tue 14/08/2018

Theatre Reviews

Machinal, Almeida Theatre review - descending into darkness

Matt Wolf

The American playwright/journalist Sophie Treadwell's 1928 expressionist drama crops up every so often in order to allow a director to leave his or her signature upon it, so the first thing to be said about Natalie Abrahami's...

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Monogamy, Park Theatre review - Janie Dee in dark family drama

aleks Sierz

Forget about dark alleys, deserted parks and slippery slopes: the most dangerous place in the world is likely to be your family. That’s where the traps are, the minefields and the surprise betrayals. As its title suggests, Torben Betts’s new comedy is all about failing marriages and imploding families.

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Isabelle Huppert reads Marquis de Sade, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - virtue twinned with vice

Rachel Halliburton

In an era marked by virtue-signalling, it's perhaps no surprise that Isabelle Huppert  a woman who has always gone against the grain  has opted for a little vice-signalling.

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Julie, National Theatre review - vacuous and unilluminating

Matt Wolf

It seems appropriate that an onstage blender features amidst Tom Scutt's sleek, streamlined set for Julie given how many times Strindberg's 1888 play has been put through the artistic magimix.

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

Katherine Waters

One space, one person, one story, one voice  the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment.

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My Name is Lucy Barton, Bridge Theatre review - Laura Linney is luminous in a flawless production

David Benedict

In Harold Pinter’s memory play Old Times, one of the women declares, “There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.” Elizabeth Strout’s heroine in My Name Is Lucy Barton is in the reverse position. When it comes to the difficult childhood she has long since escaped, she’s uncertain of what she can – or wants to – remember, yet she is anything but the standard issue unreliable narrator.

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The Rink, Southwark Playhouse - lesser-known musical lands afresh

Matt Wolf

Two dynamite lead performances and the chance to savour an underappreciated score give genuine charge to The Rink, a decades-old Broadway flop that feels reborn for Southwark Playhouse.

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The Strange Death of John Doe, Hampstead Theatre review - ambitious but not entirely successful

aleks Sierz

Regular air travel is a hassle. All that queuing, all that security, all those hot halls, and then the endless waiting, the bawling kids and the limited legroom. Basically air travel sucks. But at least it’s reasonably safe. The same cannot be said for irregular air travel: stowaways who slip into the wheel wells of planes. Some 96 people have tried this way of avoiding border checks – and most have died.

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Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios review - family drama, creepy and cruel

Tom Birchenough

Right from the beginning of Simon Evans’s production of Tracy Letts's 1993 play, it’s clear we’re in for an intense, raw experience. A storm of almost symphonic musical accompaniment roars, lightning flashing over the claustrophobic trailer interior where the tight two hours-plus run of Killer Joe will play out.

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The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare's Globe review - a breezy bromance served up slight

Matt Wolf

Those who find the Bard tough going – wasn't that one of Emma Rice's admissions back in the day? – should beat a path to The Two Noble Kinsmen, a late-career collaboration with John Fletcher that emerges as Shakespeare lite.

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