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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Sports Day

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Friday After a night of glorious thunderstorms I wake too late and have to combine my 6am and 8am medications with breakfast in order to make an 8.30 start on the treatments. It’s the same rituals as yesterday but fortunately the acupuncture’s at the end instead of the beginning and I’m fairly relaxed when it […]

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Review: King Lear (Richmond Theatre)

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Michael Grandage’s production of Lear has had so many accolades from its run at the Donmar it’s unnecessary to chronicle them here. What is important is to say that if you want to see it you need to scoot to the Richmond Theatre before it disappears off to Cornwall and Brooklyn. It’s not Shakespeare’s most […]

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Review: Under Milk Wood (Pentameters Theatre, London)

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In the week they buried Elizabeth Taylor it seems appropriate to revisit Under Milk Wood, in which she appeared briefly as Rosie Probert at the height of her partnership with Richard Burton in the 1971 Technicolor version. Even though playing a bit-part, Taylor was famously difficult, refusing to travel to Fishguard where the movie was […]

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Review: Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Gielgud Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Sacre Bleu, Zut Alors, Quelle Horreur, and as for the choreography: Fosse septique … pick your own Francophone diatribes, this is vachement awful. It’s a shame, because the hand on the Kneehigh Theatre tiller is Emma Rice who helmed their extraordinarily inventive Brief Encounter, but to continue the boating metaphors it’s no coincidence that Cherbourg […]

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Review: Life Of Riley (Richmond Theatre)

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A brand new Alan Ayckbourn comedy, his 74th, celebrating he’s now twice a prolific as Shakespeare, comes as close to London as its six month tour permits (Richmondthis week, Windsor next) and seems to ask ‘am I ready for the West End?’ It has some familiar ingredients: three differently disappointed wives, three feckless or inert […]

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Review: The Reluctant Debutante (Richmond Theatre)

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A social-climbing middle-class Home Counties couple launch their pretty but awkward daughter on the London marriage market and eventually steer her towards the ‘right’ public schoolboy with a title to inherit … … but enough about the Middletons. In The Reluctant Debutante, it’s 1957 and the pushy mother is Jane Asher in a series of […]

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Review: Buried Child (Unedited Version)

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Although set in the remote boondocks of Northern Illinois, on a near-derelict farm, we are not in any new territory with Sam Shephard’s ‘Buried Child’. The possibility that an outwardly-naturalistic family shelters a dark secret which through the arrival of a stranger is revealed to devastating effect over three drawn-out acts is a theatrical motif […]

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Review: Buried Child (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Although set in the remote boondocks of Northern Illinois, on a near-derelict farm, we are not in any new territory with Sam Shephard’s ‘Buried Child’. The possibility that an outwardly-naturalistic family shelters a dark secret which through the arrival of a stranger is revealed to devastating effect over three drawn-out acts is a theatrical motif […]

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Preview: Aida (Royal Opera House)

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Tuesday morning 11am and Londonist is royally chuffed to be invited to put its feet up in the Director’s box at Covent Garden for dress rehearsal of the David McVicar Aida which opens on Friday.  Apart from the close-up view of the singers’ facial expressions and a position right over the pit where we can […]

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Review: Corrie! (Churchill Theatre, Bromley)

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We’re like that, in Lancashire. We build you up and then we knock you down … just so’s you don’t forget where you come from and get a bit above yerself down in that there Lundun. The script of Corrie! Is by much-garlanded author Jonathan Harvey, not only a long-time stalwart of the show’s writing […]

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Review: Blithe Spirit (Richmond Theatre)

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There’s a whiff of mothballs at Richmond, and it’s not all coming from the audience in this starry but stolid revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit … A glossy 2009 Broadway production showcased Angela Lansbury in cracking and crackpot form as clairvoyant Madam Arcati and Rupert Everett in a role he was born to play, […]

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Review: Blithe Spirit (Richmond Theatre)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

There’s a whiff of mothballs at Richmond, and it’s not all coming from the audience in this starry but stolid revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit … A glossy 2009 Broadway production showcased Angela Lansbury in cracking and crackpot form as clairvoyant Madam Arcati and Rupert Everett in a role he was born to play, […]

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Review: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse)

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We expect a lot from our Donmar. Under Michael Grandage’s stewardship we’ve had star turns from the Jude Law Hamlet to the Derek Jacobi Lear (currently playing Llandudno which shows true dedication), fresh as paint translations of The Wild Duck, Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Phaedra, envelope-pushing exports such as Red, Piaf and Creditors and […]

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Review: Snake in the Grass (The Print Room, London)

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In 1985, Susan Wooldridge made her name as Daphne Manners in ‘The Jewel In the Crown’ by having a nasty shock in an overgrown garden. You turn your back for 25 years and she’s at it again this time in a tense and twisting three-hander by Alan Ayckbourn which combines his well-documented empathy with the […]

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Review: Snake in the Grass (The Print Room)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

In 1985, Susan Wooldridge (centre) made her name as Daphne Manners in ‘The Jewel In the Crown’ by having a nasty shock in an overgrown garden. You turn your back for 25 years and she’s at it again this time in a tense and twisting three-hander by Alan Ayckbourn which — in his 61st script […]

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Review: Parsifal (The ENO at The London Coliseum)

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As a first-timer at a Wagner opera (is this ‘losing my Waginity?) I wondered what was the thread that binds his audiences in such strong defence of his work, and whether I’d feel any different afterwards. The first thing to note is how expert this particular Coliseum audience was at going to the theatre. Sociable […]

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Review: The Last Five Years (The Tabard)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

It’s been a bit of a week for song cycles – Company at Southwark Playhouse has great tunes but doesn’t really lift the ‘book’ off the page, and The Last Five Years doesn’t even have one. American composer Jason Robert Brown penned fourteen songs for a pair of actors: she sings the cycle going backwards […]

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Review: Girl Talk, I Am Woman (The Pheasantry)

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Liza Minnelli may have taught us that Life is a Cabaret old chum but for many mature women it comes with a whiff of vodka and regret.  When brandished at men like a blunt weapon this can cause politicians to question whether feminism is still relevant, but when set to music it can be transformational. […]

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Review: Troy Boy (Upstairs At The Gatehouse)

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It’s an epidemic, from Kings’ Head to Cock Tavern Norf London rub-a-dubs are lining up to serve Puccini with the pork scratchings, but The Gatehouse’s ‘Troy Boy’ breaks new ground with a less familiar piece. How quickly the fashion fades and it’s no longer enough to encourage sopranos to behave like Essex girls or ask […]

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Review: Troy Boy (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London)

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Opera may not be the new rock and roll but a phalanx of brave companies with funky modern productions in a series of fringe theatres and pubs may soon ensure that no North London landlord will be able to hold his head up at the Licensed Victuallers Association without boasting of some Puccini served up with the pork scratchings. […]

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