Lloyd Evans rss

Sally Mortemore and Claire Louise Amias in Women Of Twilight by Sylvia Rayman

The real original kitchen-sink drama

26 April 2014
Women of Twilight Pleasance
Oh My Sweet Land Young Vic

Rewrite the history books! Tradition tells us that kitchen-sink drama began in 1956 with Look Back in Anger. A season of lost classics at the White Bear Theatre has unearthed… Read more

Rob Callender in Another Country (Photo: Johan Persson)

Another Country could almost be a YouTube advert for Eton

19 April 2014
Another Country Trafalgar Studio
A Small Family Business Olivier

Another Country was an instant response to Anthony Blunt’s exposure in 1979 as a Marxist spy. Julian Mitchell set out to explain how gay public-school toffs, reared in a system… Read more

(Image: Barney Heywood/Paul Blakemore)

Beware of Banksy: his art can make you homeless

12 April 2014
Kingston 14 Theatre Royal, Stratford East
Banksy: The Room in the Elephant Arcola

You may not have heard of Goldie. He’s an actor and singer whose name refers to the bullion with which a cosmetic mason has decorated his incisors. A recent James… Read more

An upmarket panto with top-quality jokes and strong tunes: Jordy, Simon and Louis

Simon Cowell’s latest attempt at global domination

5 April 2014
I Can’t Sing! Palladium
Bitch Boxer Soho

I Can’t Sing! is a parody of The X Factor, which already parodies itself at every turn. Quite a tough call. The heroine is an oppressed no-hoper stuck in a… Read more


Why are Shakespeare’s women so feeble?

29 March 2014

There’s a problem, as we all know, with female roles in the theatrical canon, and it reaches all the way back to the Bard. Shakespeare’s women lack the richness and… Read more

Ray Cooney's Two Into One Photo: Catherine Ashmore

Where’s a goofy, flat-chested shrew when you need one?

29 March 2014
Two Into One Menier
The Dead Dogs Print Room

Ray Cooney, the master of farce, is back. These days he’s in the modest Menier rather than the wonderful West End. His 1984 caper, Two Into One, opens with Richard,… Read more

The Husbands by Sharmila Chauhan Photo: Robert Day

A gaggle of husbands and a pair of piglets

22 March 2014
The Husbands Soho
I’d Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole Gate

Here’s a great idea for a play. Turn the polygamy principle upside-down and you get a female egoist presiding over a harem of warring husbands. Sharmila Chauhan’s drama, The Husbands,… Read more

A brilliant turn: Imelda Staunton as Margaret in ‘Good People’

If you're going to adapt a bestseller, don't choose the A-Z

15 March 2014
The A-Z of Mrs P Southwark
Visitors Arcola
Good People Hampstead

What’s the quickest way to create a hit musical? Base it on a bestselling book. The writers of The A-Z of Mrs P have done just that. But they’ve chosen… Read more

Simon Callow, Being Shakespeare Photo: Getty

Rape, porn and Cheesy Wotsits

8 March 2014
The One Soho
Being Shakespeare Harold Pinter

Interesting times at Soho Theatre. One of its outstanding shows of last year, Fleabag, was an offbeat Gothic love story written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The director of Fleabag,… Read more

In excellent trim: Lesley Sharp as Helen in ‘A Taste of Honey’

Superior Donuts – a very irritating success

1 March 2014
Superior Donuts Southwark Playhouse
A Taste of Honey Lyttelton

Tracy Letts, of the Chicago company Steppenwolf, has written one of the best plays of the past ten years. August: Osage County is an exhilarating, multilayered family drama whose sweep… Read more

Thrilling to watch: Aisling Loftus and Gethin Anthony

Brave Tommies and dim earls — Oh What a Lovely War is hoity-toity reductionism

22 February 2014
Oh What a Lovely War Stratford East
The Hotel Plays Langham Hotel

Here it is. Fifty years late. Oh What a Lovely War was originally staged at Stratford East in 1964. It returns to its birthplace to cash in on this year’s… Read more

Stroke of Luck, Park Theatre Photo: Simon Kane

Putin: ‘Oi, Europe, you’re a bunch of poofs’

15 February 2014
Sochi 2014 Hope Theatre
Stroke of Luck Park

Sochi 2014 is the least wintry Winter Olympics ever. Yes, there’s a bit of downhill shimmying going on in the slalom. And a few figure skaters are pirouetting around the… Read more

A World Elsewhere by Alan Franks

A World Elsewhere hints it's about Bill Clinton. But it's about Al Gore

8 February 2014
A World Elsewhere Theatre 503
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Waterloo Tunnels

Why, oh why, the producers ask, are the national press so reluctant to cover the London fringe? The snag is that a national paper has to justify a report about… Read more

Outstanding: Anna Maxwell Martin (Regan) and Simon Russell Beale as Lear

Sam Mendes's King Lear is a must-see for masochists

1 February 2014
King Lear Olivier
What the Women Did Southwark Playhouse

Directors appear to have two design options when approaching a Shakespeare tragedy. Woodstock or jackboot. Woodstock means papal robes, shoulder-length hair and silver Excaliburs gleaming from jewelled belts. Jackboot means… Read more

The Gay Naked Play by David Bell

If you can figure out the mind-boggling plot of Ciphers — join Mensa

25 January 2014
The Gay Naked Play Above the Stag
Ciphers Bush

Here’s a heartwarming tale from the London fringe. A company named Above the Stag was merrily plying its trade at a small pub attic in Victoria. Then in March 2012… Read more

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sits with her new Cabinet Photo: Getty

The 'semi-detached' member of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet

18 January 2014
Semi-Detached John Biffen

Biteback, pp.468, £30, ISBN: 9781849542395

John Biffen was mentally ill. This is the outstanding revelation of Semi-Detached, a memoir which has been assembled from his diaries and from the autobiographical writings which he completed before… Read more

Tigerish sexuality: Shelley Lang as Cleopatra

The play to watch if your country is breaking up

18 January 2014
Only Our Own Arts
Cleopatra Hope

Of all the West End’s unloved venues the loveliest is the Arts Theatre. It specialises in creaky off-beat plays like Only Our Own by Ann Henning Jocelyn. We’re in Connemara,… Read more

Ben Miller as Robert Houston MP in ‘The Duck House’

The Duck House is the best show in the West End

11 January 2014
The Duck House Vaudeville
Little Black Book Park

It’s taken me a few months to catch up with the political farce The Duck House. Then again, it’s taken The Duck House a few years to catch up with… Read more

On the train with Emil Tischbein and his precious cargo

Get tickets for Emil and the Detectives, and opera glasses — some of the child actors are tiny

4 January 2014
Emil and the Detectives Olivier
Dickens Abridged Arts

It starts with a brilliant joke. We’re in the Weimar Republic in 1929. Little Emil Tischbein is listening to his mother and a moaning neighbour, Mrs Wirth, lamenting Germany’s loss… Read more


Is this the real First Lady of 'Borgen'?

14 December 2013

I meet Birgitte Hjort Sorensen in a plain office near the Donmar Warehouse in the West End. She’s warm, sharp and engaging, and her fast-flowing English is adorned with the… Read more

A thuggish pragmatist: Jude Law as Henry V

Jude Law's Henry V is a buccaneer leading a stag-night raid across the continent — but he'd be a great Macbeth

14 December 2013
Henry V Noël Coward
Jumpers for Goalposts Bush

Henry V is the final show in Michael Grandage’s first West End season. The theatre was full to bursting on press night. Jude Law, in the title role, had attracted… Read more

Compelling air of wounded saintliness: Ben Whishaw as Baby

You can't have Mojo and your money back

7 December 2013
Mojo Harold Pinter
Jack and the Beanstalk Lyric Hammersmith

In 1992 Quentin Tarentino gave us Reservoir Dogs. At a stroke he reinvented the gangster genre and turned it into a comedy of manners with a deadly undertow. This new… Read more


Martin Shaw's flaws make him perfect for Twelve Angry Men

30 November 2013
Twelve Angry Men Garrick

Strange actor, Martin Shaw. He’s got all the right equipment for major stardom: a handsome and complicated face, a languid sexiness, a decent physique and a magnificent throbbing voice. He… Read more

Nancy Carroll (Felicity Houston) and Ben Miller (Robert Houston) photo credit Simon Turtle (4)

Ben Miller interview: 'Everyone was doing alternative comedy. I thought I'd distinguish myself by just telling jokes'

30 November 2013

Ben Miller is wolfing down a pizza. I meet the comedian in a Cambridge restaurant where he demolishes a Margherita shortly before racing off to appear on stage in The… Read more

Banged up: Daniel Poyser and Jimmy Akingbola in Athol Fugard’s ‘The Island’

Finally — a play about insomnia that cures insomnia

23 November 2013
The Island Young Vic
The Door Park

Athol Fugard is regarded as a theatrical titan but I usually need a microscope to find any trace of greatness in his work. The Island is set in a South… Read more