News, Reviews and Features


These are all of our in-house news and features as well as syndicated article excerpts from our 45+ theatre bloggers. You can also access All Our Mates' Posts in comprehensive list form and view individual author pages.
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THE DIVER – The Rag Factory

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

The opening minutes of Craft Theatre’s one-woman show, The Diver, are slightly unsettling. After an introduction from director Rocky Rodriguez Jr, performer Helen Foster bounces on to the stage. And then off again. Then back on. The lights are still up. You have no idea if this is part of the show or not. There’s a bit of stand-up comedian style banter, and a few awkward silences, between which we’re constantly reassured that the show has, in fact, started. It’s clear that this is not going to be a ‘sit in the dark and make no noise’ theatre experience. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not.

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THE TEMPEST – Hope Theatre

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Not only can Shakespeare be considered to be England’s greatest playwright, he is probably the most prolific when it comes to performances of his work. The plays are amazingly flexible in the many ways they can be stage and the latest production of “The Tempest” at The Hope Theatre by the Thick as Thieves Production company is a lovely case in point.

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Love Birds: How to cast penguins and parrots in a new musical

In Children's theatre, Edinburgh Festival, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Native, Opinion by Guest BloggersLeave a Comment

How do you cast a new musical that requires a cast of parrots and penguins? After 14 years of casting films, TV dramas and plays, seasoned casting director Stephen Moore makes his musical theatre casting debut with Love Birds, a family musical by Robert J Sherman (son of Robert B Sherman of the Sherman Brothers fame) which premieres at next month’s Edinburgh Fringe.

SHREK – Touring

In Children's theatre, Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Take a blockbuster movie, add a bunch of songs and some sparkly costumes and stick it on a stage… A tried and tested recipe for success and one that seems to be a guarantee of success. It certainly didn’t hurt Shrek when that landed in the West End and tickets flew out of the box office. Now the show is heading out on tour around the UK and we made our way to the Mayflower to check it out.

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NEWS: Bertie Carvel stars in Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape at Old Vic

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Bertie Carvel is to lead the cast in Richard Jones’ new production of The Hairy Ape at The Old Vic. The second production in Matthew Warchus’ tenure as Artistic Director, The Hairy Ape opens on 29 October 2015, with previews from 17 October and will see The Old Vic theatre transform back to its original proscenium arch layout.

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NEWS: Zoe Wanamaker and John Dagleish join Kenneth Branagh repertory

In London theatre, News, Plays, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Further casting for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Plays at the Garrick season has been announced. John Dagleish and Zoë Wanamaker are to appear in Terence Rattigan’s Harlequinade, with John also joining the company of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. The two productions will play in repertory at the Garrick theatre from 17 October 2015 until 16 January 2016.

VOLPONE – Stratford-upon-Avon

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Trevor Nunn’s production of Volpone at the RSC’s Swan sagely contends that the sins of greed and avarice are timeless. With Ben Jonson’s 17th century comedy set squarely in a modern Venice, if some of Ranjit Bolt’s occasional script revisions are schoolboy clumsy (silly references to Greece and the Euro pop up), they can be forgiven in a plot in which incredible complexities may not have weathered the test of time as much as the brilliant observation of the flawed human condition that makes this play so entertaining.

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NEWS: In the Heights returns to London, opening at King’s Cross on 3 Oct

In London theatre, Musicals, News, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights will return to London this year following a critically acclaimed sell-out UK premiere at Southwark Playhouse in 2014. The production will transfer to King’s Cross Theatre on 3 October 2015 and is booking for a strictly limited four week period until 1 November 2015. Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on Friday 10 July 2015.

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BARNUM – Touring

In Circus, Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Katharine KavanaghLeave a Comment

Birmingham Hippodrome; 8th July 2015 ‘That kind of humbug just… disappeared’, reflects Brian Conley‘s PT Barnum, after the whistlestop tour of spectacle that conveys the achievements of the Greatest Impressario On Earth in this revised tour of the 1980 musical, playing at Birmingham Hippodrome until the beginning of August. I’m not so sure… Haven’t we just been […]

BARNUM – Touring

In Circus, Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Katharine KavanaghLeave a Comment

Birmingham Hippodrome; 8th July 2015 ‘That kind of humbug just… disappeared’, reflects Brian Conley‘s PT Barnum, after the whistlestop tour of spectacle that conveys the achievements of the Greatest Impressario On Earth in this revised tour of the 1980 musical, playing at Birmingham Hippodrome until the beginning of August. I’m not so sure… Haven’t we just been […]

THE INVISIBLE – Bush Theatre

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

“When I was growing up the poor were seen as unfortunates. Now they’re seen as manipulative. Grasping. Scroungers. It’s very sad.” So reflects Shaun (Niall Buggy), a charming, penniless old Irishman with more than a touch of the blarney, facing yet another Kafka-esque nightmare negotiating with the sullen, unyielding bosom of our Housing and Benefits systems in Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s The Invisible. On the day of the Budget, when the latest plans for supposedly solving society’s biggest problems have been touted across every media channel, it’s always tempting for pub philosophers and armchair politicians to make sweeping judgements and dangerously inhumane generalisations; we all have our private theories of blame and retribution for the taxpayer’s burden. The Invisible reminds us that, inside those synthetic statistics, thousands of real individuals – vulnerable, defenceless and alone – uniquely suffer the consequences of each government’s so-called solutions. If the problems they encounter are legal ones, recourse to free help is now dwindling fast, thanks to swingeing cuts to our Justice sector meted out by Grayling and Gove. Hence, these victims become The Invisible: the poorest and weakest in our society, whose voice can quietly stopped by lack of representation or, simply, despair.