Recently crowned winners of the Best Musical Production at the Off West End Awards, SpitLip is set to move their hit show Operation Mincemeat to the West End for a limited run this spring; they take over at the Fortune Theatre, following The Woman In Black‘s haunting 33-year run.
‘Captivated from beginning to end’: AFTER THE ACT: A SECTION 28 MUSICAL – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★
After The Act, produced by Breach and commissioned by New Diorama, dares to go where not many shows do these days. Billed as a “documentary musical” and based around the controversial Section 28 law that was passed in 1988 under Thatcher’s Conservative government, we hear the voices of real people who lived their lives during this time, seeing the effects and impact this law had on the country’s people and society.
‘Live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar’: Alun Hood celebrates his Top 20 new theatre shows of 2022
As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar, although the impending cost of living crisis is inevitably, and understandably, causing anxiety in theatrical circles. Please do get out there, if you can, and support your local venue in 2023.
‘Fizzes with energy from the moment the lights go down’: PASSION FRUIT – New Diorama Theatre
We watch Romeo’s journey from the age of five (with his mum painting his nails) to eighteen, always knowing he was gay but dealing with the expectations of his peers as a young black man.
‘Moments of beauty & a lot of unanswered questions’: THE WINSTON MACHINE – New Diorama Theatre
Advertised as “an epic, intimate, family saga’, this new show from theatre company Kandinsky is certainly innovative in its approach.
Devised by its three performers (Nathaniel Christian, Rachel-Leah Hosker, and Hamish Macdougall), and directed by J…
‘The simplicity of Rackza’s writing is masterful’: ANTIGONE – New Diorama Theatre
Holy What’s version of Antigone is about the two teenage girls at the heart of the play, Antigone herself (Annabel Baldwin) and her sister Ismene (Rachel Hosker).
‘Hilarious & unexpectedly relevant tale’: JOAN OF LEEDS – New Diorama Theatre ★★★
Joan of Leeds is a hilarious and unexpectedly relevant tale of Joan, a 14th century Nun, who fakes her own death in order to escape her convent and break her vow of abstinence to start life anew.
‘Plenty of panache & satirical social commentary’: OPERATION MINCEMEAT – New Diorama Theatre
The true story of a British intelligence operation is told with plenty of panache and satirical social commentary (and heaps of high camp) in smashing new show Operation Mincemeat.
‘Lively but chaotic affair’: DINOMANIA – New Diorama Theatre ★★★
Overall, Kandinsky showcases a fascinating story delivered with great imagination in Dinomania, but it feels too rushed and needs further development to cover the story and Mantell’s discovery in more detail to make more of an impact.
‘Great fast-paced play that shines a light on some little-known history’: DINOMANIA – New Diorama Theatre
Dinomania at the New Diorama Theatre is a compelling, musical story of a man willing to lose everything in the fight for scientific progress.
‘A perfect play for our troubled times’: WAR OF THE WORLDS – New Diorama Theatre
Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast of The War of Worlds caused widespread panic with its reports of an alien invasion in New Jersey. Or did it? Did the newspapers exaggerate the reaction to sell papers, the way websites now use clickbait for hits?
‘As refreshing as it is timely’: WAR OF THE WORLDS – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★
Written by Isley Lynn and devised by Rhum & Clay, War Of The Worlds uses the original broadcast as jumping off point to ask certain questions – particularly in relation to the veracity of news and the ethics of journalism.
‘Engaging, entertaining & brilliant’: THE WAR OF THE WORLDS – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★★
It’s a dangerous world out there but this engaging, entertaining and brilliant War of the Worlds couldn’t come at a better time as a reminder to practise caution and scepticism before buying into any hyped up scenario.
‘Some of the best of this year show anger, fear, uncertainty’: Top Ten productions of 2018
Growing global discontent has been the hallmark of 2018, and 2019 is looking even worse. The last few years have marked a rise of the far-right, but theatremakers in opposition are letting audiences know it from the stage. Some of the best shows of this year show anger, fear, uncertainty or simply let the world know that enough is enough – it’s time for a fairer, more peaceful society that pays homage to all of its people.
‘Something special’: LEFT MY DESK – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★★
Lost Watch Productions has always been entertaining and had their finger on the pulse of today’s burning issues, but Left My Desk is something special.
‘Excellent writing & grounded performances’: LEFT MY DESK – New Diorama Theatre
Excellent writing and grounded performances give this necessary piece a vibrancy that elevates and exposes the chaos resulting from Tory disdain for anyone but the rich and powerful.
‘Straddles the political & the personal’: SECRET LIFE OF HUMAN – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★★
Unencumbered by ambition or expertise, Secret Life Of Humans – which is written and co-directed by David Byrne – straddles the political and the personal. It’s inspired by the true story of Jacob ‘Bruno’ Bronowski, mathematician and broadcaster – and enigma.
‘Sharp, clever & destabilising’: A GIRL IN SCHOOL UNIFORM (WALKS INTO A BAR – New Diorama Theatre
A Girl in School Uniform (Walks Into a Bar) at the New Diorama Theatre may appear like a simple, dystopian thriller on the surface, but the commentary about life as a woman, and how people cope with stress and fear, has much more power.
‘The reality of living with disease with no hope in sight’: STILL ILL – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★
Theatre company Kandinsky has created a play in Still Ill that not only shows what it’s like to experience a neurological disorder, but also the rigmarole one faces when trying to get answers.
‘Bittersweet’: THIRTY CHRISTMASES – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★
Directed by Alice Hamilton, Thirty Christmases brings the external peculiarities of the holiday season to the fore, plus the bittersweet nature of spending time with family at the close of the year.
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