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: The Playboy Of The Western World (Old Vic)

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Have you heard the one about the Irishman who walks into a bar and says he’s killed his father with a potato spade? The landlord gives him a job and immediately leaves him alone with his daughter whilst he goes to a wake… It sounds like the set-up to a shaggy-dog joke rather than the […]

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Review: Noel and Gertie (The Cockpit Theatre, London)

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Noel and Gertie is a confection wherein the music, lyrics and play extracts of Noel Coward are used to illustrate the close friendship between the vastly talented author and his intermittent co-star but lifelong friend Gertrude Lawrence. In their stage heyday, they were as photographed, gossiped about and feted as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. […]

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Review: Carmen (Wilton’s Music Hall)

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At Londonist Towers, our fondness for Wilton’s – the last surviving ‘grand musical hall’ in the country – knows few bounds.  We love its raffish ‘beautiful state of disrepair’ auditorium, its varied repertoire and its super nice cheap bar. The shabby chic auditorium is so adaptable and for this week’s performances of Carmen it could […]

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Review: A Clockwork Orange (Stratford East)

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Not many of London’s ‘urban villages’ have been more mauled about than Stratford. A combination of attritive decay with a succession of ham-fisted local authority interventions begat a poundshop-dominated 70s shopping arcade on a windswept island choked by a red necklace of double-deckers. The construction of the Olympic site andWestfield complex is a further haymaker […]

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Westfield Stratford Opens To The Sound Of Smashing Glass

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Stratford E15 when first encountered by this Londonista in about 1985 already had a post-apocalyptic feel and Ralph McTell’s “have you seen the old man in the rundown market” echoed every footstep through piss-scented underpasses and past frightened shuttered shopfronts and the greasiest of spoons. Despite Newham’s ‘town centre plan’ and various regeneration initatives, it’s […]

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Review: Alzheimer’s The Musical : A Night to Remember (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

What did I go and see yesterday? Is this Glasgow? Are you my sister? Have I had my pills? Perhaps Alzheimer’s is setting in already because I know from the damp patch in my pants I laughed a lot yesterday afternoon, but can’t fully recall what at. Three Australian actresses portray elderly ladies in the […]

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Review: The Carroll Myth (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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There can scarcely be anyone whose childhood was untouched by Alice in Wonderland, the beloved and enduring Victorian creation of mathematician Charles Dodgson under his pen-name Lewis Carroll and modelled in part on the inquisitive mind of the daughter of his college Dean Henry Liddell. Academics and psycholgists have mined the text and contemporary diaries […]

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Review: Pretty Little Panic (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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The only reason I acceded to my headmaster’s arm-twisting to attempt the Cambridge entrance exam was that I might have stood a chance of getting into the Footlights. Over its many years, the Footlights have developed a well-earned as a crucible of original and brilliant comedic talent from Monty Python via Fry and Laurie to The Inbetweeners – and […]

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Review: Alzheimer’s the Musical: A Night to Remember!

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

What did I go and see yesterday? Is this Glasgow? Are you my sister? Have I had my pills? Perhaps Alzheimer’s is setting in already because I know from the damp patch in my pants I laughed a lot yesterday afternoon, but can’t fully recall what at. Three Australian actresses portray elderly ladies in the […]

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Review: Faulty Towers the Dining Experience

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It feels as though the restaurant for the Faulty Towers ‘interactive’ dining experience has shoehorned in more punters for the 2011 show, which makes seating the customers and serving the meal painfully slow. And a visit to the toilet requires either a diplomatic negotiation with the neighbours or a Gerard Depardieu moment. The trio of […]

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Review: Broadway Swings (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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Interviewed for Edinburgh-Festivals.com, former Fest director Paul Gudgin trails his big band show by identifying his favourite number as “a fantastic version of ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ fromSweet Charity“. That he didn’t appear to know it comes from Funny Girl seemed exemplary of the many cock-ups in this thrown-together one-night stand. The A4-photocopied “Razz […]

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Lady Boys of Bangkok: Fur Coats and French Knickers Tour (Meadows Theatre Big Top)

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The noble tradition of the transsexual ‘katoey’ features in Thai culture, art and literature and stretches back centuries. The parading of transexuals in a circus tent is an exploitative Western phenomenon in the ‘freak show’ tradition and stretches credulity that it persists in the 21st century. It seems almost inappropriate to include Lady Boys of […]

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Review: Flanders and Swann (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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Michael Flanders and Donald Swann were songwriters and cabaret artistes who debuted in the 1950s and attracted the same kind of polite following as Joyce Grenfell for whom they also wrote some material. As a sort of Kit and the Widow of the post-war parlour song, their pairing is almost perfect: Tim FitzHigham is a […]

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Review: Liberace: Live in Heaven (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

This is a clever construct: at the pearly gates, the “world’s highest paid entertainer” meets his inquisitors in St Peter (voiced by Stephen Fry) and God (Victoria Wood – “I made the world in six days and on the seventh I baked a fruit cake”) before an audience of angels decides his ultimate destination. Smartly […]

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Review: Hitler! The Musical (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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This is the show which might as easily have been titled Fringetime for Hitler: if only Max Biyalistock had thought to do it with an all-female cast. Apart from one guy who actually plays Hitler’s mum, it’s an all-girl band who deliver this ‘gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden’ and suggest his conquest […]

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Review: Hey, Piano Bar Lady! (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Linn Lorkin’s musical autobiography travels from her New Zealand farmstead via a stint at Ronnie Scott’s in London to the piano bars and walkup flatshares in New York’s SoHo. It’s spiced with gentle anecdotes and features several of her own jazz compositions. The anecdotes need tightening and whilst the lyrics are amusing, many of the […]

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Review: High Jinks with the Hamiltons (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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The fall from grace of former Tory MP Neil Hamilton in the ‘cash for questions’ affair is now such ancient history and eclipsed by so many greater political scandals that there must be an entire generation of audience who know him only as a foil to the ebulliently bossy stage persona of his wife, like […]

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Review: Blood Brothers (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Because the musical’s been a fixture in the West End for over 25 years, initially starring Barbara Dickson but subsequently sheltering any number of pop retirees including Spice Girl Mel C, most of the Nolan Sisters and X-Factor’s Niki Evans, it’s interesting to remember that Blood Brothers started life as a school play written by […]

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Review: Out of the Blue (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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Has appearance on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ gone to their heads? Have the self-styled ‘Kings of this genre’ lost their crown? Oxford University’s Out of the Blue have been an Edinburgh fixture since 2005 and their a capella stylings of everything from 80s synthpop to Lady Gaga a solid “must-see” demanding ever larger venues. There’s no […]

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Review: Fresher The Musical (Edinburgh Fringe 2011)

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It’s refreshing to see how Fresher’s Week hasn’t changed over the years. The insecurities over how to fit in, find your feet, seem cool and get laid could as easily have been set in the History Man era as today. Five students arrive in their allocated shared flat and through a series of drinking games […]

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