thu 16/08/2018

Theatre Reviews

The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre review - an acting tour de force

Matt Wolf

There's surprising and then there's The Lehman Trilogy, the National Theatre premiere in which a long-established director surprises his audience and, in the process, surpasses himself. The talent in question is Sam Mendes, who a quarter-century or more into his career has never delivered up the kind of sustained, smart, ceaselessly inventive minimalism on view here.

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Alkaline, Park Theatre review - faith, friendship and failure

aleks Sierz

Britain is rightly proud of its record on multiculturalism, but whenever cross-cultural couples are shown on film, television or the stage they are always represented as a problem. Not just as a normal way of life, but as something that is going wrong. I suppose that this is a valuable corrective to patting ourselves on the back about how tolerant a society we are, but do such correctives make a good play?

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As You Like It, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - love among the bucolic hippies

Heather Neill

It's been raining in Regent's Park. On a balmy summer evening during a prolonged dry spell – perfect for outdoor theatrics – it seems ironic to tempt fate by creating artificial downpours and thunderstorms.

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The Jungle, Playhouse Theatre review - new territory

Katherine Waters

"I am dead," declares Okot before recounting the horrors he survived to reach Calais. Each time, he says, "I died." How many times can you die before you are truly dead?

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The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre review - Aidan Turner makes a magnetic West End debut

Matt Wolf

Aidan Turner may not reveal those famously bronzed pecs that have made TV's Poldark box office catnip in his West End debut.

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Imperium, Gielgud Theatre review - eventful, very eventful, Roman epic

aleks Sierz

History repeats itself. This much we know. In the 1980s, under a Tory government obsessed with cuts, the big new thing was “event theatre”, huge shows that amazed audiences because of their epic qualities and marathon slog. A good example is David Edgar’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, an eight-and-a-half hour adaptation of the Dickens novel.

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The King and I, London Palladium review - classic musical reborn with modern sensibilities

Marianka Swain

Shall we dodge? (One, two, three) No, the brilliance of Bartlett Sher’s Tony-winning Lincoln Center revival – first on Broadway in 2015, now gracing the West End, with its original leads – is that it faces the problematic elements of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 musical head on.

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As You Like It, Shakespeare in the Squares review - an exuberant celebration of the Summer of Love

Rachel Halliburton

Gender-bending, confused identities, and hedonistic anarchy go together as naturally in summer Shakespeare as strawberries and cucumbers in Pimms, and in Tatty Hennessy’s exuberant alfresco version of As You Like It, touring to squares across the capital, the mix proves an appropriately heady combination.

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The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's Globe review - a chilly tale for a time of austerity

alexandra Coghlan

“A sad tale’s best for winter,” Leontes’ young son Mamillius tells us. By that logic the current summer heatwave should be bringing us a Winter’s Tale overflowing with joy – the songs of Bohemia drowning out the shouted accusations and desperate howls of Sicilia. But that’s not what director Blanche McIntyre has in mind.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wilton's Music Hall review - a stereotype-smashing evening of pagan delights

Rachel Halliburton

The Faction’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a production in which women are more likely to kick ass than sleep with one – a muscular, mischievous take on the Bard’s most light-hearted play about forbidden love.

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