Theatre

Put a spell on you: Jamie Parker as Harry in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Platitudes, banalities and plotlines that punch each other in the face: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviewed

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Consider it commercially. So powerful is the pull of the Potter franchise that the characters could simply re-enact the plot…

Tyrone Huntley (Judas) and Declan Bennett (Jesus) in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Excellent – even if Jesus is a bit sulky: Jesus Christ Superstar reviewed

30 July 2016 9:00 am

An inspired decision to stage Jesus Christ Superstar in a summer theatre in Regent’s Park. The action takes place outdoors,…

This fracking ‘satire’ can frack off

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Fracking is a British tradition. Since 1969 more than 200 sites have used hydraulic fracturing ‘without environmental catastrophes’ according to…

Brian Friel’s miserable snapshot of Ireland is libellous blarney: Faith Healer reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Does anyone believe Brian Friel’s libellous blarney? He portrays Ireland in the 20th century as an economic basket case where…

More Dane than Thane: Ray Fearon as Macbeth

A spy thriller by a writer with no knowledge of spying or thrilling: Hampstead Theatre’s Wild reviewed

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Mike Bartlett’s curious blank-verse drama Charles III became an international hit. His new effort examines the cut-throat world of dark-web…

All meat-cleaver and calculation: Ralph Fiennes as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in ‘Richard III’

Worth catching for Vanessa Redgrave's scary-witch routine alone: Almeida's Richard III reviewed

25 June 2016 8:00 am

When Richard III’s bones were unearthed in a Leicester car park, Frankie Boyle suggested the headline ‘Bent royal found at…

Alfie Allen in his original Thrones guise as Theon Greyjoy

Anyone can die in Game of Thrones, but my part’s already been chopped!

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Sudden exit can befall any Game of Thrones character, but Alfie Allen’s still in the cast after the unkindest cut of all, says James Delingpole

Three hours of vomit, fellatio and menstruation: Isabelle Huppert on Phaedra(s)

4 June 2016 9:00 am

A blushing James Woodall is riveted by Isabelle Huppert’s performance in Phaedra(s)

Lily James as Juliet and Richard Madden as Romeo

Derek Jacobi as Mercutio is half-genius, half-prank: Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Out come the stars in Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet. He musters a well-drilled, celebrity-ridden crew but they can’t quite…

I came out feeling euphoric and disorientated: Young Vic’s Blue/Orange reviewed

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall enjoys the dubious status of a modern classic. A black mental-health patient, Christopher, is about to…

The Royal Court is the Eddie the Eagle of theatre

28 May 2016 9:00 am

If there were an Eddie the Eagle award for theatre — to recognise large reputations built on minuscule achievements —…

Wasn’t Lawrence of Arabia more annoying than this new play suggests?

14 May 2016 9:00 am

T.E. Lawrence is like the gap-year student from hell. He visits a country full of exotic barbarians and after a…

Talk of the Devil: Kit Harington in ‘Doctor Faustus’

A literary lap dance: Doctor Faustus reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Great excitement for play-goers as a rare version of a theological masterpiece arrives in the West End. Doctor Faustus stars…

Down and Out in Paris and London is a chav safari

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Down and Out in Paris and London is a brilliant specimen from a disreputable branch of writing: the chav safari,…

Going Dutch: Eelco Smits and Janni Goslinga of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in ‘Kings of War’

This year's must-see Shakespeare? Four hours of history in Dutch

23 April 2016 9:00 am

James Woodall talks to the Belgian director Ivo van Hove, who has brought a swathe of Shakespeare’s history plays to the stage in Dutch (four hours of it)

Was there a cover-up over Shakespeare’s death?

23 April 2016 9:00 am

How did Shakespeare kick the bucket? Lloyd Evans considers the evidence

The Heckler: the Shakespeare anniversary has stripped the Bard of his beauty

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The feeding frenzy over the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death has reached its peak. Recently we’ve had Shakespeare’s complete…

Les Blancs at the Olivier is good-ish, but it won't be a classic

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Les Blancs had a troubled birth. In 1965 several unfinished drafts of the play were entrusted by its dying author,…

Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in ‘Sunset Boulevard’

I didn’t enjoy it but I couldn’t help loving it: Sunset Boulevard reviewed

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Sunset Boulevard is a tale of fractured glory with Homeric dimensions. The movie presents Hollywood as a never-ending Trojan War…

Leading the party, two brilliant showmen: Kenneth Branagh (Ralph) and Rob Brydon (Brian) in ‘The Painkillers’

Slapstick enthusiasts will love this Branagh and Brydon farce: The Painkillers reviewed

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Sir Ken’s excellent West End residency continues with a sugar-rich confection. Sean Foley has adapted and updated an elderly French farce…

Catherine Tate’s talents are wasted on this meandering musical about nuclear fallout

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Miss Atomic Bomb celebrates the sub-culture that grew up around nuclear tests in 1950s America. The citizens of Nevada would…

Sister act: Zawe Ashton and Uzo Aduba in Jean Genet’s ‘The Maids’

Jean Genet’s fascinating play, The Maids, is botched at Trafalgar Studios

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The Maids is a fascinating document. Written in 1947, Jean Genet’s drama portrays a pair of serving girls who enact…

Act of faith: Sybil Thorndike as Saint Joan, c.1924, in George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Saint Joan’

Why does drama always end up sneering at religion?

5 March 2016 9:00 am

 Theo Hobson explores the enduring appeal that religion has for dramatists

Intelligent design: Alex Eales’s set for ‘Cleansed’ is the star of the show at the Dorfman

Sarah Kane's Cleansed is a thin, vicious pantomime

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Big fuss about Cleansed at the Dorfman. Talk of nauseous punters rushing for the gangways may have perversely delighted the…

Uncle Vanya, The Almeida

Kit-car Chekhov: Uncle Vanya at the Almeida reviewed

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Director Robert Icke has this to say of Chekhov’s greatest masterpiece: ‘Let the electricity of now flow into the old…