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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Torch Song

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I’m having a Ken Barlow moment. In the longest running soap opera, he has dusted down from the attic his youthful novel, compared it briefly to the writers he currently admires, and torched it. I have nothing to torch but my memories, as Oscar almost certainly wouldn’t have said, but as I sit on the […]

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Review: The Female of the Species

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Roll up! Roll up! Hear a Dame of the British Empire say “fuck” repeatedly (and it’s not Judi Dench for once)! Appreciate how Colin Farrell could find 74-year old Eileen Atkins shaggable!! Laugh at the spoof of Germaine Greer !!! Despite having portrayed the dourest and sourest spinsters in a stream of poke bonnet-dramas from Gosford […]

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The Hotel Inspector

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

On a whim, I’ve been for a weekend on the Suffolk coast at a property owned by Ruth Watson, the somewhat painted-and-decorated star of Channel 5’s “The Hotel Inspector”. For the uninitiated, this is a programme in which she dispenses caustic advice and a general browbeating to the faltering proprietors of lesser establishments with decor, […]

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Restaurant Review: Verre (The Hilton, Dubai)

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I’ve been to Dubai on business and ate one night at “Verre”, the Gordon Ramsay branded a la carte joint in the Hilton and I have to say it was one of the most irritating and boring evenings I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Firstly, it’s uncomfortable – the tables are too close together and […]

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Review: La Cage Aux Folles (Menier Chocolate Factory)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Curtain almost up!!! Light some of the lights!!! Technical difficulties caused some hilarity at La Cage aux Folles, relocated temporarily to the suitably French-sounding Menier Chocolate Factory, on the Rive Gauche beside the Pont de Londres … but somehow the joie de vivre and ooh-la-la were left at the bottom of the costume skip which […]

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Review: Into The Woods (Linbury Studio)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

It’s 21 years since I saw Into The Woods break new ground by bringing English pantomime to Broadway and twisting its neck, and this is the first production since that comes close. Director Will Tuckett has lost none of the values in paring the show down to its bones for Covent Garden’s elegant but compact […]

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Road to Damascus

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Coming soon … story of my trip to Syria It’s certainly not the Axis of Evil as defined by the Bush/Blair propaganda machine. Mind you, it’s not the Axis of Clean Toilets either ;-))

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Review: The Drowsy Chaperone

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I couldn’t go with my gang of friends to The Drowsy Chaperone on the Whatsonstage.com outing last week, so had to catch up yesterday. Everyone I know who saw it on Broadway raved about it, and the London crew were no less enthusiastic. Well, on Thursday either it had an off night, or I did. […]

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Mag Hag

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

COMING SOON: My experience with Dame Maggie Smith at Lady from Dubuque
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Review: Phantom of the Opera

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I went to Phantom of the Opera on Monday. I’d never seen it before. Has this thing really been running for 21 years? Why? Unlike many Phantom audience members who plan and save and look forward to their visits like a state occasion, I was still mooching around the new Primark in Oxford Street at […]

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The Good Juice

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I am a man of little ambition. I wrote that to see if it looked any more true on the screen than it did in my head. Any plateau of achievement to which I ever ascended was done not with the crampons and pick of study and struggle but if not exactly in a taxi, […]

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Monopoly Money

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I’m standing outside B&Q in the Old Kent Road where two school-age chav truants are trying to light a spliff, a dishevelled amputee is waving his arm stump in my face and a black crack whore is begging for small change. The crack whore is wholly unsuccessful in her mission, the sizeable clump of South […]

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Desperate Housewife

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I’m not happy about my cleaning lady. That sounds SO Bree van de Kamp that I have to apologise and explain. I’m not complaining about her work, Rahat is an exemplary cleaner. She’s neat and pleasant, turns up on time, doesn’t take phone or toilet breaks during the three hours that she’s busy, and apart […]

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Tour-ettes Syndrome

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I’m doing some work with a film company who are making a pilot for a new TV travel show and as part of the research I’ve been to a couple of “tourist attractions” like the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the Imperial War Museum in London. It’s caused me to reflect on the nature of […]

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Murky Waters

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

I know you think this blog just twitters about musical theatre and my Manchester childhood, but I do think about other things too, and one topic which is currently filling my horizon is the Iran sailor/hostage situation which has blown up like a Channel squall, and seemingly subsided as quickly. Although I love a good […]

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Star Turns Part Two: The Sound of Music

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Fast forward to Friday. During the afternoon, I had an appointment at the London Palladium to negotiate its hire for the London Gay Men’s Chorus Christmas show and it was more than exciting to be on that stage, especially as it was maintenance day for Sound of Music and the mountain was rotating on its […]

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Star Turns Part One: Equus (Daniel Radcliffe, Richard Griffiths)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

It’s been quite a week in the West End. On Tuesday, my best-mate James, who works for Cameron Mackintosh the theatre mogul, phoned to say he had a spare ticket for the first night of Equus starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the majestic Richard Griffiths who, it only occurred to me much later, had played his […]

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Melancholy Baby

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

My late friend John Forde says my blog is ‘tinged with melancholy’. I’m not tingeing deliberately, although it does seem to be developing into a piecemeal autobiography of memories triggered by incidents from today. I flatter myself that’s Proustian rather than requiring urgent prescription medication, but it tempts me to ask, preferably with a blinking […]

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Phone Saga

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

After months of dithering and overpaying the wretched T-mobile people, I finally took the plunge into a new cellphone contract. Tons of minutes and a thousand texts for half what I used to pay. And I went everywhere on and off-line to check it was the best deal, including some spivvy mauve-shirted lads in Phones4U […]

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