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‘Gregory Doran doing what he does better than any of his generation’: RICHARD III – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon ★★★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Take this as purest Shakespearian tragedy: vigorous but classic, a magnificent magnification of the darkest human and political longing, of affection, terror, defensiveness, hubris and – in the women – a defiant courage that rings down the ages. Don’t miss Richard III at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon.

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‘The vigour of the staging, & fine performances, leave you exhilarated as well as sad’: DIARY OF A SOMEBODY – Seven Dials Playhouse ★★★

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The tiny Actors’ Centre is reborn under its new name, and since this play is set in what was a traditionally febrile, theatrical, subversively arty quarter in the 50s and 60s before it got chichi, it’s a good place to remember Joe Orton and his killing.

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‘You either leave this show vowing to devote your life to musical theatre or to never go near one again’: MARIA FRIEDMAN & FRIENDS – Menier Chocolate Factory

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

At the end of the evening the great diva, director and muse informs us that we too must sing. In a packed house, on the far side of a pandemic, which made us fear one another’s very breath, we join the posse of old-timers and ingenu(e)s.

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‘Ralph Fiennes gives it everything… He is irresistible’: STRAIGHT LINE CRAZY – Bridge Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

It is not often I resort to drawing in the notebook, but there it is: half an hour into the first part of David Hare’s play about the city planner Robert Moses, whose demonic energy built modern New York between the 1920s and the ’60s.

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‘A quirky, comic four-hander celebrating a 40-year partnership’: THE MARRIAGE OF ALICE B TOKLAS BY GERTRUDE STEIN – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

With typical wit, the doughty little Jermyn has captured an intellectual-farcical oddity from New York, complete with author-director and star. Tom Littler signed them up for 2020, with obvious results, but lured them back.