To call The Beekeeper of Aleppo a story for our time would be an understatement. Christy Lefteri’s original novel is the epic, moving tale of a family escaping war-torn Aleppo at the outset of the Syrian civil war and embarking on the dangerous journey to safety – crossing multiple borders before finding safety in Yorkshire
In Complicité Theatre’s Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead, Kathryn Hunter keeps the audience engaged as her confidante and our gateway into shining a light on the anti-ecological policies of local government. The production team, especially Dick Straker’s video design, should also be commended.
The Makings of a Murderer at the Adelphi Theatre is certainly worth catching if it comes near you on tour, though a strong stomach and nerves of steel certainly are highly recommended.
Quality Street, written by J M Barrie (Peter Pan), tells the story of Phoebe Throssel (Paula Lane) and her sister Susan Throssel (Louisa-May Parker) as young women, Phoebe being the chirpy, happy and excitable one, along with her many curls, giving her the name Miss Phoebe of the ringlets.
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon takes a look at what critics have said about Lolita Chakrabarti’s staging of Maggie O’Farrell’s novel, Hamnet.
It’s a joy to have the intimate Swan auditorium open again, refurbished after going dark in the first sudden Covid closure, and to see once again a strong, nimble RSC ensemble conjuring up the past in Hamnet.
This touring production of Home, I’m Darling did have me questioning the role we all play in setting out norms and the judgements we make about people, lifestyle choices and assets but it was certainly not a gloomy comment on any of that. All in all it was a perfect combination of vintage style, jive and humour.
Celebrating over 50 years since its initial publication, Judith Kerr’s Mog the Forgetful Cat is now an institution for families all across the UK, as they settle down to a bedtime story together. As the nation’s favourite feline, it’s perhaps surprising that it has taken a golden anniversary to see Mog hit our stages
The RSC’s production of Julius Caesar is dynamic and refreshing. Atri Banerjee’s directorial debut for the company is a brave, brilliant and bold experience, bringing this 400-year-old play bounding on to the stage in a way that has never been seen before but is most definitely a must see.
Emma Rice’s adaptation of Brief Encounter certainly adds a fresh look at the 1945 British romantic film directed by David Lean, which had originally been adapted from the Noël Coward play of 1936, Still Life.
Children will be spellbound by the magic of the set and the catchy tunes in The Lost Spells, and adults will be reminded of the innocence of their childhoods. All will be reminded of the beauty of the natural world, and hopefully inspired to protect it. A delight.
It doesn’t take long to understand why Rafaella Marcus’ debut play Sap garnered so many rave reviews at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The quality of the writing and its exceptional delivery under Jessica Lazar’s direction make an instant impression, even before the complexity of the play and its themes fully comes to light.
Sucker Punch by Roy Williams delivers more than one or two physical and emotional punches throughout the play. Set within the boxing club environment throughout the production. Every battle fought within the play takes place in or around the boxing ring.
Dorset Bred’s Georgia and the Iceberg is currently on tour. I would highly recommend taking the family to watch this. It’s suitable for all ages and an important topic that we should all be concerned about.
Following the news of Paul O’Grady’s unexpected death, this specific performance of The Way Old Friends Do at London’s Park Theatre was dedicated to the comedian and drag legend, whose voice opens the show. Writer and star Ian Hallard paid tribute to O’Grady before curtain-up, and we started the post-show talk with Ian and director Mark Gatiss recalling how enthusiastically O’Grady recorded his voiceovers – despite not loving ABBA.
Titanic The Musical sailed its way into Blackpool and what a show it was. I have to say that the 11 Academy Award-winning worldwide film directed by James Cameron is a huge favourite of mine and I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen it.
Oliver Sykes’ debut children’s novel is inspired by growing up as a keen amateur boxer in a single parent family on the breadline. Having long been a passionate advocate for underrepresented voices, Sykes brings his own personal experiences to the page in Alfie’s First Fight, which promises to be a cross between Jacqueline Wilson and Rocky Balboa.
Expertly directed by the ever dependable Mark Gatiss, The Way Old Friends Do at the Park Theatre is a surprising delight which does what it says on the tin, and then a bit more.
Originally written in 1941 by Bertolt Brecht, The Good Person of Szechwan was first performed in 1943 – and this year celebrates its 80th birthday with an update by Nina Segal.
Waldo’s Circus of Magic and Terror is advertised as a new musical, and it does have songs in, but it also has much more. To me, it feels like a play with music, dance, creative access design, and circus acrobatics mixed together. And the combination is very effective. The show is powerful, with funny moments, beautiful moments, and devastatingly sad moments as it reminds us of terrible things that have happened to people who are considered ‘different’ through history.