fri 17/08/2018

Theatre Reviews

Rasheeda Speaking, Trafalgar Studios review - unsettling comedy, thorny racism

Tom Birchenough

Conflict and comedy can be unpredictable bedfellows, and Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s 2014 play occasionally risks overstretching itself in its attempts to reconcile the two – although its immediate context, the world of office politics, has a rich history of showing humanity at its worst, and...

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Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre review - the Meat Loaf musical returns, batty as ever

Marianka Swain

Back by feverishly popular demand, Jim Steinman’s mega-musical is no longer in danger of alarming unsuspecting opera-goers.

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Tina, Aldwych Theatre review - new Tina Turner bio-musical is simply OK

Marianka Swain

It is, perhaps, a tale that suffers from overfamiliarity. Tina Turner’s rags-to-riches story – from humble beginnings as little Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her discovery, reinvention and sickening abuse by husband and manager Ike Turner, and finally her rebirth as a solo rock'n'roll star – is the stuff of showbiz legend.

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Instructions for Correct Assembly, Royal Court review - Jane Horrocks in Middle England 'Westworld'

aleks Sierz

There’s a whole universe which British theatre has yet to explore properly – it’s called the sci-fi imagination. Although this place is familiar from countless films and television series, it is more or less a stranger to our stages.

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The Moderate Soprano, Duke of York's Theatre review - love and opera with a flinty edge

David Nice

"What could be more serious than married life?" asked Richard Strauss, whose operas became a surprising pillar of Glyndebourne's repertoire some time after the early days dramatised in David Hare's play.

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Chicago, Phoenix Theatre review - baggy revival picks up later pace

Laura De Lisle

Chicago has been on, in one form or another, for a very long time.

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Quiz, Noël Coward Theatre, review - entertaining confection

Veronica Lee

You could be forgiven for not remembering the “coughing major” brouhaha in 2001, coming as it did the day before 9/11, when we had rather more pressing matters to attend to than a contestant being accused of cheating on television quiz show. But playwright James Graham has mined an entertaining confection from the affair and its subsequent court case in 2003.

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The Country Wife, Southwark Playhouse review – knowing Restoration update

Heather Neill

Even in its successful early days Wycherley’s 1675 comedy was notorious, but it was considered too lewd to be staged at all between the mid-Eighteenth Century and 1924. Although the play has found an affectionate place in the canon in more recent times, it makes a kind of sense to transpose the goings on of louche Restoration aristocrats to the era of the Bright Young Things, the time of its rediscovery.

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White Guy on the Bus, Finborough Theatre review - a moral tale of Pennsylvania's divisions

Katherine Waters

Ros and Ray are old hippies made good. She’s a hard-bitten, hard-working teacher in an inner-city Pennsylvania school where her pupils rob 7-Elevens on Fridays and the staff have a betting pool on how many times she gets called "white bitch".

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The Inheritance, Young Vic review - a long day’s journey into light

David Benedict

About a decade ago, theatre-makers started routinely describing themselves as being in the business of storytelling.

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