tue 07/07/2020

West End

The Last Five Years, The Other Palace Digital review - socially distanced heartbreak

A musical featuring two people who are physically separated? Jason Robert Brown’s work is a shutdown natural – as this new digital theatre version demonstrates. Lauren Samuels and Danny Becker, who play doomed lovers Cathy and Jamie, recorded their...

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Cats, The Shows Must Go On review - a purr-fectly theatrical experience

Cats is, declares composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, a show that doesn’t really have a story, but was beloved on stage because it’s “the ultimate theatrical experience”. That’s the point which Tom Hooper’s grotesque, nightmarish movie adaptation so...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 5: A solo show for the ages, Ibsen refreshed, and yet more frolicsome cats

No one can accuse the gods of streaming of failing to cast a wide net. That's even more so with an array of streaming opportunities over the next week that ranges from Off West End Ibsen given a second chance to shine to an online encounter with,...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 1: Starry podcasts, late-career Shakespeare, a celebrity basement - and more

The lockdown has been extended, but here's the good news: each week whereby we are shut inside seems to bring with it ever-enticing arrays of theatre from across the spectrum, from online cabarets to freshly conceived podcasts and all manner of...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 1 - 'I'm Still Here'

Surely there’s never been a more apt time for Sondheim’s great cry of defiance? “I’m Still Here” is sung by showgirl-turned-actress Carlotta in Follies (1971) – added during the Boston try-out in place of “Can That Boy Foxtrot”. Loosely...

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On Blueberry Hill, Trafalgar Studios review - superb acting, specious plot

Some wondrous acting is sacrificed on the altar of an increasingly wonky plot in On Blueberry Hill, the first play in 10 years from Sebastian Barry, the Irish playwright and novelist whose onetime Royal Court entry The Steward of Christendom...

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Pretty Woman: The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre review - not so pretty, actually

It’s not so much that Pretty Woman: The Musical isn’t much good, which it isn’t. More to the point is that this West End replica of the recent Broadway musical of the 1990 film feels utterly superfluous: a gloss on a popular romcom that...

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The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre review - Moses musical goes big and broad

The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute technical delay on opening night of this substantially revised musical – a stage adaptation of the 1998 DreamWorks animated movie. But nothing could entirely halt this juggernaut...

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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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Upstart Crow, Gielgud Theatre review - terrific Shakespeare spoof

What joy it is to welcome this offshoot of the television series to the West End stage – complete with several of that show's cast, plus a few new additions. Ben Elton has fashioned an original story that picks up in 1605, a decade after where the...

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Leopoldstadt, Wyndham's Theatre review - Stoppard at once personal and accessible

It’s not uncommon for playwrights to begin their careers by writing what they know, to co-opt a frequently quoted precept about authorial inspiration. So it’s among the many fascinations of Leopoldstadt that Tom Stoppard, at the age of 82, should...

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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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