Lloyd Evans rss

Our Country's Good

Our Country’s Good prizes the concerns of the actors over the audience

5 September 2015
Our Country’s Good Olivier Theatre
Henry V Temple Church

Australia, 1788. A transport ship arrives in Port Jackson (later Sydney harbour) carrying hundreds of convicts and a detachment of English officers under orders to guard the prisoners and to… Read more

Heckler-0509

The Heckler: the disingenuous custom of the ‘press night’ should be scrapped

5 September 2015

Sam Mendes once said there is no such thing as the history of British theatre, only the history of British press nights. That observation takes us closer to understanding the… Read more

The Christians, Traverse

Edinburgh Fringe highlights: world-class improv, Bible study and an hour with a gentle genius

29 August 2015
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical Pleasance
The Christians Traverse
John Lloyd: Emperor of the Prawns Assembly Checkpoint

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical offers a brand new song-and-dance spectacular at every performance. It opens with a brilliantly chaotic piece of comedy. A theatre producer on stage telephones Cameron Mackintosh… Read more

Simon Cartwright in The Man Called Monkhouse

Bob Monkhouse, John Lennon and prostitution: Lloyd Evans’s Edinburgh Fringe picks

22 August 2015

In the clammy shadows of Cowgate I was leafleted by a chubby beauty wearing all-leather fetish gear. ‘Hi! Want to spend an hour with a prostitute for nothing?’ Yes, please.… Read more

Boris : World King (Photo: Richard Davenport)

The stars of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe: Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage

15 August 2015
Ukip! The Musical Surgeons’ Hall
Boris: World King Pleasance
Secret Honour Surgeons’ Hall

Propaganda is said to work best when based upon a grain of truth. Ukip! The Musical assumes that most electors are suspicious of the movement and its leaders. And in… Read more

Cherrelle Skeete as Katya and Royce Pierreson at Belyaev in ‘Three Days in the Country’

Feels like Chekhov scripted by a Chekhov app: Three Days in the Country at the Lyttleton reviewed

8 August 2015
Three Days in the Country Lyttelton
Come in! Sit Down! Tricycle

Chekhov so dominates 19th-century Russian drama that Turgenev doesn’t get much of a look-in. His best known play, A Month in the Country, was written before Chekhov was born but… Read more

Fringe rubbish: Company Non Nova’s ‘L’Apres-Midi d’un Foehn’, a highlight of 2013

‘I’m about to lose a lot of money’: our theatre critic prepares for his Edinburgh Fringe debut

1 August 2015

Like everyone performing at the Edinburgh Fringe I’m about to make a lot of mistakes. I’m about to lose a lot of money too. But after ten years covering the… Read more

Shakespeare's Richard II (Photo: Johan Persson)

Turn this play into a film and it’ll win Oscars – Hollywood can’t resist a posh Brit battling disability

1 August 2015
The Gathered Leaves Park Theatre
Richard II Globe Theatre

God, what a title. The Gathered Leaves. It sounds like a tremulous weepie about grief and endurance with a closing scene featuring three anvil-faced spinsters staring through the rectory window… Read more

Stephen Merchant in The Mentalists (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

BNP supporters will enjoy this new play from the Bush Theatre

25 July 2015
The Mentalists Wyndham’s Theatre
The Invisible Bush Theatre

Richard Bean, the country’s most bankable playwright, knocks out a new script every four months. Thanks to the success of One Man, Two Guvnors, he’s not short of houses ready… Read more

Volpone and his coterie of misfits, L–R from the back: Julian Hoult (Castrone), Ankur Bahl (Androgyno), Henry Goodman (Volpone) and Jonathan Key (Nano)

Trevor Nunn’s Volpone reviewed: Henry Goodman bewitches the audience by doing nothing wittily

18 July 2015
Volpone Swan Theatre, Stratford
Orson’s Shadow Southwark Playhouse

Easy playwright to get on with, Ben Jonson. His world is simple, his tastes endearing. He likes golden-hearted swindlers and unscrupulous servants who outwit their bungling masters. Volpone, the ‘sly… Read more

Party pooper: Kurt Egyiawan as Angelo in ‘Measure for Measure’ at the Globe

A handy liberal guide on how to save mankind, courtesy of Soho Theatre

11 July 2015
Lampedusa Soho Theatre
Measure for Measure Globe

Refugee crisis in the Mediterranean! Fear not. Anders Lustgarten and his trusty rescue ship are here to save mankind. Lampedusa consists of two monologues, one Italian, one English, which tackle… Read more

The Seagull: Sabrina Bartlett as Nina (Photo Johan Persson)

The Seagull needs a roof to stop Chekhov's subtleties flying off

4 July 2015
The Seagull Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Alpha Beta Finborough Theatre

A new Seagull lands in Regent’s Park. Director Matthew Dunster has lured Chekhov’s classic into a leafy corner of north London to see if it needs an upgrade. The new… Read more

An Audience with Jimmy Savile, Park Theatre (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

We’ve forgotten just how attractive Jimmy Savile once was

27 June 2015
An Audience with Jimmy Savile Park Theatre
The Motherfucker with the Hat Lyttelton Theatre

Ho hum. Bit icky. Not bad. Hardly dazzling. The lukewarm response to An Audience With Jimmy Savile has astonished me. This is the best docudrama I’ve seen on stage. From… Read more

The Red Lion, Dorfman Theatre

Patrick Marber’s Red Lion at the Dorfman reviewed: ‘the woman next to me yawned a lot’

20 June 2015
The Red Lion Dorfman
All That Fall Pit, Barbican

For nine years Patrick Marber has grappled with writer’s block (which by some miracle doesn’t affect his screenplay work), but the pipes are now ungummed and wallop! his new bolus… Read more

Quite the hankie-drencher: Tanya Moodie as Constance in ‘King John’

There's a reason why the past four centuries have ignored Shakespeare's King John

13 June 2015
King John Globe Theatre
Stop — The Play Trafalgar Studio

King John arrives at the Globe bent double under the weight of garlands from the London critics. Their jaunt up to Northampton for the première seems to have cast an… Read more

Acerbic sex bomb: Susannah Fielding as Mrs Sullen in ‘The Beaux’ Stratagem’

The Anglican elite laid bare: Temple at the Donmar Warehouse reviewed

6 June 2015
Temple Donmar Warehouse
The Beaux’ Stratagem Olivier

In October 2011 anti-capitalist vagrants built an open-air squat outside St Paul’s within shrieking distance of London’s financial heart. The City thrummed all night with the dob-dob-dob of bongo recitals… Read more

Stephen Wight as Lee and Dianna Agron as Dahlia in McQueen (Photo: Specular)

Amazing. Thatcherite propaganda at the Young Vic

30 May 2015
McQueen St James Theatre
World Factory Young Vic

St James Theatre hosts a new play about Alexander McQueen (real name Lee), whose star flashed briefly across the fashion world before his suicide in 2010. It opens with a… Read more

She makes Medusa look like a dinner lady: Kate Fleetwood as Tracy Lord in ‘High Society’

Fine production of a painful play: Death of a Salesman at the Noel Coward reviewed

23 May 2015
Death of a Salesman Noel Coward Theatre
High Society Old Vic

Here come the Yanks. As the summer jumbos disgorge their cargoes of wealthy, courteous, culture-hungry Americans, the West End prepares to bag a fortune. Death of a Salesman is just… Read more

The Angry Brigade

Merchant of Venice at the Globe reviewed: a tip-top production - and a high quality script too

16 May 2015
The Angry Brigade Bush Theatre
The Merchant of Venice Globe

If Julian, Dick, George and Anne had become terrorists they’d have called themselves The Angry Brigade. It’s such a Wendy house name. The quartet of violent outcasts met in a… Read more

heckler

The Heckler: Shakespeare's duds should be struck from the canon

16 May 2015

I love Shakespeare. But when he pulls on his wellies and hikes into the forest I yearn for the exit. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has a moonlit, sylvan location populated… Read more

'American Buffalo' Play by David Mamet performed at Wyndham's Theatre.London,UK

American Buffalo at Wyndham’s reviewed: ‘magnificent, multicoloured, vast and tragic’

9 May 2015
American Buffalo Wyndham’s
Everyman Olivier

David Mamet is Pinter without the Pinteresque indulgences, the absurdities and obscurities, the pauses, the Number 38 bus routes. American Buffalo, from the 1970s, is one of Mamet’s early triumphs.… Read more

A clear-eyed account of socialism: Paul Higgins and Stella Gonet in ‘Hope’ at the Royal Court

If you thought politics was boring, you should check out today’s political theatre

2 May 2015

Writers and producers have shown little appetite for putting the coalition on stage. Several reasons suggest themselves. In 2010 wise pundits assured us all that the Rose Garden duo would… Read more

Smock-clad martyr: Ashley McGuire as Margaret Brotherton in ‘Light Shining in Buckinghamshire’

Why Caryl Churchill is massively overrated - and how the National Theatre befriends terror

2 May 2015
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire Lyttelton
Ah, Wilderness! Young Vic

Enter Rufus Norris. The new National Theatre boss is perfectly on-message with this debut effort by Caryl Churchill. Her 1976 play about inequality screams, ‘Vote Ed’ at triple-klaxon volume. Not… Read more

Declan Donnellan's Measure for Measure. Photo: Johan Persson

Measure for Measure at the Barbican reviewed: a charity show for homesick non-doms

25 April 2015
The Twits Royal Court
Measure for Measure Barbican
Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London King’s Head Theatre

The smash hit Matilda, based on a Roald Dahl story, has spawned a copycat effort, The Twits. Charm, sweetness and mystery aren’t Dahl’s strong points. He specialises in suburban grotesques… Read more

Find the voice, find the character: Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Even those who reviled Thatcher will be moved, appalled and astonished: Dead Sheep at the Park reviewed

18 April 2015
Dead Sheep Park
Oppenheimer Vaudeville

Dead Sheep is a curious dramatic half-breed that examines Geoffrey Howe’s troubled relationship with Margaret Thatcher. Structurally it’s a Mexican bean. It leaps all over the 1980s and it keeps… Read more