Theatre

Why the Royal Court is theatre’s answer to Islamic State

9 November 2019 9:00 am

The Royal Court is the theatre’s answer to Islamic State, a conspiracy of nihilists fascinated with death, supported by groups…

A surefire international hit: Lungs reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

No power on earth can stop Lungs from becoming an international hit. Duncan Macmillan’s slick two-handed comedy reunites Matt Smith…

A 90-minute slog up to a dazzling peak: ‘Master Harold’... and the boys reviewed

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Athol Fugard likes to dump his characters in settings with no dramatic thrust or tension. A prison yard is a…

A hoot from start to finish: The Man in the White Suit reviewed

19 October 2019 9:00 am

The Man in the White Suit, famously, is a yarn about yarn. A brilliant young boffin stumbles across an everlasting…

Circus routine rather than theatre: Noises Off reviewed

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Michael Frayn’s backstage comedy, Noises Off, is the theatre’s answer to Trooping the Colour. Everyone agrees that it’s an amazing…

Flimsy and pretentious sketches: Caryl Churchill’s Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. reviewed

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Caryl Churchill is back at the Royal Court with a weird collection of sketches. The first is set on a…

One for pauper-gawpers: Faith, Hope and Charity at the National reviewed

28 September 2019 9:00 am

Tony Hawks’s musical, Midlife Cowboy, has transferred from Edinburgh to the Pleasance, Islington. At press night, the comedy elite showed…

How refreshing to see a show about prejudice that barely mentions white people

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Lynette Linton opens her stewardship of the Bush with a drama about racial and sexual bigotry. Four British women decide…

Is it time to give up on the Ibsen adaptations?

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Pub quiz question: what do John Osborne, Brian Friel and Patrick Marber have in common? The answer is they’ve all…

Funny, short and cheap to stage, Hansard is an excellent bet for a transfer

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Hansard is the debut play by actor Simon Woods, who enjoys a deep knowledge of his subject. The characters are…

A decorative pageant that would appeal to civic grandees: The Secret River reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

The Secret River opens in a fertile corner of New South Wales in the early 1800s. William, a cockney pauper…

Watching Stephen Fry was like being in the presence of a god

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Stephen Fry lies prone on an empty stage. A red ball rolls in from the wings and bashes him in…

Tony Slattery is still a miraculously gifted comedian

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Some of the marketing efforts by amateur impresarios up in Edinburgh are extraordinary. I was handed a leaflet for a…

Lap-dancing with ISIS, the real Monica Lewinsky and one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen: Edinburgh Fringe roundup

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Clive Anderson’s show about Macbeth, ‘the greatest drama ever written’, offers us an hour of polished comedy loosely themed around…

Games for Lovers perfectly captures the world of lovesick millennials. Image: Geraint Lewis

These obscure Tennessee Williams scripts are classics of the future: Southern Belles reviewed

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Games for Lovers feels like a smart, sexy TV comedy. Martha is still in love with her old flame Logan…

Ira Mandela Siobhan as the horse Nugget, and Ethan Kai as Alan

The play's dated badly – but the horse is exquisite: Equus at Trafalgar Studios reviewed

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Equus is a psychological thriller from 1973 which opens with a revolting discovery. An unbalanced stable-lad, Alan, spends his evenings…

The greatest actor in the world couldn’t salvage David Hare’s batty adaptation: Peer Gynt reviewed

20 July 2019 9:00 am

The National Theatre’s boss, Rufus Norris, has confessed that he ‘took his eye off the ball’ when it came to…

A cartoonish look at migration: Europe at the Donmar reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Europe. Big word. Big theme. It was used by David Greig as the title of his 1994 play about frontiers…

Enclosure act: Es Devlin’s terrific set for The Hunt at the Almeida

A crowd-pleasing pantomime: Present Laughter at the Old Vic reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Present Laughter introduces us to a chic, louche and highly successful theatrical globetrotter, Garry Essendine, whose riotous social life is…

Doon Mackichan as Sondra and John Malkovich as Barney Fein in David Mamet’s Bitter Wheat

A captivating freak-show: Bitter Wheat reviewed

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Bitter Wheat, David Mamet’s latest play, features a loathsome Hollywood hotshot, Barney Fein, who offers to turn an actress into…

Oodles of fun – but unfair on climate sceptics: Kill Climate Deniers reviewed

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Kill Climate Deniers is a provocative satire by Australian theatre-activist David Finnigan. The title sounds misanthropic and faintly deranged but…

Angry, cold, self-centred, opaque, disconnected and brutalising: Bronx Gothic reviewed

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Sometimes it’s hard to describe a play without appearing to defame the writer, the performer and the theatre responsible for…

Poetic and profound: The Starry Messenger reviewed

8 June 2019 9:00 am

Kenneth Lonergan, who wrote the movie Manchester by the Sea, shapes his work from loss, disillusionment, small-mindedness, hesitation and superficiality,…

Bog-standard spy mystery with a gimmicky appeal: Anna at the Dorfman Theatre reviewed

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Arts Council England takes money from almost all of us and spends it on culture for almost none of us.…

Eerily accurate: Will Barton as Boris Johnson in The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson. Image: Pamela Raith

This Boris play only gets it half-right

25 May 2019 9:00 am

The opening of Jonathan Maitland’s new play about Boris purports to be based on real events. Just before the referendum,…