GYPSY – West End

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Is there any odder opening line to a big musical number than “Have an egg-roll, Mr Goldstone”? Is there any dryer account of the emotional tangle of mothers and daughters, showbiz and ambition than this Laurents / Styne / Sondheim show? Will Jonathan Church’s Chichester never give over turning out productions so fabulous that they transfer and bring London to its feet? Is three standing ovations even enough? And is there any actress more heroically accomplished, more vividly alive, more formidable in song , speech and silence, more superhuman yet more likeable than Imelda Staunton?

THE TWITS Royal Court SW1

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GUEST REVIEWER LUKE JONES TAKES HIS INNER CHILD FOR A HAPPY SPIN… As Mrs.Twit wisely points out – children are horrible. Too many “family shows” forget that. Instead of sweetness, children want darkness. They’ll allow a happy ending but they … Continue reading →

RADIANT VERMIN, Soho Theatre W1

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GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI IS CHARMED TWICE OVER Miss Dee arrives. She’s from the newly-created DSRCDH: “Department for Social Regeneration through the Creation of Dream Homes.” She makes Ollie and Jill an offer which is surely too good to be … Continue reading →

MY NIGHT WITH REG Apollo, WC1

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REMEMBERING REG…A REVIEW WORTH A  REMIX     Thought I should see how it feels in a bigger theatre, after writing at the Donmar that Kevin Elyot’s 1994 play is “pretty much perfect: a twist on the traditional drawing-room, single-set … Continue reading →

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN – King’s Cross Theatre

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Tears are strange. They can fill the eye when witnessing not horror or sadness, but a sudden kindness. It is a kind of happy sorrow: maybe a recognition of our own desolate inner yearning for a kind word. However it is, Mike Kenny’s marvellous adaptation of E.Nesbit’s book brings it on more than once. And since steam-engines themselves nearly always make me gulp – so noble, so shining, so faithful, so lovingly tended – the real one in the show pretty well wiped me out. Twice.