tue 27/02/2024

family relationships

Kin, National Theatre review - heartfelt show makes its demands, but yields its rewards

Waiting in the National Theatre’s foyer on press night, a space teeming with people speaking different languages, boasting different heritages – London in other words – news came through that leading members of the government had resigned because...

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The Good John Proctor, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Salem-set drama loses some of its power in London

It is no surprise that the phrase “Witch Hunt” is Donald Trump’s favoured term to describe his legal travails. Leaving aside its connotations of a malevolent state going after an innocent victim whilst in the throes of a self-serving moral panic, it...

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A Woman Walks into a Bank, Theatre 503 review - prize-winning play delivers on its promise

We’re in Moscow (we hear that quite a lot) where an ageing woman on a rare trip out of her apartment block catches sight of an advert in a bank’s window. She is soon inside and subjected to a sales pitch by a keen young bank "manager", torn between...

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£1 Thursdays, Finborough Theatre review - dazzling new play is as funny and smart as its two heroines

It’s 2012 and the London Olympics might as well be happening on the Moon for Jen and Stacey. In fact, you could say the same for everyone else scrabbling a living in Bradford – or anywhere north of Watford – and we know what those left-behind places...

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Anne Michaels: Held review - one story across time

Near the end of My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout’s prize-winning 2016 novel, a creative writing teacher tells Lucy, ‘you will only have one story […] you’ll write your one story many ways. Don’t ever worry about story.’ The advice might...

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The Mongol Khan, London Coliseum review - unique operatic spectacle utterly overwhelms flaws in pacing and story

“But that’s what they’re paying for!” replied my son as we, a little shellshocked by the previous three hours, skirted Trafalgar Square on the way home. I had reservations about some key components of the alchemy that produces great theatre, but...

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Passing, Park Theatre review - where do we go from here?

“It’s nothing like Christmas,” Rachel (Amy-Leigh Hickman) hisses at her brother David (Kishore Walker). She’s trying to wrangle her family into their first ever Diwali celebration, but everything’s going wrong. Her dad Yash (Bhasker Patel) is...

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The Time Traveller's Wife, Apollo Theatre review - blockbuster 2003 novel does not quite land as blockbuster 2023 musical

You really don’t want to pick up The Time Traveller’s Wife in a game of charades. Half the clock would be run down just showing that it’s a novel, a film, a TV series and a musical. That spawning of spin-offs over the last two decades is a testament...

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Nineteen Gardens, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - intriguing, beautifully observed two-hander tilts power this way and that

A middle-aged man, expensively dressed and possessed of that very specific confidence that only comes from a certain kind of education, a certain kind of professional success, a certain kind of entitlement, talks to a younger woman. Despite the fact...

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The Flea, The Yard Theatre review - biting satire fails to sting

A flea bites a rat which spooks a horse which kicks a man and… an empire falls?James Fritz has won writing awards already in his developing career, but he has set himself quite the challenge to weave a thread that can bear that narrative weight. Two...

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Dead Dad Dog, Finborough Theatre review - Scottish two-hander plays differently 35 years on, but still entertains

I know, I was there. Well, not in Edinburgh in 1985, but in Liverpool in 1981, and the pull of London and the push from home, was just as strong for me back then as it is for Eck in John McKay’s comedy Dead Dad Dog. Back in London for the...

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The Changeling, Southwark Playhouse review - wild ride proves too bumpy to land all its points

Writing about the upcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the National Theatre in The Guardian recently, the usually reliable Michael Billington made a rare misstep. He called for the successor to Rufus Norris, the departing artistic director,...

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