Chichester Festival Theatre’s premiere of Andrea Levy’s moving saga, The Long Song, doesn’t hit a wrong note both as a telling reminder of this country’s involvement in the slave trade and timely contribution to Black History Month.
‘Shocking, foul-mouthed, ferociously brutal & brilliantly played’: SING YER HEART OUT FOR THE LADS – Chichester ★★★★★
Roy Williams’ incendiary 2002 play, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, which attacks grass roots racism with all the finesse of a vintage Vinnie Jones tackle, is back and spewing vitriol in Chichester Festival Theatre’s pop-up space, The Spiegeltent.
‘Out of step & time’: BIG THE MUSICAL – West End
Big, the film, holds a special place in everyone’s hearts but this musical version is out of step and time.
‘Well-plotted & tense political noir’: THE STRANGE CASE OF JEKYLL & HYDE – Brockley Jack Studio Theatre & Touring ★★★★★
Ross McGregor, artistic director and powerhouse behind Arrows & Traps Theatre Company, has captured the zeitgeist with his modern, political adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Jekyll & Hyde.
‘It’s very easy to see all sorts of contemporary parallels’: Director Paul Miller on Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Macbeth, led by John Simm and Dervla Kirwan as the corrupted couple, marks a homecoming for director Paul Miller.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Appropriate, The Doctor, Cabaret & more
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Appropriate, The Doctor, Cabaret & more.
‘Deeply unsettling’: THE WEATHERMAN – Park Theatre ★★★
The Weatherman, Eugene O’Hare’s full-length debut play opens with brief sunny spells but it’s clear that the forecast is for a stormy and changeable production.
‘An enthralling glimpse into America’s tawdry past’: 8 HOTELS – Chichester
There are probably not many people left alive who remember the controversial coast to coast US tour of Othello from 1944. It was remarkable for two reasons. Singer and political firebrand, Paul ‘Ol’ Man River’ Robeson was playing the lead and, as a black man, he was sharing the stage with a white, Desdemona.
How the Mates Rate: The Night Of The Iguana at the Noel Coward Theatre
Clive Owen has returned to the West End for the first time in 18 years to play the Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon in Tennessee Williams’ The Night Of The Iguana in a new production directed by James Macdonald. So what did the Mates think of this production?
‘A lot going for it if you’re in the loop’: THE ACTOR’S NIGHTMARE – Park Theatre ★★★
While it would probably go down well at, say the Edinburgh Fringe, The Actor’s Nightmare’s maverick style and piecemeal production, not to mention a reliance on a clued-up audience, makes it a bit rough and ready for the London mainstream stage.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on The Night of the Iguana, Shit-Faced Shakespeare, The Falcon’s Malteser & more
A large percentage of the theatre community may be heading up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the next week or so but our editor Lisa Martland’s Top Picks from the last week’s productions in the West End, London Fringe or beyond prove there’s plenty of diverse work to enjoy elsewhere.
‘Worth the price of a ticket simply to watch Lia Williams’: THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA – West End ★★★
The Night of the Iguana takes three hours to tell a fairly simple story which could be done in 30 minutes, but it is worth the price of a ticket simply to watch Lia Williams deliver an outstanding performance as one of Tennessee Williams’ great, but unsung, female characters.
‘Electrifying revival’: EQUUS – Trafalgar Studios
Peter Shaffer’s shocking, disturbing and provocative thriller Equus has galloped back into the West End this week with an electrifying revival from Ned Bennett.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Joseph, Jesus, Kylie Jenner, Peter Gynt & more
It’s all in a name this week as our editor Lisa Martland picks out her Top Picks from the last week’s theatre in the West End, London Fringe or beyond.
‘Lacks emotional power’: CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN – Harold Pinter Theatre
The stage adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis De Bernières’ award-winning book about love in the war-torn Island of Cephalonia, has come to London’s West End after a successful regional tour.
‘Timely & riveting adaptation’: MEASURE FOR MEASURE – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon ★★★★
Gregory Doran’s timely and riveting adaptation of Measure for Measure is filled with laugh-out-loud humour, but there is also a bleaker side to it that makes it very much a play for today.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Adrian Mole, Noises Off, The End of History & more
Carrying on a new series, our editor Lisa Martland has picked out her Top Picks including three musicals: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical at the Ambassadors Theatre (Libby Purves), Fiver at Southwark Playhouse (Emma Clarendon) and The Color Purple at Curve Leicester (No Billington).
‘Has stood the test of time with remarkable ease’: NOISES OFF – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★★
The ‘technical difficulties’ that unexpectedly halted the opening night of Noises Off at the Lyric Hammersmith brought the house down. They couldn’t have been funnier than if they’d been planned.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Bitter Wheat, Present Laughter, On Your Feet & more
Carrying on a new series, our editor Lisa Martland has picked out her Top Picks from the last week including Anne Cox’s thoughts on Present Laughter, while Aleks Sierz reports from Bitter Wheat.
‘A revitalised & hysterically funny comedy’: PRESENT LAUGHTER – The Old Vic ★★★★
Noël Coward would have thoroughly approved of Andrew Scott’s gloriously outrageous turn as ageing matinée idol, Garry Essendine, in The Old Vic’s reinvention of Present Laughter.