Theatre

Cecilia Noble as Aunt Maggie in Nine Night at the National Theatre

Flawed but often hilarious new play: Nine Night at the Dorfman Theatre reviewed

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Nine Night refers to a Jamaican custom that obliges bereaved families to party non-stop for more than a week following…

A dated and remote two-hour polemic basking in #MeToo topicality: The Writer reviewed

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Ella Hickson’s last play at the Almeida was a sketch show about oil. Her new effort uses the same episodic…

Flop of the year? Royal Court's Instructions for Correct Assembly reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

‘Hunt the Flop’, the Royal Court’s bizarre quest for dud plays, has found a candidate for this year’s overall prize.…

Haydn Gwynne gallantly plays the ageing sexpot Lady Wishfort in The Way of the World at the Donmar Warehouse

Some fairly rich people rip off some very rich people. Who are we rooting for? Quiz reviewed

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Quiz by James Graham looks at the failed attempt in 2001 to swindle a million quid from an ITV game…

A gripping new play with a Michael Fish-y narrative: Pressure reviewed

14 April 2018 9:00 am

David Haig’s play Pressure looks at the Scottish meteorologist, James Stagg, who advised Eisenhower about the weather in the week…

Flouncy, tasteless and unsubtle – I loved it: Ruthless! The Musical reviewed

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Ruthless! The Musical is a camp extravaganza about ambitious actors stranded in small-town America. Sylvia St Croix, a pushy agent,…

The Plough and the Stars at the Lyric Hammersmith shows Sean O’Casey is one of the greats

31 March 2018 9:00 am

The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey looks at the Irish nationalist movement during the events of Easter 1916.…

A beautiful but bizarre show, beset by ‘great ideas’: Summer and Smoke reviewed

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams dates from the late 1940s. He hadn’t quite reached the peaks of sentimental delicacy…

Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the National Theatre

Rory Kinnear is less Macbeth, more a tetchy manager of an Amazon warehouse

17 March 2018 9:00 am

The Best Man by Gore Vidal is set during a fictional American election in 1960. Two gifted candidates seek their…

Shall we dance: the cast of Fanny & Alexander at the Old Vic

There's much to adore about the Old Vic's Fanny and Alexander

10 March 2018 9:00 am

Fanny & Alexander opens like a Chekhov comedy and turns into an Ibsen tragedy. Ingmar Bergman’s movie script, adapted by…

If I were a detective looking for serial killers I’d stake out Frozen

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Frozen starts with a shrink having a panic attack. She hyperventilates into her hand-bag and then gets drunk on an…

Monica Dolan as Tessa in The B*easts. Photo: Alan Harris

The York Realist feels like it’s been written by a newcomer at a creative writing weekend

24 February 2018 9:00 am

The Donmar’s new show, The York Realist, dates from 2001. The programme notes tell us that the playwright, Peter Gill,…

Why do critics claim to adore the waffle-fest that is Long Day’s Journey into Night?

17 February 2018 9:00 am

It’s considered the great masterpiece of 20th-century American drama. Oh, come off it. Long Day’s Journey into Night is a…

David Calder as Caesar in Nicholas Hytner’s Julius Caesar

Bold, in its way, but Ben Whishaw is ill-suited to Shakespeare: Julius Caesar reviewed

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Nicholas Hytner’s new show is a modern-dress Julius Caesar, heavily cut and played in the round. It runs for two…

June Watson as Genevieve and Marylouise Burke as Mertis in John

There are many scenes in this overlong play that consist, literally, of drivel: John reviewed

3 February 2018 9:00 am

The NT’s new production, John, is by a youngish American playwright, Annie Baker. We Brits tend to assume that ‘john’…

A monument of blithering stupidity: Zoë Wanamaker works wonders with Meg in The Birthday Party

Unlike most Pinter plays, this one doesn’t bore or baffle: The Birthday Party reviewed

27 January 2018 9:00 am

The Birthday Party is among Pinter’s earliest and strangest works. It deconstructs the conventions of a repertory thriller but doesn’t…

Americans in Paris: Imogen Poots as Abby and James Norton as Zack in Belleville

Another American playwright felled by her own trophy collection: Belleville reviewed

20 January 2018 9:00 am

A pattern emerges. A hot American playwright, dripping with prestigious awards, is honoured in London with a transfer of their…

Missing in action: Cosmo Jarvis and Oliver Alvin-Wilson in The Twilight Zone at the Almeida

The latest astonishing achievement from the creators of War Horse

13 January 2018 9:00 am

The Twilight Zone, an American TV show from the early 1960s, reinvented the ghost story for the age of space…

As a musical, it’s overwhelming – politically, it’s an outrage: Hamilton reviewed

6 January 2018 9:00 am

It’s all about the rhythm. Hamilton is a musical that tells the story of America’s foundation through the medium of…

Parliament Square at the Bush is theatre that believes it knows politics better than professional politicians

16 December 2017 9:00 am

A new play at the Bush with a catchy political title. Parliament Square introduces us to Kat, a young Scots…

Togas, sandals, breastplates, ketchup and daggers, not guns: Julius Caesar at the Barbican

It’s impossible to muff the role of Scrooge – yet Rhys Ifans manages: A Christmas Carol reviewed

9 December 2017 9:00 am

Maximum Victoriana at the Old Vic for Matthew Warchus’s A Christmas Carol. Even before we reach our seats we’re accosted…

Huge audiences, gongs galore and Broadway awaits Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie opened at the Sheffield Crucible in February for a standard three-week run. The show is based…

On the edge: Bryan Cranston as Howard Beale in Network

An overrated news satire directed by an inexplicably popular director: Network reviewed

25 November 2017 9:00 am

The inexplicable popularity of Ivo Van Hove continues. The director’s latest visit to the fairies involves an updated version of…

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…