Mates blogger: Libby Purves


Libby Purves is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Libby's posts on MyTheatreMates. Take a look at our full list of theatre bloggers and our aggregated feed of all our Mates' posts. We’re always looking for new theatre bloggers. Could that be you? Learn about how to join us.
Libby Purves
Libby Purves was theatre critic for The Times from 2010 to 2013. Determined to continue her theatre commentary after losing that job, she set up her own site www.theatrecat.com in October 2013. She personally reviews all major London openings, usually with on-the-night publication, and also gives voice to a new generation of critics with occasional guest 'theatrekittens'. In addition to her theatre writing and myriad other credits, Libby has been a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek for over 30 years. She is also the author of a dozen novels, and numerous non-fiction titles. In 1999, Libby was appointed an OBE for services to journalism.
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The latest from Libby on MyTheatreMates

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‘It draws you in all the way: what more do you want?’: GO BANG YOUR TAMBOURINE – Finborough Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

It is always a pleasure to see a professional debut which not only shines in itself but reminds us that belonging to a 21st-century, loose-limbed-liberal post-Christian generation doesn’t stop a new actor from empathising and utterly containing a character from another age.

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‘If you catch it, you won’t forget it’: SHACKLETON’S CARPENTER – Touring ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Gail Louw’s play Shackleton’s Carpenter and Malcolm Rennie’s tremendous, unforgettable performance, were directed by Tony Milner of the New Vic before his death. This production – which tours single nights through autumn and winter, is in his memory. If you catch it, you won’t forget it.

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‘Pure pleasure, in energy and design’: JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT – West End ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

We love a starry debut, especially on opening night in a huge theatre: a 21-year-old not yet through drama school making a stonking, belting first professional appearance in a title role. So Laurence Connor knew what he was doing when he cast young Jac Yarrow in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

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‘Good fun, irresistible really’: The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical – West End ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical is the result of Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary badgering the late Sue Townsend to be allowed to do it, and with poppy tunes and a high-spirited cast under Luke Sheppard, it works surprisingly well.

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‘Superb production of Coward’s self-revealing comedy’: PRESENT LAUGHTER – The Old Vic ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

First of all let’s say that Andrew Scott is a marvel in Present Laughter, a 21st century Ur-Coward hero, who manages to do it without either the matey crassness lately inflicted on the part by Rufus Hound, or that retro, clipped Cowardspeak which echoes the Master too much.


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