Theatre

Bin Laden the pin-up, a Tory singalong and comedy magic: Edinburgh Fringe roundup

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Brexit the Musical is a peppy satire written by Chris Bryant (not the MP, he’s a lawyer). Musically the show…

Shirley Henderson (Elizabeth Laine) and Michael Shaeffer (Reverend Marlowe) in Girl from the North Country

Old Vic's Girl from the North Country is a disaster as entertainment

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Conor McPherson’s new play is set in dust-bowl Minnesota in 1934. We’re in a fly-blown boarding house owned by skint,…

A timely drama with a strong premise – but it needs rewriting: Dessert reviewed

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Oliver Cotton is an RSC stalwart who looks like a man born to greatness. Google him. He has the fearless…

RSC's latest is like a week-long episode of Blackadder without the jokes

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The RSC’s summer blockbuster is about Queen Anne. It’s called Queen Anne. It opens at the Inns of Court where…

A carefully sanitised account of Palestinian resistance: Taha at the Young Vic reviewed

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Shubbak, meaning ‘window’ in Arabic, is a biennial festival taking place in various venues across London. The brochure reads like…

This King Kong comedy misses the emotional appeal of the film

8 July 2017 9:00 am

The Vaults at Waterloo are gallantly trying to pose as the party spot for hipsters in the world’s coolest city.…

Spiteful, cynical, structurally flawed – why on earth are critics raving about Gloria?

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Hand it to the Americans. They know how to hype a young talent to death. The latest to be asphyxiated…

Almeida’s new play about the Sun is exactly as I remember it, says Kelvin MacKenzie

1 July 2017 9:00 am

It was most odd. Four decades after I’d walked into the Sun to start my first shift as a news…

Royal Court’s Anatomy of a Suicide deserves a prize – for most obtuse script of the year

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Anatomy of a Suicide looks at three generations of women in various phases of mental collapse. They line up on…

Barber Shop Chronicles assembles some of the finest comic talents around

17 June 2017 9:00 am

The National Theatre could hardly resist Barber Shop Chronicles. The play shines a light on a disregarded ethnic community, black…

Amusing, surprising, diverting and uplifting portrait of John Betjeman at Theatre Royal

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Sand in the Sandwiches is the perfect show for those who feel the West End should be an intellectual funfair.…

The play’s design is all wrong: Woyzeck reviewed

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Georg Büchner, a justly neglected German playwright, died at the age of 23 leaving a half-finished script about a mad…

Torture porn done with the trite slickness of a Vogue photo shoot: Salomé reviewed

27 May 2017 9:00 am

The Olivier describes Salomé by Yaël Farber as a ‘new’ play. Not quite. It premièred in Washington a couple of…

Honey-glazed rural whimsy: Laura Donnelly (Caitlin) and Paddy Considine (Quinn) in Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman

A good show but some way short of a classic: Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman reviewed

20 May 2017 9:00 am

Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman is set in Armagh in 1981. Quinn, a former terrorist, has swapped the armed…

Simpering windbags and self-pitying egoists: Halina Reijn, Jude Law and Gijs Scholten van Aschat in Obsession

Worthless as entertainment, priceless as platitudes-to-avoid-at-all-costs: Obsession reviewed

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Obsession at the Barbican has a complicated provenance. The experimental Belgian director Ivo van Hove adapted the show from a…

A must for Auster devotees; a mustn’t for the rest: Mark Edel-Hunt as Daniel Quinn and Jack Tarlton as Stillman in ‘City of Glass’

The ultimate gap-year video diary: Paul Mason's Divine Chaos of Starry Things reviewed

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Left-wing groupie Paul Mason has written a costume drama about the suppression of the Paris commune in 1871. We meet…

Adorably twerpish: Simon Bird as Philip in ‘The Philanthropist’

I can't praise this show highly enough: The Philanthropist reviewed

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Christopher Hampton’s 1968 play The Philanthropist examines the romantic travails of Philip, a cerebral university philologist, forced to choose between…

Adventures in boozy slapstick: Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing reviewed

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Even the Bard’s staunchest fans admit that ‘Shakespeare comedy’ may be an oxymoron. That’s the assumption of the touring company…

Original, astute, unnerving, sexy, funny, brutal: Dorfman Theatre’s Consent reviewed

15 April 2017 9:00 am

It’s like Raging Bull. The great Scorsese movie asks if a professional boxer can exclude violence from his family life.…

David Tennant is magical: Don Juan in Soho reviewed

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Don Juan in Soho rehashes an old Spanish yarn about a sexual glutton ruined by his appetite. Setting the story…

BREAKING NEWS: Enjoyable play found at Royal Court

1 April 2017 9:00 am

BREAKING NEWS: ‘Enjoyable play found at Royal Court.’ Generally, the Court likes to send its customers home feeling depressed, guilty,…

A nest of vipers forced into a skirt and cardigan: Imelda Staunton as Martha in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’

Prejudiced pap for Remainer elitists: Dorfman Theatre's My Country reviewed

25 March 2017 9:00 am

No one should complain that My Country; a work in progress is a grim night out. It’s rare for a…

A flimsy exhibition of varsity wit: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead reviewed

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Harry Potter, who uses the stage name Daniel Radcliffe, is a producer’s delight. By now it’s becoming clear that the…

Nympho with a bus pass: Juliet Stevenson as Gertrude

The textual omissions and misreadings could fill a small book: Almeida’s Hamlet reviewed

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Hamlet was probably written sometime between 1599 and 1602. The Almeida’s new version opens with a couple of security guards…

I’ve never enjoyed Twelfth Night but the Olivier Theatre’s new production is triumphant

4 March 2017 9:00 am

It’s every impresario’s dream. Buy a little off-West End venue to try out stuff for fun. Andrew Lloyd Webber has…