National Theatre

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,…

Leah Harvey as Hortense and C.J. Beckford as Michael Roberts in Small Island at the National Theatre Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

A magnificent work of art (but don’t worry if you miss the first half-hour): Small Island reviewed

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Small Island, based on Andrea Levy’s novel about Jamaican migrants in Britain, feels like the world’s longest book review. We…

Francis Guinan (Fred) and K. Todd Freeman (Dee) in Downstate. Photo: Michael Brosilow

Has Bruce Norris bitten off more than he can chew?

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Bruce Norris is a firefighter among dramatists. He runs towards danger while others sprint in the other direction. His Pulitzer-winning…

Cate Blanchett in When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

A winning hoax: When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other reviewed

2 February 2019 9:00 am

The NT’s new play is an update of Pamela, a sexploitation novel by Samuel Richardson. It opens with Stephen Dillane…

Gary Raymond and Richard Burton in Tony Richardson’s 1959 film version of Look Back in Anger

What a relief we can finally admit Jimmy Porter was a pain in the neck

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Gary Raymond, one of the original stars of Look Back in Anger, tells Steve Morris what he – and most other people – really thought of John Osborne’s angry young man

A horror show that appeals to the intellect but not the gut: The Tell-Tale Heart reviewed

5 January 2019 9:00 am

The Tell-Tale Heart is based on a teeny-weeny short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The full text appears in the…

David Schwimmer has produced a new film of Alexander Zeldin’s play LOVE for the BBC. [Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images]

David Schwimmer on his new BBC film

8 December 2018 9:00 am

David Schwimmer liked Alexander Zeldin’s play about poverty so much he has made it into a film. Tanya Gold got a preview

Sian Brooke and Alex Hassell in 'I'm Not Running'. Photo: Mark Douet

Women should boycott David Hare’s slanderous new play: I’m Not Running reviewed

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Sir David Hare’s weird new play sets out to chronicle the history of the Labour movement from 1996 to the…

Star quality: Mark Rylance as Iago at Shakespeare’s Globe

Intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful, eccentric: Globe's Othello reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

It’s intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful to look at and funny in unexpected places, yet Othello at the Globe didn’t quite meet…

If we offer Ian McKellan a peerage, will he promise not to inflict his King Lear on us again?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Gandalf, also known as Ian McKellen, has awarded himself another lap of honour by bringing King Lear back to London.…

Family fortunes: Ben Miles, Adam Godley and Simon Russell Beale in The Lehman Trilogy

Extraordinary power and simplicity: Lehman Trilogy reviewed

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Stefano Massini’s play opens with a man in a frock-coat reaching New York after six weeks at sea. The year…

Vanessa Kirby as Julie and Eric Kofi Abrefa as Jean in Julie at the National Theatre. Photo: Richard H Smith

This adaptation of Miss Julie is a textbook lesson in how to kill a classic

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Polly Stenham starts her overhaul of Strindberg’s Miss Julie with the title. She gives the ‘Miss’ a miss and calls…

Why has the National given over its largest stage to one of the nation's smallest talents?

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The National has made its largest stage available to one of the nation’s smallest talents. If Brian Friel had been…

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…

A glorious theatrical feast at the National: Foodwork reviewed

27 January 2018 9:00 am

There is a restaurant on the stage at the National Theatre in London. It is called Foodwork, and it is…

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…

François Cluzet as paraplegic billionaire Philippe and Omar Sy as his carer Driss in Untouchable (2011)

Why does so much disabled theatre and film still treat us like victims to be pitied?

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Does disability make a difference to art – or does art transcend disability? Selina Mills reports

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.…

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…

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 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…

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…

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…

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.…