sun 03/03/2024

Old Vic

Just For One Day, The Old Vic review - clunky scenes and self-conscious exposition between great songs

So, a jukebox musical celebrating the apotheosis of the White Saviour, the ultimate carnival of rock stars’ self-aggrandisement and the Boomers’ biggest bonanza of feelgood posturing? One is tempted to stand opposite The Old Vic, point at the...

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A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic review - older, wiser, and yet more moving

Familiarity has bred something quite fantastic with the Old Vic Christmas Carol, which is back for a seventh season and merits ringing all available bells - those and a lost love called Belle being crucial to the show. Matthew Warchus's staging at...

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Pygmalion, Old Vic review - zappy wit and emotional intelligence

Many of us have perhaps grown too accustomed to the friendly face of My Fair Lady. George Bernard Shaw’s very original play is sharper, less sentimental yet ultimately more profoundly human. Its wit and wisdom zip along in Richard Jones’s...

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Groundhog Day, Old Vic review - Tim Minchin’s musical returns in full-on style

Groundhog Day, appropriately, is back where it started. The hit film about a TV weatherman’s endlessly reiterated day in small-town USA moved to the Old Vic stage in 2016; but then its progress became bumpy, despite the awards showered on it and its...

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Sylvia, Old Vic review - great leads, rambling story

For many years, I would ask groups of students to vote in elections because “it’s important to honour those who gave up so much to ensure that the likes of us can”. Some would nod, others would shrug, a few might have inwardly scoffed – too...

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Eureka Day, Old Vic review - fun if not entirely fulfilling

Can a play peak too soon? That's the quandary that attends the Old Vic airing of Eureka Day, Jonathan Spector's on-point if overextended comedy that was written prior to the pandemic but has absolutely come into its own just now. A skewering of...

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Jitney, Old Vic review - a directorial delight

It’s great to see August Wilson’s early play – the first of his “Century Cycle”, that remarkable decalogy that explored a century of Black American experience through the prism of the playwright’s native Pittsburgh – back on the London stage. It’s...

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A Number, Old Vic review - revelatory yet again

Time continues to be kind to A Number, the astonishing 2002 play by Caryl Churchill that reaps fresh rewards with every viewing. Revived just prior to the pandemic at the Bridge, here it is anew at the Old Vic, in a smart reappraisal by the director...

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Best of 2021: Theatre

There was no live theatre at the start of 2021, just a return to the world of virtual performance and streaming to which we had become well accustomed, and very quickly, too. So imagine the collective surprise come the start of this month as show...

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A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic review - not quite a festive-season cracker

Four years and a Broadway run on from its Old Vic debut, director Matthew Warchus and writer,Jack Thorne are still throwing everything they can at one of the most familiar stories, and characters, in English literature. That may be to address the...

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Camp Siegfried, Old Vic review - the banality of evil, brilliantly served up

A stealthily powerful play gets the production of its dreams in Camp Siegfried, which marks a high-profile UK presence for the American writer Bess Wohl. A world premiere at the Old Vic, Wohl's two-hander shines a scary and pertinent light on a Nazi...

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Bagdad Café, Old Vic review - sweet but scattershot

A gorgeous song exists in search of a show to match over at Bagdad Café, the 1987 film that gave the world the memorably plaintive "Calling You", which is threaded throughout Emma Rice's stage adaptation of the movie with understandable...

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