National Theatre

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.…

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…

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…

What Vladimir Putin said to the Eton boys

18 February 2017 9:00 am

How does Vladimir Putin think about the world? It becomes dangerously important to know. I still have not seen a…

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…

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…

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!’.…