Theatre

Lifelong friends: P.T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb

Showman, con man, family man: P.T. Barnum’s many faces

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Con man, showman, family man. Laura Freeman on the many faces of P.T. Barnum

Parliament Square at the Bush is theatre that believes it knows politics better than professional politicians

16 December 2017 9:00 am

A new play at the Bush with a catchy political title. Parliament Square introduces us to Kat, a young Scots…

Togas, sandals, breastplates, ketchup and daggers, not guns: Julius Caesar at the Barbican

It’s impossible to muff the role of Scrooge – yet Rhys Ifans manages: A Christmas Carol reviewed

9 December 2017 9:00 am

Maximum Victoriana at the Old Vic for Matthew Warchus’s A Christmas Carol. Even before we reach our seats we’re accosted…

Huge audiences, gongs galore and Broadway awaits Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie opened at the Sheffield Crucible in February for a standard three-week run. The show is based…

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…

Christian Slater is mesmerising: Glengarry Glen Ross reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

David Mamet’s plays are tough to pull off because his dialogue lacks the predictable shapeliness of traditional dramatic speech. He…

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

Making musical history: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton

Why has there never been a hit musical about the history of Britain?

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Why has there never been a hit musical about British history? Iain Hollingshead investigates

One to savour: Nikki Amuka-Bird as Ellida in The Lady from the Sea

Why has the Bridge Theatre opened with this lightweight new play? Young Marx reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Bang! A brand new theatre has opened on the South Bank managed by the two Nicks, Hytner and Starr, who…

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.…

Good as it is, the material is highly perishable: Labour of Love reviewed

14 October 2017 9:00 am

  Labour of Love is the new play by James Graham, the poet laureate of politics. We’re in a derelict…

Clumsy, artless, philistine obstacle course: Wings at the Young Vic reviewed

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In Beckett’s Happy Days a prattling Irish granny is buried waist-deep, and later neck-deep, in a refuse tip whose detritus…

Killer queen: Gina McKee as Boudica. (Photo: Steve Tanner)

Pacy, gory, but hardly a classic: Boudica at the Globe reviewed

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Tristan Bernays loves Hollywood blockbusters. His new play, Boudica, is an attempt to put the blood-and-guts vibe of the action…

Robert Lindsay as Jack Cardiff in Prism

The Israel-Palestine conflict as flat-share comedy: Oslo at the Lyttleton Theatre reviewed

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Oslo opened in the spring of 2016 at a modest venue in New York. It moved to Broadway and this…

Bring on the dancing-girls: Follies at the Oliver

It’s hard to care about these geriatric bed-hoppers: Follies at the Olivier reviewed

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies takes a huge leap into the past. It’s 1971 and we meet two middle-aged couples who knew…

An out-of-work steel worker walking through Port Talbot, 1964

Welsh noir: How Port Talbot became the drama capital of Wales

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Why, as well as steel, does the Welsh town produce great actors? Jasper Rees reports

Worse for wear: Kevin McNally as Lear and Burt Caesar as Gloucester in King Lear

A model of ethnically appropriate casting: the Brandreths’ Hamlet reviewed

9 September 2017 9:00 am

A new orthodoxy governs the casting process in Hollywood. An actor’s ethnicity must match the character’s. If you extend this…

Ira Aldridge as Othello, painted in 1826 by James Northcote

The first black actor to play Othello was also one of the greatest

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Robert Gore-Langton celebrates Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello

Girl, interrupted: Rooney Mara as Una

Difficult and disturbing: Una reviewed

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Una is a psychological drama about a woman who was abused by a man when she was 12, and who…

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…

Witty gun-slingers, exhibitionist aggro-mongering and a new low... Edinburgh Fringe roundup

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Truman Capote should have been called Truman Persons. His father, Archulus, abbreviated his first name and introduced himself as Arch…

Bin Laden the pin-up, a Tory singalong and comedy magic: Edinburgh Fringe roundup

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Brexit the Musical is a peppy satire written by Chris Bryant (not the MP, he’s a lawyer). Musically the show…

A fallen comedy god, schoolroom panto and Trumpageddon: Edinburgh Fringe round-up

12 August 2017 9:00 am

What is the Edinburgh Fringe? It’s a sabbatical, a pit stop, a pause-and-check-the-map opportunity for actors who don’t quite know…

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,…