Theatre

Christian Slater is mesmerising: Glengarry Glen Ross reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

David Mamet’s plays are tough to pull off because his dialogue lacks the predictable shapeliness of traditional dramatic speech. He…

Rarely has the West End seen such a draining and nasty experience: The Exorcist reviewed

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The Exorcist opened in 1973 accompanied by much hoo-ha in the press. Scenes of panic, nausea and fainting were recorded…

One to savour: Nikki Amuka-Bird as Ellida in The Lady from the Sea

Why has the Bridge Theatre opened with this lightweight new play? Young Marx reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Bang! A brand new theatre has opened on the South Bank managed by the two Nicks, Hytner and Starr, who…

A highly effective Chekhov facsimile at the Almeida: Albion reviewed

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Beginning starts at the end. A Crouch End party has just finished and the sitting room is a waste tip…

Lloyd Evans witnesses a sexual atrocity at Wyndham's Theatre

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Simon Stephens gives his plays misleading titles. Nuclear War, Pornography and Punk Rock contained little trace of their advertised ingredients.…

Good as it is, the material is highly perishable: Labour of Love reviewed

14 October 2017 9:00 am

  Labour of Love is the new play by James Graham, the poet laureate of politics. We’re in a derelict…

Clumsy, artless, philistine obstacle course: Wings at the Young Vic reviewed

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In Beckett’s Happy Days a prattling Irish granny is buried waist-deep, and later neck-deep, in a refuse tip whose detritus…

Killer queen: Gina McKee as Boudica. (Photo: Steve Tanner)

Pacy, gory, but hardly a classic: Boudica at the Globe reviewed

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Tristan Bernays loves Hollywood blockbusters. His new play, Boudica, is an attempt to put the blood-and-guts vibe of the action…

Robert Lindsay as Jack Cardiff in Prism

The Israel-Palestine conflict as flat-share comedy: Oslo at the Lyttleton Theatre reviewed

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Oslo opened in the spring of 2016 at a modest venue in New York. It moved to Broadway and this…

Bring on the dancing-girls: Follies at the Oliver

It’s hard to care about these geriatric bed-hoppers: Follies at the Olivier reviewed

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies takes a huge leap into the past. It’s 1971 and we meet two middle-aged couples who knew…

Worse for wear: Kevin McNally as Lear and Burt Caesar as Gloucester in King Lear

A model of ethnically appropriate casting: the Brandreths’ Hamlet reviewed

9 September 2017 9:00 am

A new orthodoxy governs the casting process in Hollywood. An actor’s ethnicity must match the character’s. If you extend this…

You’d have more fun watching jelly set: Against at the Almeida reviewed

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Against by Christopher Shinn sets out to unlock the secrets of America’s spiritual malaise. Two main settings represent the wealthy…

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…