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‘The fun is in the modern message’: THE WIND IN THE WILTON’S – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★★

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

For The Wind in the Wilton’s at Wilton’s Music Hall Piers Torday has adapted the up-Thames rural setting of Kenneth Grahame’s book to be an urban take, London’s own stretch of river. And the weasels? You’ve guessed it: the Wild Wood is the City, the weasels and stoats the financiers and developers.

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‘Continues to sparkle’: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW – Touring ★★★★★

In Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews, Touring by Louise PennLeave a Comment

The Rocky Horror Show started as a tiny fringe production upstairs at the Royal Court, nearly 50 years ago. Over time it has grown and developed, but still retains the connection with fans with the constant breaking of the fourth wall, and encouraged callbacks (example: when Janet is first mentioned, you shout “Slut!”).

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‘There’s so much joy & heart’: LA MAUPIN – Lion & Unicorn Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Liz DyerLeave a Comment

La Maupin is a folk punk musical celebrating this queer icon, written by Olivia Thompson and performed by a small cast of actor-musicians from female-led theatre company Fantastic Garlands. The story follows Julie on a rollercoaster ride as she runs from the law, fights in duels, joins the opera, falls in and out of love with men and women alike, moves to Paris, gets another death sentence – and does it all while being unequivocally, unapologetically herself, even when everything and everyone seems to be against her.

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‘Continues to resonate’: OTHELLO – National Theatre

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

Othello at the National Theatre is a production that has thought very carefully about the things it wants to say and, particularly, what Othello has meant at different points in its performance history. Clint Dyer’s perspective is not on fire just yet but it soon will be, bringing a meaningful reflection on Shakespeare’s tale to the stage while clearly distinguishing it from all of those that have come before.

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‘A performance for the ages’: FUNNY GIRL – Broadway

In Broadway, International, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Simon ParrisLeave a Comment

No doubt about it, Lea Michele is the Greatest Star, singlehandedly salvaging a train wreck of a revival and tuning it into a white hot hit. Not seen on Broadway since its original 1964 production, Funny Girl returns with a redesign of the 2016 London production, retaining direction by Michael Mayer and updates to Isobel Lennart’s original book by show-doctor Harvey Fierstein.

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‘Endearing, funny & charming’: PICTURE PERFECT CHRISTMAS – National Gallery ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Luca MolinariLeave a Comment

Endearing, funny and charming, the National Gallery’s Picture Perfect Christmas is truly the perfect event for wholesome family fun. Writer and director Francesca Renee Reid bases the production on Avercamp’s ‘A Winter Scene With Skaters Near A Castle’, with a beautiful castle set and snowy landscape.

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‘Either way the play does make you feel’: BAGHDADDY – Royal Court Theatre

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

At best Baghdaddy at the Royal Court Theatre is a surreal trip into traumatic memory, at its worst it’s a self-indulgent mess. If you think that American crime are worse than Saddam’s you’ll love this show; if you like playwrights wagging their finger at you, you’ll love this show; if you believe that parental trauma can be inherited and then self-consciously joked about, you’ll love this show.

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‘Contains some remarkable writing’: HERE – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

When individual members of a family are facing a variety of problems, can looking back at their collective past help to resolve matters or does that simply serve to make things worse? This is the premise behind Here by debut playwright Clive Judd, the 2022 winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing currently in production on Southwark Playhouse’s main stage

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‘A sweet success’: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory The Musical – Leeds ★★★★★

In Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews by Fairy Powered ProductionsLeave a Comment

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical comes to Leeds Playhouse for the festive season. The musical invites one into a world of imagination of Charlie’s plight and Willy Wonka’s confectionery wonders at his chocolate factory. The musical is based on David Greig’s book with Marc Shaiman’s musical composition and his and Scott Wittman’s lyrics.

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‘Energy seems to pulsate off the stage’: NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL – Birmingham ★★★★★

In Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews by Fairy Powered ProductionsLeave a Comment

Christmas has exploded over Birmingham in a shower of confetti with the arrival of Nativity! The Musical, written and directed by Debbie Isitt. If the spirit of Christmas has yet to grab you, or you find yourself feeling jaded by world events, get yourself to Birmingham Rep this December and revel in the fun. There’s even a cute dog in it.

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‘Perfectly packaged Christmas show’: ELF THE MUSICAL – Dominion Theatre ★★★★

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

If you’re looking for some festive magic this year, look no further than the Dominion Theatre for a gloriously Christmassy, sparkly production of Elf The Musical. Based on the cult classic film, it tells the story of Buddy the Elf who finds out he’s really a human, so makes the journey from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father and experience the world. This musical adaptation has all the most iconic parts of the film plus a heap of theatrical magic that makes it the perfect festive treat.

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‘Flawed but fascinating show’: SARAH – Coronet Theatre

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

Sarah at the Coronet Theatre is an authentic alcoholic’s tale, sentimental and entirely self-centred, but transformed in the telling if, just for a moment, we can buy into the drinker’s mindset. His name is Scott, and the fact he is telling us this at all hints at some sort of redemption. He may be alive, but this is not a redemptive story.

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‘I especially liked the slapstick-style comedy’: RAPUNZEL – Watermill Theatre, Newbury ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews, Uncategorised by Elaine ChapmanLeave a Comment

There’s nothing quite like reviewing a festive family production when the auditorium is full of excitement from the four busloads of primary school children sitting ready and waiting the wonders that are about to come alive on the stage. At 10.30am, spirits were running high for Rapunzel at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury.

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‘Remain on the edge of your seat, though you might fall off laughing’: THE MASSIVE TRAGEDY OF MADAME BOVARY – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★

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

What could be more seasonal than Flaubert’s tale of wifely frustration, romantic illusions, disastrous adulteries and ruinous shopaholic debt? This adaptation of The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary at the Jermyn Street Theatre is a clown-skilled four-hander by John Nicholson – founder of the gleefully clever Peepolykus.

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‘The power is in the modern parallels’: RICHARD THE SECOND – Omnibus Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Rev StanLeave a Comment

Anna Coombs’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II sees the story slimmed down for five actors, with three of the cast playing more than one character. It focuses the attention on King Richard (Daniel Rock) and his cousins, the loyal Aumerle (Lebogang Fisher) and Henry Bollingbroke (Raheim Menzies), and the power tussle between them for the crown