Theatre

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…

Terence Rattigan’s greatest secret wasn’t his homosexuality

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Robert Gore-Langton reveals another hidden side of the playwright Terence Rattigan

A flimsy exhibition of varsity wit: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead reviewed

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Harry Potter, who uses the stage name Daniel Radcliffe, is a producer’s delight. By now it’s becoming clear that the…

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…

Greek or Roman crowds would have chased the SS-GB cast off the stage

4 March 2017 9:00 am

In the audience-free world of TV, where ‘acting’ and visuals have become of far greater importance than the actual words,…

A Neapolitan quartet, Naples 1955

How on earth do you put 1,600 pages of Elena Ferrante on stage?

4 March 2017 9:00 am

How do you distil Elena Ferrante’s monumental Neapolitan quartet into four acts over two evenings? Laura Freeman finds out

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…

Very little theatre is important or valuable. This is: Young Vic’s See Me Now reviewed

25 February 2017 9:00 am

What does it take to become a prostitute? Youth, beauty, courage, sexual allure, a love of money, a need for…

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…

Star quality: Chaim Topol as Tevye

Why do people flock to Fiddler on the Roof – a musical about exile, pogroms and poverty?

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Why do people flock to a musical about exile, pogroms and poverty? Neil Armstrong investigates

Sheila Reida (Gloria), Keziah Joseph (Hope) and Rachel Davies (Maureen) in Sandi Toksvig’s Silver Linings Photo by Mark Douet

Though dissatisfying it doesn’t deserve a monstering: Sandi Toksvig’s Silver Lining reviewed

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Sandi Toksvig’s new play opens in a Gravesend care home where five grannies and a temporary nurse are threatened by…

Exquisite to look at but hard to warm to: The Glass Menagerie at Duke of Yorks reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Tennessee Williams’s breakthrough play is a portrait of his dysfunctional family. A young writer, Tom (Williams’s real name), lives with…

An exquisite, opulent bore: Death Takes a Holiday at Charing Cross Theatre reviewed

4 February 2017 9:00 am

It could be the nuttiest idea ever. The protagonist of this American musical is Death, who secretly reprieves a beautiful…

Death trap: Gytha Parmentier and Roman Van Houtven in ‘Us/Them’ at the Dorfman

Clever, genial and splendidly eccentric: Raising Martha reviewed

28 January 2017 9:00 am

David Spicer’s farce Raising Martha opens with a skeleton being disinterred on a frog farm by animal-rights activists. They hope…

A hymn to a vanished era when immigration worked: The Kite Runner at Wyndham’s reviewed

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Now it arrives on…

A three-hour bum-number by a German gas bag: Schiller’s Mary Stuart at the Almeida reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

God, what a dusty old chatterbox Schiller is. Like Bernard Shaw, he can’t put a character on stage without churning…

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…

A convoluted tale of eco-angst and earth-mother cant: Royal Court's The Children reviewed

10 December 2016 9:00 am

What if? is the engine of every great story. What if the toys came to life when their owner left…

An undemanding and underwritten frivolity: Nice Fish at the Harold Pinter Theatre reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

An ice floe. Two anglers. Months to kill. That’s the premise of Nice Fish by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins.…

The greatest laurels belong to the kids in ‘School of Rock’

I'm not sure I've seen a more powerful finale: School of Rock reviewed

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Who could resist School of Rock? For me it was a chance to see a heavy-metal musical written by the…

A treat to hum along to but don't ask me what it's about: Bowie's Lazarus reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

One of David Bowie’s last works, Lazarus, is a musical based on Walter Tevis’s novel The Man Who Fell to…

Snarly rather than menacing: Glenda Jackson as King Lear

Glenda Jackson’s King Lear shows that men play unhinged warlords better than women

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Dynastic affairs and international relations were once a seamless continuum. Royal weddings accompanied peace treaties. An heirless realm was vulnerable…

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…

A ziggurat of bilge: Oil at the Almeida reviewed

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Ella Hickson’s new play analyses our relationship with oil using the sketch format. First, there’s a candlelit soap opera set…