our times, as it walks us through the impotent convulsions of a weak and vain leader brought down by in-fighting among his men.

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Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre review - Tom Hiddleston anchors a bold, brooding revival

Marianka Swain

The grand finale of Jamie Lloyd’s remarkable Pinter at the Pinter season is this starry production of one of the writer’s greatest – and certainly most personal – works, inspired by his extramarital affair with Joan Bakewell.

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Admissions, Trafalgar Studios review - topical and whiplash-smart

Matt Wolf

Joshua Harmon knows how to stir and excite an audience and does that and more with Admissions, newly arrived in the West End as part of the ongoing tsunami of American theatre across the capital just now.

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