View Post

‘Utterly joyous & joyful’: SOUTH PACIFIC – Chichester Festival Theatre

In Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

While it is sadly premature to say that the theatre is fully back from its enforced hibernation of the last 15 months that put paid entirely to last summer’s Chichester Festival Theatre season, it was a (socially distanced) delight to welcome back of my favourite regional theatres with the opening, at last, of its production of South Pacific originally planned for last year.

View Post

‘Teenage angst in the bathroom… & classroom’: BE MORE CHILL – Shaftesbury Theatre / HEATHERS – Theatre Royal Haymarket

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

There comes a point in every lifelong theatre lover’s career when you suddenly wake up and wonder: am I simply too old for this? Ben Brantley, former chief critic of the New York Times, hit this particular critical nail on the head when he ended his review of the 2018 Off-Broadway summer run of the cult musical Be More Chill (before it was propelled to Broadway in turn) by advising: “It may be helpful to think of this bounding, exhaustingly enthusiastic puppy of a show as the theatrical equivalent of one of those high-pitched dog whistles that only those under 25 can hear.”

View Post

‘Thrilling theatrical experience’: CONSTELLATIONS – Vaudeville Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Nick Payne’s infinitely fascinating and multi-faceted 2012 play about the endless possibilities of life (and facing death) is perfectly expressed in a revival of director Michael Longhurst’s original production that has now been cast in four different age, race and gender combinations that itself yields multiple meanings.

View Post

So another delay to the ‘cautious, irreversible’ roadmap out of lockdown: It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In what is becoming a wearyingly predictable cycle, Boris Johnson’s latest failure to act fast enough to lockdown the country from the arrival of what is now known as the Delta variant of Covid, which originated in India, has resulted in it becoming the dominant strain of the virus in Britain — with the added problem that it is much more easily transmissible than previous strains.

View Post

Andrew Lloyd Webber is ready for battle over the June reopening but what about the nation’s health?

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In a front page scoop in today’s Daily Telegraph, the paper lines up three heavy-hitting bylines — chief reporter Robert Mendick, political editor Ben Riley-Smith and theatre critic Dominic Cavendish — to reveal an exclusive with Andrew Lloyd Webber. The headline reads: ‘You’ll have to arrest us to stop reopening’.