Theatre

What a scorcher: bearing the brunt of Harold Pinter’s temper was one of life’s central experiences

The night I kissed Harold Pinter

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Craig Raine remembers Harold Pinter

Arinzé Kene is a performer of great charm and charisma led astray by bad advice and public money

Blacktivist rhetoric and impenetrable symbols: Misty reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Arinzé Kene’s play Misty is a collection of rap numbers and skits about a fare dodger, Lucas, from Hackney. Lucas…

Aristocrats by Brian Friel at Donar Warehouse Credit: Johan Persson

Brian Friel’s Aristocrats should be called ‘Posh People Move House’

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Non-stop chatterbox and mystifyingly revered fabricator of sub-Chekovian paddywhackery, Brian Friel has received another production at the Donmar. His play…

Rob Auton (Chris) in Frank Skinner’s Nina’s Got News

Is Frank Skinner the new Alan Bennett? Edinburgh Fringe round-up

25 August 2018 9:00 am

For recovering teetotallers, like me, Thinking Drinkers is the perfect Edinburgh show. On stage, two sprucely dressed actors perform sketches…

Sarah Higgins (Helena) and Henry Pettigrew (Bob) in Midsummer

Conversations with a penis, having a laugh about Brexit and why titles matter: Edinburgh Festival reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

David Greig has written the international festival’s flagship drama, Midsummer. This farcical romance is performed as a party piece by…

Like Jon Bon Jovi struck by lightning: Garrett Lombard as Lucky in Waiting for Godot

Washed-up junkies, Trump the director and a cash giveaway: Edinburgh Festival round-up

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Trump Lear is a chaotically enjoyable one-man show with a complicated premise. David Carl, an American satirist, has arrived on…

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.…

One of Alan Bennett’s finest efforts: Allelujah! reviewed

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Alan Bennett’s new play, Allelujah!, is an NHS drama set in a friendly hospital in rural Yorkshire. Colin, an ambitious…

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…

Piffle: The Lieutenant of Inishmore reviewed

14 July 2018 9:00 am

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a knockabout farce set during the Troubles. Like Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch it uses…

Contains at least 15 laugh-out-loud moments: Genesis Inc. reviewed

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Listen to the crowd. I often delay passing judgment on a show until the audience delivers its verdict. This is…

Ken Nwosu and Alistair Toovey in An Octoroon at the National Theatre

So bad I wanted to escape: An Octoroon reviewed

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Intriguing word, ‘octoroon’. Does it mean an eight-sided almond-flavoured cakelet? No, it’s a person whose ancestry is one eighth black.…

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…

Gripping piece of comic-horror nonsense: Killer Joe at Trafalgar Studios reviewed

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Tracy Letts begins his trailer-trash comedy Killer Joe with the corniest of platitudes. A runaway druggie named Chris Smith needs…

How to cope with unsold tickets and empty halls: my advice to Owen Jones

9 June 2018 9:00 am

My heart goes out to Owen Jones. The left-wing journalist is one of the headliners at a Labour party fund-raiser…

Roger Allam as John Christie in David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano

A champion actor and fully paid-up member of the human race: Roger Allam interviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

On stage Roger Allam has covered pretty much everything in his four decades as an actor. Off it, he is a fully paid-up member of the human race, as Michael Henderson discovers

Large chunks felt lifted from The Archers: Nightfall reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

The Bridge’s big summer show is Nightfall by prize-winning newcomer Barney Norris. Widowed Jenny wants her grown-up kids, Lou and…

Rarely have I sat through such a chaotic and whimsical script: Describe the Night reviewed

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Describe the Night opens in Poland in 1920 where two Russian soldiers, Isaac and Nikolai, discuss truth and falsehood. Next…

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.…

Racism and the RSC: why I was a sitting duck for the arts mob

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Our ducks are back. Two wild mallard have spent the last five springs on the brook which gurgles past us…

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…