Lloyd Evans rss

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

Stephen Mangan, John Rogan, Miles Jupp and Deborah Findlay in Rules For Living at the Dorfman, National Theatre, London. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Nicholas Hytner’s sod-you farewell: Rules for Living at the Dorfman reviewed

11 April 2015
Rules for Living Dorfman
Spend Spend Spend Union Theatre

Experts are concerned that Alan Ayckbourn’s plays may soon face extinction. Fewer than 80 of these precious beasts still exist in their natural habitat, so theatre-goers will be cheered to… Read more

Bad Jews, St James Theatre

Bad Jews at the Arts Theatre reviewed: strange, raw, obsessive and brilliant

4 April 2015
Bad Jews Arts Theatre
A Breakfast of Eels Print Room

Bad Jews has completed its long trek from a smallish out-of-town venue to a full-scale West End berth. Billed as a ‘hilarious’ family comedy it opens on a low-key note… Read more

Zoë Wanamaker as Stevie Smith

Shrapnel at the Arcola works for the slayers, not the slain

28 March 2015
Stevie Hampstead Theatre
Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre Arcola

Quite a hit factory these days, the Hampstead Theatre. The latest candidate for West End glory is Hugh Whitemore’s bio-drama about Stevie Smith. Not an obvious choice. The script, from… Read more

The Cutting of the Cloth, Southwark Playhouse

Radiant Vermin at the Soho Theatre reviewed: a barmy little sketch posing as a revolutionary satire

21 March 2015
Radiant Vermin Soho Theatre
The Cutting of the Cloth Southwark Playhouse

Philip Ridley is best known as the screenwriter of The Krays, in which Gary and Martin Kemp played Ronnie and Reggie as a pair of tanned and lisping choirboys. Ridley… Read more

heckler_21marchv2

The Heckler: Why I’m allergic to Stephen Sondheim

21 March 2015

I came out in a rash when I heard that Emma Thompson was to star in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at the Coliseum. Sondheim has that effect on me. And… Read more

Simon Darwen as Peter and Siubhan Harrison as Eloise in ‘The Armour’

The Armour at Langham Hotel reviewed: three new playlets that never get going

14 March 2015
The Armour Langham Hotel
The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco Gate Theatre

One of last year’s unexpected treasures was a novelty show by Defibrillator that took three neglected Tennessee Williams plays, all set in hotel rooms, and staged them in suites at… Read more