Jordan Hall’s multi-award-winning Canadian comedy, in a smart staging by Proud Haddock artistic director Jimmy Walters, is so engaging you don’t really need a glass of overpriced wine to enhance your experience.
Disparaging somebody else’s passion project is a bit like telling a doting parent that their baby is ugly. This stage tribute to Art Nouveau darling Ida Rubinstein is one such endeavour.
A musical that riffs on Shakespeare while plundering the back catalogue of one of the most successful and prolific songwriters in pop history (Max Martin, who is only not a household name because he prefers the spotlight to be on the interpreters of his work: Backstreet Boys, Britney, Celine, Katy Perry, even Pink and Bon Jovi….you’ll have heard of them) was always destined to be either a car crash or a triumph.
One of the Urban Dictionary definitions of “nasty” is a word to describe something that is ridiculously good. Between that and the more traditional meaning of the word, I have no hesitation in proclaiming that Aleshea Harris’s literal firecracker of a play is one of the nastiest shows in town. Acclaimed and awarded upon it’s 2018 Off-Broadway premiere, it’s not hard to see why, especially in Ola Ince’s boldly inventive, fabulously cast new production for the Royal Court. It’s astounding.
Written and premiered in the early 1940s while WW2 raged on and the prospect of losing a precious loved one at short notice felt like a very real possibility, Noël Coward’s ghostly comedy is, perhaps not surprisingly, the first of ‘The Master’s plays to be seen in the West End post-pandemic.
Jonathan O’Boyle’s inspired actor-musician take on Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle-cum-musical felt like an eye-opening reinvention.
First presented at the Royal Court in 1976 and last seen in London in a starry 2008 revival directed by the author, Peter Gill’s knotty, elegiac text is a dense, tense jumble of memory play, kitchen sink drama, poetry and gay love story. Dipping back and forth in time between the mid 1950s and the mid 1970s in working class Cardiff, it still packs a powerful punch as it raises questions of where do you come from versus where you are now, and what it emotionally cost you to get there.
Highly recommended, but I wouldn’t bank on getting a good nights sleep afterwards. Evil in plain sight is a real chiller, and that’s exactly what Wohl is serving up here. Disconcerting, essential stuff.
Educational and richly entertaining, NW Trilogy emerges, in Taio Lawson and Susie McKenna’s vibrant production as a sparky, moving valentine to what is traditionally one of the capital’s most diverse neighbourhoods.
This may be a sweeping statement, but if you’re not profoundly affected by Indecent, Paula Vogel’s provocatively titled powder keg of a play, as staged here in Rebecca Taichman’s Tony Award-winning production, then can you really call yourself a theatrelover?
Andrew Lloyd Webber may have composed better scores than his new Cinderella, but he has certainly never created anything camper, and no, I haven’t forgotten Sunset Boulevard. This collaboration with Oscar winning book writer Emerald Fennell and lyricist David Zippel (City of Angels, ALW’s own The Woman In White) actually feels like something of a return to form, not because it’s much like anything else in the Lord’s canon thus far, but more because, after well over two decades, a new musical by this country’s most successful theatrical composer actually feels, once again, like a major West End event. School Of Rock doesn’t count as it was already a solid Broadway hit by the time it opened at the same Gillian Lynne Theatre that Cinderella is now gaudily occupying.