Theatre

Rupert Graves and Colin Mcfarlane in Pinter's 'hilarious sketch' Victoria Station. Photo: Marc Brenner

One masterpiece, one dud and one interesting rediscovery: Pinter Five reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

One masterpiece, one dud, and one interesting rediscovery. That’s Pinter Five. Victoria Station is a hilarious sketch which might have…

Pro-Trump propaganda at the Donmar Warehouse by Lynn Nottage. Photo: Johan Persson

A masterpiece of pro-Trump propaganda: Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse reviewed

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Sweat, set in the Pennsylvanian rust belt, looks at a blue-collar community threatened by a factory closure. The script uses…

A horror show that appeals to the intellect but not the gut: The Tell-Tale Heart reviewed

5 January 2019 9:00 am

The Tell-Tale Heart is based on a teeny-weeny short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The full text appears in the…

Sensational: the cast of Seussical

I couldn’t wait to escape this opaque, witless horror show: True West reviewed

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Sam Shepard was perhaps the gloomiest playwright ever to spill his guts into a typewriter. The popularity of his work…

Carl Mullaney as a charismatic Dame in Lyric Hammersmith's Dick Whittington. [Photo: Tristram Kenton]

Lyric Theatre’s Dick Whittington is the opposite of festive garbage

8 December 2018 9:00 am

One of the biggest stars of the 1970s was the professional lard-bucket Mick McManus, who plied his trade as an…

Joanna Murray-Smith as Patricia Highsmith in Switzerland at the Ambassadors Theatre. Photo: Robbie Jack/ Corbis via Getty Images

Intelligent, unfussy, literate – the West End needs more plays like this: Switzerland reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

I know nothing about Patricia Highsmith. The acclaimed American author wrote the kind of Sunday-night crime thrillers that put me…

Astonishingly powerful: Michelle Terry as Lady Macbeth and Paul Ready as Macbeth

One of the finest productions I’ve seen at the Globe – a triumph of crony casting: Macbeth reviewed

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Michelle Terry, chatelaine of the Globe, wants to put an end to penis-led Shakespeare by casting women in roles intended…

Lee Evans in Pinter Three. Photo: Marc Brenner

Lee Evans’s acrobatic clowning is the best thing about Pinter Three

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Pinter Three appeals to opposite poles of the play-going spectrum. The birdbrains like me will enjoy the music-hall sketches while…

Maisie Williams as Caroline in the breathtaking new play 'I and You' at Hampstead Theatre. Photo: Manuel Harlan

One of the best plays I’ve ever seen: I and You at the Hampstead Theatre reviewed

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Lauren Gunderson’s play I and You opens in the scruffy bedroom of 17-year-old Caroline. Lonely, beautiful and furious, she’s unable…

A dignified Johnetta Eula'Mae Ackles as Marjory and a bumptious Jim Broadbent as Hans Christian Andersen in McDonagh's A Very Very Very Dark Matter. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Mean-spirited, muddled, idiotic and puerile: Martin McDonagh's A Very Very Very Dark Matter reviewed

3 November 2018 9:00 am

In the year since it opened, the Bridge has given us the following: a harmless Karl Marx comedy by Richard…

Sam Troughton and Claudie Blakley in Nina Raine's Stories. Photo: Sarah Lee

The Inheritance isn’t theatre — it’s mesmerically boring TV

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Stories by Nina Raine is a bun-in-the-oven comedy with a complex back narrative. Anna, in her mid-thirties, had a boyfriend…

Sian Brooke and Alex Hassell in 'I'm Not Running'. Photo: Mark Douet

Women should boycott David Hare’s slanderous new play: I’m Not Running reviewed

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Sir David Hare’s weird new play sets out to chronicle the history of the Labour movement from 1996 to the…

David Suchet as Harry in The Collection, part of Pinter Two

Pinter comes across as an eccentric lightweight scribbler: Pinter Two reviewed

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Pinter Two, the second leg of the Pinter season, offers us a pair of one-act comedies. The Lover is a…

Sophie Okonedo exudes sexiness and regality as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the Olivier Theatre

After 1980 Pinter began to write like a student troll: Pinter at the Pinter reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

The drop-curtain resembles a granite slab on which the genius’s name has been carved for all time. The festival of…

In the pink: Luke MacGregor as Edward Cooper in Eyam at Shakespeare’s Globe

The Old Vic’s Sylvia may be the new Les Mis

29 September 2018 9:00 am

Sylvia, the Old Vic’s musical about the Pankhurst clan, has had a troubled nativity. Illness struck the cast during rehearsals.…

Arinzé Kene is a performer of great charm and charisma led astray by bad advice and public money

Blacktivist rhetoric and impenetrable symbols: Misty reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Arinzé Kene’s play Misty is a collection of rap numbers and skits about a fare dodger, Lucas, from Hackney. Lucas…

Teen spirit: Karla Crome in Dance Nation at the Almeida Theatre

Its producers should tape a cyanide pill to the programme: The Humans reviewed

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Hampstead’s boss Ed Hall was so impressed by Stephen Karam’s play The Humans that he wanted to direct it himself.…

Star quality: Mark Rylance as Iago at Shakespeare’s Globe

Intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful, eccentric: Globe's Othello reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

It’s intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful to look at and funny in unexpected places, yet Othello at the Globe didn’t quite meet…

Aristocrats by Brian Friel at Donar Warehouse Credit: Johan Persson

Brian Friel’s Aristocrats should be called ‘Posh People Move House’

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Non-stop chatterbox and mystifyingly revered fabricator of sub-Chekovian paddywhackery, Brian Friel has received another production at the Donmar. His play…

Sarah Higgins (Helena) and Henry Pettigrew (Bob) in Midsummer

Conversations with a penis, having a laugh about Brexit and why titles matter: Edinburgh Festival reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

David Greig has written the international festival’s flagship drama, Midsummer. This farcical romance is performed as a party piece by…

Like Jon Bon Jovi struck by lightning: Garrett Lombard as Lucky in Waiting for Godot

Washed-up junkies, Trump the director and a cash giveaway: Edinburgh Festival round-up

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Trump Lear is a chaotically enjoyable one-man show with a complicated premise. David Carl, an American satirist, has arrived on…

If we offer Ian McKellan a peerage, will he promise not to inflict his King Lear on us again?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Gandalf, also known as Ian McKellen, has awarded himself another lap of honour by bringing King Lear back to London.…

One of Alan Bennett’s finest efforts: Allelujah! reviewed

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Alan Bennett’s new play, Allelujah!, is an NHS drama set in a friendly hospital in rural Yorkshire. Colin, an ambitious…

Family fortunes: Ben Miles, Adam Godley and Simon Russell Beale in The Lehman Trilogy

Extraordinary power and simplicity: Lehman Trilogy reviewed

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Stefano Massini’s play opens with a man in a frock-coat reaching New York after six weeks at sea. The year…

Piffle: The Lieutenant of Inishmore reviewed

14 July 2018 9:00 am

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a knockabout farce set during the Troubles. Like Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch it uses…