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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Review: On The Twentieth Century (Union Theatre)

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Desperately trying to resuscitate his career and escape Chicago creditors, theatrical impresario Oscar Jaffee hops the Twentieth Century streamliner train for New York. In the next door sleeper resides his former muse turned Hollywood superstar Lily Garland. In the 1978 Broadway and 1980 London productions there was orchestral sweep and solid grandeur in the fittings […]

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Review: End of the Rainbow (Trafalgar Studios, London)

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Can you imagine what it would be like if Judy Garland were still alive? In her late eighties would she be shuffling from one tacky daytime chat show to the next still living off ancient glories like The Wizard of Oz and Easter Parade, trotting out the same old stories of booze and drugs to […]

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Review: Iolanthe (Union Theatre, London)

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Whilst The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance have had a number of recent and successful modern treatments, wresting the rest of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon from the dead hand of D’Oyly Carte and its historically reverential staging has proved more difficult, so Sasha Regan and her all-male company at the Union Theatre are to […]

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Review: Jeremy Hardy (Richmond Theatre)

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I think Jeremy Hardy’s show was very good…Every time I woke up, people seemed to be laughing. That’s a slight exaggeration of course but despite the fact I’m a big Jeremy Hardy fan and try never to miss his appearances on radio, two and a half hours is a long set for any stand-up comedian, […]

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Review: Bells are Ringing (Union Theatre, London)

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When you examine the 1956 credentials of Bells Are Ringing: book by Comden and Green, score by Jule Styne near the top of his game three years before his impeccable ‘Gypsy’, originally directed by Jerome Robbins and choreographed by Fosse, and whose kooky comedienne star Judy Holliday beat Ethel Merman and Julie Andrews to the […]

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Review: Caroline O’Connor – The Showgirl Within (Garrick Theatre)

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Going to a one-woman show with a big West End diva. Caroline O’Connor. Who? You know, she’s British but very big in Australia, was in the Sondheim Prom and played the taxi driver in ‘On The Town’ at the Coliseum … judging by Tuesday’s audience it was the most gay, geeky or Australian show-tune fanciers […]

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Review: Theatre Souk (2-4 Picton Place, London)

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If you’re the kind of theatregoer who likes to arrive ten minutes before curtain, settle into a red plush seat with a box of Black Magic and a programme, this is not the show for you. Although perhaps it should be. There’s been a tidal spate of ‘site specific’ theatre experience in London recently, from […]

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Review: Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)

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Baby boom children were regaled with the story that Princess Elizabeth had been informed of her father King George VI’s death at the exclusive ‘Treetops’ game lodge in the Aberdares national park of Kenya. Forty years later it turned out to be an arthritically creaking wooden assembly on stilts facing a rain-sodden pit of mulched […]

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Review: Pension Plan (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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There’s a plethora and a half of one-woman shows at the Edinburgh Fringe where the material spills from the uncoordinated ramblings of an early-disappointed or pre-menopausal harpy at the microphone. ‘Look at my awful life’ they rant ‘and feel better about your own’. In ‘Pension Plan’ at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, the oddly spelled but […]

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Review: Girl, Constantly F*****g Interrupted (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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Great title, rubbish play. I was about to launch into a diatribe against this piece – a sketchy, tentative overlong rummage around the physical and mental attic of the solo character Faith’s brain as she retreats from her murdered mother’s funeral to debate her mental state with the voices in her head. It sounds far-fetched, […]

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Review: Out Of The Blue (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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My Edinburgh posse recommended Out of the Blue, the Oxford undergraduate a cappella singing group. Oh right. Spoilt chinless posh boys frittering away a musical month in jolly old Edinburgh before joining mummy and daddy on the grouse moor? I had to be dragged there. And on they bounce: hearty chaps in flannel suits, blue […]

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Review: A to Z of Oompah (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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Not having had previous exposure to this group, I spotted one of the lederhosen-clad soloists in the bar before the performance. ‘What part of Bavaria are you from?’ I asked in all innocence. ‘Fulham’, he replied. Part of the wise and worthy ‘Five Pound Fringe’, Oompah Brass’s “A to Z of Oompah” can be found […]

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Review: The Improvised Musical (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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A million years B.C., when I was a first-year drama student, we were encouraged to tit about with improvisation and gradually take, from the frankly ludicrous scenarios and inane characterisations we invented every wet Friday afternoon of the Autumn term, some semblance of a skill set which could be useful in actual acting performance, if […]

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Review: Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Camden Fringe)

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It would be like pissing on a grave to be overly critical of ‘Elegies’, the song cycle of AIDS victims interspersed with thirty-two heartfelt blank verse monologues charting individual experience of the fatal disease. But a little bit of wee did come out when we reflected on the wasted opportunity of staging this electrically important […]

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Review: Queer In The USA (Camden Fringe)

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With a topical reference to ‘Glee Club’, Manuel Simons’ late-night show is part paean of praise to Bruce Springsteen, part stretched sketch in which teen wiener Johnny from Jersey wants to model himself on “The Boss” but sings and sounds more like Shirley Temple. Simons plays all the parts so Johnny’s journey from weak gleek […]

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Review: Sondheim by Sondheim (Roundhouse Studio)

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This is not the best week to put on an intimate Sondheim revue. Overshadowed by the glorious Sondheim Prom at the Albert Hall, by Maria Friedman’s all-Sondheim set at Cadogan Hall and the reputedly outstanding Into The Woods just beginning at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and you’re on a hiding to nothing. Throw in […]

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Review: Aspects Of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory)

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The trouble with Andrew Lloyd Webber… No, that’s too easy. The trouble with Apects of Love is that it’s a trite plot about characters too self-absorbed to care about, woven with the relentless thread of ALW’s musical recycling. All the new Trevor Nunn production at the Menier Chocolate Factory does is illuminate the weaving flaws. […]

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Review: Not By Bread Alone (Artsdepot)

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You may not know much of Finchley: La Thatcher’s old constituency perhaps you recall, a pimple on the forehead of London’s map-face just before it breaks out in to the bushy afforestation of, well, Bushey and the rest of leafy Hertfordshire. Be grateful though that someone has thought to fund its modern and enterprising ‘Artsdepot’ […]

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Review: Assassins (Union Theatre, London)

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U.S. Presidents get a raw deal from musicals … in Kaufman and Hart’s 1937 I’d Rather Be Right George M. Cohan starred as Franklin Roosevelt who despite his polio paralysis sings and dances – at least in Annie he remains confined to his wheelchair whilst the ginger moppet bawls a succession of shaky key-changes into […]

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Restaurant Review: Fig

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We could blame the Blumenthal zeitgeist, we could bemoan the jaded palates of Islington which demand the culinarily arcane be proffered in their domestic midst, but the main draw to ‘Fig’, a smallish shop-front gastro in otherwise mid-posh residential Barnsbury, is curiosity – chef Christoffer Hruskova has quickly snagged a reputation for alchemical cookery with […]

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