Theatre

Lee Evans in Pinter Three. Photo: Marc Brenner

Lee Evans’s acrobatic clowning is the best thing about Pinter Three

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Pinter Three appeals to opposite poles of the play-going spectrum. The birdbrains like me will enjoy the music-hall sketches while…

Maisie Williams as Caroline in the breathtaking new play 'I and You' at Hampstead Theatre. Photo: Manuel Harlan

One of the best plays I’ve ever seen: I and You at the Hampstead Theatre reviewed

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Lauren Gunderson’s play I and You opens in the scruffy bedroom of 17-year-old Caroline. Lonely, beautiful and furious, she’s unable…

A dignified Johnetta Eula'Mae Ackles as Marjory and a bumptious Jim Broadbent as Hans Christian Andersen in McDonagh's A Very Very Very Dark Matter. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Mean-spirited, muddled, idiotic and puerile: Martin McDonagh's A Very Very Very Dark Matter reviewed

3 November 2018 9:00 am

In the year since it opened, the Bridge has given us the following: a harmless Karl Marx comedy by Richard…

Sam Troughton and Claudie Blakley in Nina Raine's Stories. Photo: Sarah Lee

The Inheritance isn’t theatre — it’s mesmerically boring TV

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Stories by Nina Raine is a bun-in-the-oven comedy with a complex back narrative. Anna, in her mid-thirties, had a boyfriend…

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…

Critics hated Julie Burchill’s Brexit play. What does that say about them?

13 October 2018 9:00 am

There is a new book out about the sun — the bright thing in the sky, not the newspaper. It…

Radio 4 treats its radio listeners as second-best in favour of those who listen to podcasts

13 October 2018 9:00 am

How very odd of Radio 4 not only to release The Ratline as a podcast before broadcasting it on the…

David Suchet as Harry in The Collection, part of Pinter Two

Pinter comes across as an eccentric lightweight scribbler: Pinter Two reviewed

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Pinter Two, the second leg of the Pinter season, offers us a pair of one-act comedies. The Lover is a…

Sophie Okonedo exudes sexiness and regality as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the Olivier Theatre

After 1980 Pinter began to write like a student troll: Pinter at the Pinter reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

The drop-curtain resembles a granite slab on which the genius’s name has been carved for all time. The festival of…

In the pink: Luke MacGregor as Edward Cooper in Eyam at Shakespeare’s Globe

The Old Vic’s Sylvia may be the new Les Mis

29 September 2018 9:00 am

Sylvia, the Old Vic’s musical about the Pankhurst clan, has had a troubled nativity. Illness struck the cast during rehearsals.…

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…