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New post-show Q&A: Terri Paddock invites you on an explosive & gut-punching rollercoaster ride with Proforca’s Flashbang

In Featured Shows, Features, Interviews, London theatre, Native, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Sticky by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

After fascinating discussions around Feel, At Last and Lately, I’m back with Proforca Theatre to discuss Flashbang, the company’s fifth new play by James Lewis, as well as exciting new work by associate artists also programmed during the autumn season at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre.

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‘It’s writing from the heart’: ALL OF US – National Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Alun HoodLeave a Comment

It would be unsurprising, indeed completely understandable, for a new state-of-the-nation play focusing on the treatment of, and opportunities for, disabled people in present-day UK, to fetch up on stage as a furious, ranty polemic. Francesca Martinez’s dramatic writing debut, All Of Us at the National, goes down a rather more unexpected and interesting route however.

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‘Timely, enterprising, emotionally shattering, politically shaming’: TWO UKRAINIAN PLAYS – Finborough Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

These two Ukrainian Plays at the Finborough Theatre were both both first born at the time of the 2014 conflict in Ukraine, the second particularly in the Donbas where ugly divisions erupted between Russian sympathisers and supporters of the elected and legitimate government in Kyiv.

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‘Elements of the story connect in ways that surprise’: PATRIOTS – Almeida Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Tom BoltonLeave a Comment

Peter Morgan’s new play Patriots at the Almeida Theatre is a history lesson, filling in the gaps in our understanding of how we ended up where we are now. Specifically, it connects events in Russia after the fall of Communism with the high profile deaths in the UK of Russians who had fallen out with Vladimir Putin and, more implicitly, with the invasion of Ukraine and the state of Russia today.

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‘Highlights the heartwarming & empowering messages’: Kinky Boots the Musical in Concert – Theatre Royal Drury Lane ★★★★

In Concerts, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Olivia MitchellLeave a Comment

Kinky Boots the Musical in Concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is a fantastic showcase of a great cast as well as the heartwarming story that works surprisingly well in concert form. I can only imagine how great this ensemble would be in a fully staged production with all the glitz and glam the show deserves.

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‘Informs, educates & entertains’: ALL OF US – National Theatre

In Comedy, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

If the plotting is predictable, and the story arc unremarkable, the image of life represented is both strongly compassionate and often very pleasurable. In true welfare state style, comedian Francesca Martinez’s debut play All of Us at the National Theatre not only informs and educates, but also entertains.

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‘Slick, witty & fun-filled’: HORRIBLE HISTORIES: TERRIBLE TUDORS – Garrick Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Kirsty HerringtonLeave a Comment

A series of best-selling series of books and an equally popular television show, Horrible Histories is taking over London this summer. Not only has creator Terry Deary along with the Birmingham Stage Company commandeered the Thames with a boat cruise, they’ve also made the Garrick Theatre their home this summer for live show Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors.

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‘Reminds you of Shakespeare’s extraordinary moments too easily forgotten’: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – National Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

A star danced, and under it was Simon Godwin’s joyful, 1930s Riviera production born. Quite apart from the fact that it is nice to have the earnest NT enjoying two outbreaks of frenetic jitterbug dancing at once – Jack Absolute upstairs at the Olivier, and here Much Ado About Nothing set in the Mediterranean hotel world of Noel Coward – where it feats with unexpected neatness.

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‘What they’ve created is roaring, but delicate, ritualistic & totally unique’: JARMAN – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Alun HoodLeave a Comment

Pitched somewhere between a celebration, a séance and an unusually engaging piece of performance art, Jarman at the King’s Head Theatre eschews linear storytelling in favour of a sensory assault encompassing spoken word, music and direct audience engagement. Some of Jarman’s iconic film works are referenced – Sebastiane, Caravaggio, Edward II, The Tempest, the heartrending Blue which depicts the artist’s slide into blindness – and settings from Ken Russell’s chaotic movie shoots (Jarman designed several of his films) to Derek’s beloved, wall-less Dungeness garden are vividly evoked.

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‘Sets the standard against which future productions will be judged’: SOUTH PACIFIC – Sadler’s Wells & Touring

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

This is a smart and thoughtful interpretation of South Pacific that takes carefully considered approach to some of the problems in the scenario without fully absolving the characters for their behaviour and choices. Managing to balance the sparkle of the big set-pieces and the not so charming effects of military occupation with some serious emotional clout that will leave you wrung through at the end, this sets the standard against which future productions will be judged. With a UK tour running until November, Bali Ha’i is calling you, don’t resist.

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‘The sumptuous score is showcased to the highest degree’: CHESS THE MUSICAL IN CONCERT – Theatre Royal Drury Lane ★★★★

In Concerts, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Olivia MitchellLeave a Comment

After the success earlier in the year of Bonnie and Clyde in Concert, the bar has been set rather high for what concert productions at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane can provide, and Chess the Musical in Concert certainly hits the mark.

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‘The comic timing from the cast is certainly on point’: SISTER ACT – Eventim Apollo

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews, Touring by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Based on the hit 1992 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, this is the latest touring incarnation of the highly entertaining musical Sister Act. Originally set to star Goldberg in a reprise of the role, the cast instead has the more than able replacement of Beverley Knight. Joined by Jennifer Saunders, Lesley Joseph and Clive Rowe, this revival certainly isn’t lacking firepower in the casting department.