Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Peter Pan, The Worst Witch, Crystal Clear & more

In Children's theatre, Comedy, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations, Touring by Lisa Martland

It’s a tad quieter on the theatre front outside of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and of course the Mates will be busy filing their reviews from there, but we’re not forgetting what openings are happening elsewhere either.

So here’s our editor Lisa Martland’s Top Picks from the last week’s productions in the West End, London Fringe and beyond with thanks to the 40-plus affiliated and expert bloggers who regularly contribute to My Theatre Mates.

Peter Pan – Troubadour White City Theatre, London ★★★★★
Johnny Fox: “Sally Cookson’s reinterpreted Peter Pan at the new, splendid, exciting Troubadour Theatre very near White City tube captures contemporary imaginations because they can see how it works, and are gripped by the techniques.”
The Worst Witch – Vaudeville Theatre, London ★★★★
Emma Clarendon: “Having grown up reading Jill Murphy’s original stories about Mildred Hubble, I’m really pleased to report that this stage adaptation by Emma Reeves retains the fun and chaos of the stories, while the performances of all the cast keep the charm of the characters intact.”
The View Upstairs – Soho Theatre, London
Stephanie Ressort: “In addition to having a phenomenal cast, the whole production has been brought to life with so much love by director Jonathan O’Boyle. The set is stunning and the musicians (hidden somewhere out of sight) expertly bring this wonderful soundtrack to life.”
Shackleton’s Carpenter– Jermyn Street Theatre, London ★★★★
Libby Purves: “Gail Louw’s play, 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.”
Crystal Clear – Old Red Lion, London
Laura Kressly: “The three actors are excellent. Gareth Kennerley captures the intensity of Richard’s narcissism and neediness. Rakhee Sharma is a sharp Jane who fights for an equally balanced relationship with Richard. Dean’s chemistry with Kennerley is sweet and intimate.”
The Tempest –
Streets of Oxford
Shanine Salmon: “If you’re driving all the way to an industrial estate just west of Oxford city centre for an evening out, then you want to make sure that it is a memorable evening. Well, this production of The Tempest certainly fits the bill!”
There are lots of writing careers in theatre –
Susan Elkin: “Why aren’t we telling young people about the writing-related careers which drive our industry? Careers advisers working in secondary schools are notoriously weak and negative about performing arts careers.”
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Lisa Martland
An editor, writer and critic, Lisa Martland is the founder of Vuelio top-ranked website Musical Theatre Review which she set up in 2013. She has largely single-handedly developed it into one of the UK’s must-read sites for professionals and expert followers of the sector. In 2018, Lisa also joined the Terri Paddock Group, taking on the role of editor for both MyTheatreMates and our sister musical theatre site Stage Faves. Formerly, she was deputy editor at The Stage Newspaper.

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Lisa Martland on FacebookLisa Martland on InstagramLisa Martland on RssLisa Martland on TwitterLisa Martland on Youtube
Lisa Martland
An editor, writer and critic, Lisa Martland is the founder of Vuelio top-ranked website Musical Theatre Review which she set up in 2013. She has largely single-handedly developed it into one of the UK’s must-read sites for professionals and expert followers of the sector. In 2018, Lisa also joined the Terri Paddock Group, taking on the role of editor for both MyTheatreMates and our sister musical theatre site Stage Faves. Formerly, she was deputy editor at The Stage Newspaper.