Theatre

Kate Duchêne as Juliana, Kyle Soller as Tesman, Ruth Wilson as Hedda, Rafe Spall as Brack and Sinead Matthews as Mrs Elvsted in ‘Hedda Gabler’

Scarcely worth discussing this daft old muddle: Hedda Gabler at the Lyttelton reviewed

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Hedda Gabler is one of the most influential plays ever written. It not merely illuminated an injustice, the enslavement of…

Madeleine Worrall as Wendy in the Olivier’s post-truth ‘Peter Pan’

For those who want to gawp at the underclass from a safe distance: Buried Child reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Buried Child is a typical Sam Shepard play. The main character, Dodge, is a brain-damaged alcoholic cripple stuck in a…

A convoluted tale of eco-angst and earth-mother cant: Royal Court's The Children reviewed

10 December 2016 9:00 am

What if? is the engine of every great story. What if the toys came to life when their owner left…

An undemanding and underwritten frivolity: Nice Fish at the Harold Pinter Theatre reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

An ice floe. Two anglers. Months to kill. That’s the premise of Nice Fish by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins.…

The greatest laurels belong to the kids in ‘School of Rock’

I'm not sure I've seen a more powerful finale: School of Rock reviewed

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Who could resist School of Rock? For me it was a chance to see a heavy-metal musical written by the…

A treat to hum along to but don't ask me what it's about: Bowie's Lazarus reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

One of David Bowie’s last works, Lazarus, is a musical based on Walter Tevis’s novel The Man Who Fell to…

Snarly rather than menacing: Glenda Jackson as King Lear

Glenda Jackson’s King Lear shows that men play unhinged warlords better than women

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Dynastic affairs and international relations were once a seamless continuum. Royal weddings accompanied peace treaties. An heirless realm was vulnerable…

Like a kids’ entertainer on crack: Amadeus reviewed

5 November 2016 9:00 am

Amadeus by Peter Shaffer is haunted by its own antecedents. Viewers are apt to feel that a new production lacks…

Dread and anxiety haunt every beat of the play: Elizabeth Debicki as Mona Sanders in David Hare’s ‘The Red Barn’

One of the ugliest nights of my life: A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Great subject, terminal illness. Popular dramas like Love Story, Terms of Endearment and My Night With Reg handle the issue…

A ziggurat of bilge: Oil at the Almeida reviewed

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Ella Hickson’s new play analyses our relationship with oil using the sketch format. First, there’s a candlelit soap opera set…

Tragic grandeur: Tom Hollander as Henry Carr in Stoppard’s ‘Travesties’

Dazzling intellectual panto – but read Ulysses first: Travesties at the Menier reviewed

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Travesties is a multi-layered confection of art, song, literature and pastiche. Tiny snippets of it are true. In Zurich, in…

Little to relish in this bracing portrait of a vain, brilliant fool: The Libertine reviewed

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Here are three roles all actors love to play. The drunk (no need to learn your lines), the dementia victim…

Hilarious, puzzling, boring: No Man’s Land at the Wyndham’s reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

No Man’s Land isn’t quite as great as its classic status suggests. At first sight the script is a bit…

Crowd-bewitching magic from Kathryn Hunter: Young Vic’s The Emperor reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The Emperor seems like a worthy lesson in Ethiopian history. Haile Selassie’s final days are recounted by a retinue of…

Putting the flag out: Martin McDougall (Howard) and Sean Delaney (John) in ‘Labyrinth’

What RSC’s The Alchemist needs is a James Corden or Matt Lucas

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Coleridge deemed the narrative structure of The Alchemist perfect. But, I wonder. A landowner quits plague-ridden London and his cunning…

On tap: Kenneth Branagh as Archie Rice in ‘The Entertainer’

John Osborne’s The Entertainer is a big, fat, boring slice of prime-time chitchat

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Kenneth Branagh’s obsession with Larry Olivier’s career is becoming such a bizarre act of theatrical necromancy that it deserves to…

Joan Iyiola and Anna-Maria Nabirye in ‘They Drink It in the Congo’

Almeida’s new play blames Britain for the ills of the Congo – when the problem is clearly aid

3 September 2016 9:00 am

In the 1980s, supermarkets stocked a fruit juice named ‘Um Bongo’ with the strapline ‘They drink it in the Congo!’.…

Nietzsche, Lembit Opik, the NHS and taxes: Edinburgh Festival Fringe roundup

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Dominic Frisby is an actor best known for voicing the booking.com adverts (‘Booking dot com, booking dot yeah’). Voiceover specialists…

Put a spell on you: Jamie Parker as Harry in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Platitudes, banalities and plotlines that punch each other in the face: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviewed

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Consider it commercially. So powerful is the pull of the Potter franchise that the characters could simply re-enact the plot…

Tyrone Huntley (Judas) and Declan Bennett (Jesus) in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Excellent – even if Jesus is a bit sulky: Jesus Christ Superstar reviewed

30 July 2016 9:00 am

An inspired decision to stage Jesus Christ Superstar in a summer theatre in Regent’s Park. The action takes place outdoors,…

This fracking ‘satire’ can frack off

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Fracking is a British tradition. Since 1969 more than 200 sites have used hydraulic fracturing ‘without environmental catastrophes’ according to…

A new role any actor will kill to play: Unreachable reviewed

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Anthony Neilson is an Arts Council favourite known for trivial but impenetrable plays with off-putting names like The Wonderful World…

Brian Friel’s miserable snapshot of Ireland is libellous blarney: Faith Healer reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Does anyone believe Brian Friel’s libellous blarney? He portrays Ireland in the 20th century as an economic basket case where…

More Dane than Thane: Ray Fearon as Macbeth

A spy thriller by a writer with no knowledge of spying or thrilling: Hampstead Theatre’s Wild reviewed

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Mike Bartlett’s curious blank-verse drama Charles III became an international hit. His new effort examines the cut-throat world of dark-web…

All meat-cleaver and calculation: Ralph Fiennes as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in ‘Richard III’

Worth catching for Vanessa Redgrave's scary-witch routine alone: Almeida's Richard III reviewed

25 June 2016 8:00 am

When Richard III’s bones were unearthed in a Leicester car park, Frankie Boyle suggested the headline ‘Bent royal found at…