Theatre

Sarah Snook as Hilde Wangel and Ralph Fiennes as Halvard Solness in ‘The Master Builder’

A great, weird play to rival Shakespeare: Old Vic's The Master Builder reviewed

13 February 2016 9:00 am

The Master Builder, if done properly, can be one of those theatrical experiences that make you wonder if the Greeks…

Woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown: Gina McKee as The Mother

The Mother is meaningless - I predict great things for it

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Florian Zeller has been reading Pinter. And Pinter started out in repertory thrillers where suspense was created by delaying revelations…

A splash of brightness: Terenia Edwards as Pamela in ‘Five Finger Exercise’

Serious, popular art: Peter Shaffer's Five Finger Exercise reviewed

30 January 2016 9:00 am

A beautiful crumbling theatre in Notting Hill is under threat. The Coronet, which bills itself as the Print Room, faces…

The Long Road South

Is there a difference between being prejudiced and being a connoisseur of prejudice?

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Paul Minx ventures boldly into Tennessee Williams country with The Long Road South. It’s 1965 and the Price family are…

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Fun, disturbing and ultimately forgettable: Hangmen at Wyndhams reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

It begins with a sketch. We’re in a prison in 1963 where Harry Wade, the UK’s second most famous hangman,…

Carly Bawden as Alice and Joshua Lacey as the White Rabbit

Damon Albarn’s wonder.land will not succeed at the National. It might work in Vegas

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris present a musical version of Alice in Wonderland. A challenging enterprise even if they’d stuck…

Noma Dumezweni as Linda

A rare moment of transcendence at the Royal Court

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Illness forced Kim Cattrall to withdraw from Linda, the Royal Court’s new show, and Noma Dumezweni scooped up the debris…

Ben Hur

Tricycle’s Ben Hur is magnificent in its superficiality - a masterpiece of nothing

12 December 2015 9:00 am

It’s the target that makes the satire as well as the satirist. Is the subject powerful, active, relevant and menacing?…

Steely, erotic, indomitable: Gemma Chan as Ruth in ‘The Homecoming’

Awards await this mostly terrific new Homecoming

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Jamie Lloyd’s production of Pinter’s The Homecoming is a pile of terrific and silly ideas. Mostly terrific. The action takes…

Theatrev2

Why is there no one at the National Theatre preventing these duds getting staged?

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Wallace Shawn is a lovely old sausage. A stalwart of American theatre, he’s taken cameo roles in classic movies like…

Judi Dench (Paulina) and Kenneth Branagh (Leontes) in ‘The Winter’s Tale’

Kenneth Branagh’s The Winter’s Tale is better than any I can recall

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Kenneth Branagh opens his West End tenancy with Shakespeare’s inexplicably popular The Winter’s Tale. We start in Sicily where Leontes…

Rosalie Craig as Rosalind in ‘As You Like It’

How did this plotless goon-show wind up at the Royal Court?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

One of the challenges of art is to know the difference between innovation and error. I wonder sometimes if the…

Going ape: Bertie Carvel as Yank

Glyndebourne caters to the lower-middle classes not past-it toffs

7 November 2015 9:00 am

What is Glyndebourne? A middle-aged Bullingdon. That’s a common view: a luxury bun fight for past-it toffs who glug champagne,…

Plaques and Tangles, The Royal Court

Turning Alzheimer’s into theatre is like building a surfboard out of sawdust

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Here are three truths about play-writing. A script without an interval will be structurally flawed. A vague, whimsical title means…

The War of the Roses (Photo: Mark Douet)

Shakespeare at his freest and most exuberant: The Wars of the Roses reviewed

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The RSC’s The Wars of the Roses solves a peculiar literary problem. Shakespeare’s earliest history plays are entitled Henry VI…

Teddy Ferrara

The set's better than the characterisation: The Father at the Wyndham's reviewed

17 October 2015 9:00 am

The Father, set in a swish Paris apartment, has a beautifully spare and elegant set. The stage is framed by…

Like observing a child absorbed in a solitary game: Mark Rylance as Philippe V in 'Farinelli and the King'

It may have a meagre script and no plot but Farinelli and the King is still a major work of art

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Philippe V was a Bourbon prince who secured the throne of Spain using his family connections. Claire van Kampen is…

‘I want to break free-eee!’: Madeleine Worrall as Jane, the 19th century’s Freddie Mercury, in ‘Jane Eyre’ at the Lyttelton

Half-brilliant: Mr Foote’s Other Leg at Hampstead Theatre reviewed

3 October 2015 8:00 am

Samuel Foote (1720–77) was a star of the 18th-century stage who avoided the censors by extemporising his performances. Today we’d…

Playing it cool: Nicole Kidman as Rosalind Franklin

Nicole Kidman is upstaged by everyone - even the set: Photograph 51 at the Noel Coward reviewed

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Michael Grandage’s latest show is about an old snap. Geneticists regard the X-ray of the hydrated ‘B’ form of DNA…

The Globe's Oresteia

The Globe's Oresteia lets Aeschylus speak - the Almeida's muzzles him

19 September 2015 8:00 am

To examine an ancient text requires an understanding of the ancient imagination. The Oresteia is set in a primitive world…

Mr Nice Guy: Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet is far too nice

12 September 2015 9:00 am

You can’t play the part of Hamlet, only parts of Hamlet. And the bits Benedict Cumberbatch offers us are of…

Magic in the air: Berlin Comic Opera’s exuberant ‘Magic Flute’ at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre

The Magic Flute has never made more cartoonish sense - an Edinburgh Festival roundup

5 September 2015 9:00 am

London may cry foul over Hamlet’s misplaced to-be-ing and not-to-be-ing but Edinburgh is in raptures over a Magic Flute which…

Our Country's Good

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

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Australia, 1788. A transport ship arrives in Port Jackson (later Sydney harbour) carrying hundreds of convicts and a detachment of…

The Christians, Traverse

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

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical offers a brand new song-and-dance spectacular at every performance. It opens with a brilliantly chaotic piece…

Simon Cartwright in The Man Called Monkhouse

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

22 August 2015 9:00 am

In the clammy shadows of Cowgate I was leafleted by a chubby beauty wearing all-leather fetish gear. ‘Hi! Want to…