View Post

‘Often finds the sweet spot between the comedy & tragedy’: THE WALWORTH FARCE – Southwark Playhouse Elephant

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Writer John Mortimer once said “Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute”, a notion which Enda Walsh seems to have taken to heart in his 2006 play The Walworth Farce at the Southwark Playhouse Elephant, featuring, as it does, distinct elements of both to provide a fascinating hybrid.

View Post

‘Joe Absolom & Ben Onwukwe have a great partnership’: THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION – Touring ★★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by DebbieLeave a Comment

Based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, but probably better known from the 1994 film starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, the stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption (written by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns, directed by David Esbjornson) is currently touring the country. This production stars Ben Onwukwe as Red, and Joe Absolom as Andy Dufresne.

‘Joe Absolom & Ben Onwukwe have a great partnership’: THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION – Touring ★★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by DebbieLeave a Comment

Based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, but probably better known from the 1994 film starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, the stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption (written by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns, directed by David Esbjornson) is currently touring the country. This production stars Ben Onwukwe as Red, and Joe Absolom as Andy Dufresne.

View Post

‘This isn’t your typical murder mystery’: REBUS: A GAME CALLED MALICE – Hornchurch

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Debbie GilpinLeave a Comment

DI John Rebus has retired, but his mind is never far from the job – even when he’s been invited as a plus one to a swanky dinner party. Rebus: A Game Called Malice takes the detective off the streets of Edinburgh and into the realms of Agatha Christie’s famous sleuths; this new play (currently in a short run at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch) has been written by Ian Rankin and Simon Reade, and sees John Michie follow in the footsteps of John Hannah and Ken Stott as the titular character.

View Post

‘Nicely tragicomic’: Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons – Harold Pinter Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

“Words, words, words,” Eliza Doolittle was sick of them particularly as empty descriptions of the love she wanted a practical demonstration of. Sam Steiner’s play Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons at the Harold Pinter Theatre is first filled with too many of them and then not enough for Bernadette and Oliver, a couple who struggle to express their feelings for one another no matter how many or how few words they are permitted.

View Post

‘A great foundation to an unconventional story’: PROJECT ATOM BOI – Vault Festival

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by laurakresslyLeave a Comment

Project Atom Boi follows the story of Yuanzi (Xiaonan Wang), a doomer who, pressured by a self-indulgent Filmmaker (Francesca Marcolina), starts re-exploring the memories of her childhood in China. Yuanzi grew up in Factory 404, a Cold War ghost town in the Gansu province that was built in the fifties with the sole purpose of hosting a nuclear weapon. As Yuanzi travels back in time, we also meet her childhood best friend Erdan and her grandfather (both played by Kelvin Chan).

View Post

‘You’ll be mesmerised from beginning to end’: KURIOS – Royal Albert Hall ★★★★★

In Circus, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

The best advice I can give you for Cirque Du Soleil’s Kurios is, leave all sense of reality, understanding and logical explanation at the entrance of the Royal Albert Hall, for this visual spectacle defies and challenges all aspects of any logic or expectations you have, on every level.

View Post

‘Will ring more than a few bells’: Interdimensional Phishing Scam/Penumbra – Chronic Insanity (Online review)

In Immersive, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

It’s been an absolute age (well, about a year anyway) since I visited those innovative people at Chronic Insanity. They are well known for pushing boundaries of the possible in both live and digital situations. And that’s not to mention the sheer amount of work they produce; the aim is 12 pieces of drama every year.

View Post

‘Being right at the heart of what is happening’: Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience – Old Metal Exchange

In Immersive, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

The War Of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience from experts in the field Layered Reality takes H.G. Wells’ famous novel, adds a heavy layer of input from the famous 1978 concept album masterminded by Jeff Wayne and has its audiences (in groups of no more than a dozen) moving through 24 separate scenes in the remnants of an old Metal Exchange in the heart of London’s financial district.

View Post

‘Contains some remarkable writing’: HERE – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

When individual members of a family are facing a variety of problems, can looking back at their collective past help to resolve matters or does that simply serve to make things worse? This is the premise behind Here by debut playwright Clive Judd, the 2022 winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing currently in production on Southwark Playhouse’s main stage

View Post

‘Perfectly packaged Christmas show’: ELF THE MUSICAL – Dominion Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Olivia MitchellLeave a Comment

If you’re looking for some festive magic this year, look no further than the Dominion Theatre for a gloriously Christmassy, sparkly production of Elf The Musical. Based on the cult classic film, it tells the story of Buddy the Elf who finds out he’s really a human, so makes the journey from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father and experience the world. This musical adaptation has all the most iconic parts of the film plus a heap of theatrical magic that makes it the perfect festive treat.

View Post

‘It’s the performances that make this Christmas show shine’: PINOCCHIO – Unicorn Theatre

In Children's theatre, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

The use of fairytale, music and the goodie/baddie dichotomy remain in Pinocchio at the Unicorn Theatre, but the eggy, set gags and joke routines of panto are thankfully left out. Colourful, detailed design (by Jean Chan) and puppetry (by Chris Pirie) give the show a festive lushness, but it’s the performances that make this Christmas show shine.