wed 17/04/2024

West End

Player Kings, Noel Coward Theatre review - inventive showcase for a peerless theatrical knight

Shakespeare’s plays have ever been meat for masher-uppers, from the bowdlerising Victorians to the modern filmed-theatre cycles of Ivo Van Hove. And Sir John Falstaff, as Orson Welles proved in Chimes at Midnight, can be the star of his very own...

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Long Day's Journey Into Night, Wyndham's Theatre review - O'Neill masterwork is once again driven by its Mary

Memory is a confounding thing. By way of proof, just ask the Mary Tyrone who is being given unforgettable life by Patricia Clarkson in London's latest version of Long Day's Journey into Night, which has arrived on the West End (and at the same...

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Opening Night, Gielgud Theatre review - brave, yes, but also misguided and bizarre

Is there a more purely likeable actress than Sheridan Smith, the performer who was still a teenager when she stole the show at the Donmar in Into the Woods and who managed, as Elle Woods in the West End premiere of Legally Blonde, to bring...

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MJ the Musical, Prince Edward Theatre review - glitzy jukebox musical with a superb star but a void inside

In a secret chamber somewhere, the producers of MJ the Musical may be keeping a portrait of the King of Pop that has acquired all his scars, physical and psychological.Few of them, though, are on show in this version of the ongoing Broadway hit...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Garrick Theatre review - exhilarating, moving show makes West End return

When For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy first moved to the West End in 2023, it felt like a risky venture. It had started in the tiny New Diorama, and later packed out the Royal Royal Court, but was a...

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Standing at the Sky's Edge, Gillian Lynne Theatre review - heartwarming Sheffield musical arrives in the West End

Can there be anyone from Sheffield who has not seen Standing at the Sky’s Edge, possibly several times? This is the once local show, opening at the Sheffield Crucible in 2019, playing at the National Theatre's Olivier in 2023, and now bringing a...

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Cruel Intentions, The Other Palace review - uneasy vibes, hit tunes and sparkling staging

Transgression was so deliciously enticing. Back in the Eighties when I saw Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the West End on three occasions, life was simpler – or so us straight white men flattered ourselves to believe. Consent was for unproblematic...

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The Merchant of Venice 1936, Criterion Theatre review - radical revamp with a passionate agenda

It’s an unhappy time to be staging Shakespeare’s problematic play, given its antisemitic content, so hats off to adaptor-director Brigid Larmour and actor Tracy-Ann Oberman for persevering with this updated version, now in the West End. Their...

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An Enemy of the People, Duke of York's Theatre - performative and predictable

Real life is a helluva lot scarier right now than you might guess from the performative theatrics on display in the new West End version of An Enemy of the People, which updates Ibsen's 1882 play to our vexatious modern day.Matt Smith is in...

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The Hills of California, Harold Pinter Theatre - ladies' night for Jez Butterworth

Art makes for unexpected bedfellows, and so it proves in Jez Butterworth's moving if meandering The Hills of California. Butterworth's first play in seven years owes a lot more to as unexpected a source as the musical Gypsy than it does to such...

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The Motive and the Cue, Noel Coward Theatre - National Theatre transfer excels in the West End

Plays about the theatre tend to go down well with audiences. Why wouldn’t they? The danger is that they become too cosy as actors and audience smugly agree on the transcendence of the artform. Jack Thorne’s The Motive and the Cue comes perilously...

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Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre review - formidable stagecraft unlocks new depths to the popular series

Stranger Things has shown us over four seasons that the alternate dimension known as the Upside Down can be the seat of many things: terror, mystery, camaraderie, compassion. As it turns out, it can spawn great theatre, too, for Stephen Daldry’s...

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