sun 26/01/2020

West End

Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre review - a superlative company achievement

Uncle Vanya must surely be the closest, the most essential of Chekhov’s plays, its cast – just four main players who are caught up in the drama's fraught emotional action, and four who are essentially supporting – a concentrated unit even by the...

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Frank Skinner, Garrick Theatre review - a masterclass in owning the room

When Frank Skinner did a London run of new material last year, the show was billed as a taster of a longer touring version. I wrote then that the show whetted my appetite for more, and I'm glad to say that the updated version, Showbiz, which now has...

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Curtains, Wyndham's Theatre review - unexpectedly giddy fun

Who knew? This West End premiere of the 2007 Broadway entry from the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) secured a prime holiday-season slot at the last minute when this playhouse's previous entry, The Man...

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium review - joyously filthy fun

When Qdos brought back pantomime to the Palladium three years ago after an absence of nearly 30 years, it set the bar high with superb production values, a large ensemble, a live band – and a stage stuffed with stars. Now those stars – Julian...

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Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre review - James McAvoy triumphant

Actor James McAvoy is much in demand: in the BBC's His Dark Materials he is busy saving a parallel world, while in the poetic universe of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac he is tasked with soothing more than one aching heart. Opening at the...

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The Best Plays in London

London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty National Theatre to the West End, the small powerhouses of the Donmar Warehouse and the Almeida and out to the fringe...

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Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre review - this social outcast will steal your heart

Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an institution in the States, running on Broadway since 2016 and currently on its second year of a national tour. It also made a star...

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Stewart Lee: Tornado/Snowflake, Leicester Square Theatre review - snark to Sharknado

Stewart Lee is back on the road after three years, and he comes back wonderfully refreshed and on marvellous form with this double header, Tornado/Snowflake.Tornado, the first hour, starts with Lee reading out the wrong blurb that his show Comedy...

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'By the end I’d lost me': Joe Simpson, mountaineer and writer - interview

In Peru in 1985, Joe Simpson - then 25 - and his 21-year-old climbing partner Simon Yates were descending the remote Siula Grande, which was hard to get up but even harder to get down, when Simpson broke his leg. They both assumed it was a death...

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Touching the Void, Duke of York's Theatre review - not quite high enough

Theatre can touch thousands of lives. But can it compete with the success of a bestselling book? First published in 1988, mountaineer Joe Simpson's Touching the Void has apparently sold more than a million copies, and it's been translated into some...

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Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre review - a lavish but old-fashioned revival

It’s been 15 years since Cameron Mackintosh’s stage musical version of P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins made its West End debut. Now, the magical nanny returns to the Prince Edward Theatre, with Zizi Strallen (who also headlined the UK tour) succeeding...

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Death of a Salesman, Piccadilly Theatre review - galvanising reinvention of Arthur Miller's classic

It is 70 years since Willy Loman first paced a Broadway stage; 70 years since audiences were sucked into the vortex of a man trying to live America’s capitalist dream only to see his life crash and burn around him. This production, which transfers...

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