Review: The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre, London)

Following their successful production of Medea back in 2014 Carrie Cracknell and Helen McCrory have returned to the National with a new production of The Deep Blue Sea. This time around in the Lyttleton, this is another play that focuses on the desperation of a woman being preyed on by internal forces. But can this…

Review: Show Boat (New London Theatre, London)

I put this one off for a while. Starting its life in Sheffield at the Crucible, it was a surprise transfer to London after garnering such impressive reviews. With more or less the whole cast moving with it, it was originally intended to run until the start of 2017. Following early closing notices, I decided…

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre, London)

Did anyone actually expect Harry Potter on stage to be half decent? Yes, 12 months ago we all queued for hours in the hope of bagging some tickets as early in the run as possible. Yes, it comes off the back of a hugely successful series of books and (arguably) iconic movies. But, wizards and magic…

Review: The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre, London)

Let me be completely blunt about one thing: 95% of the people watching The Bodyguard on any given night are there to see one thing and one thing only, and that’s somebody belting out Whitney Houston songs. So it really doesn’t matter how good the story may or may not be, or how well acted it…

Review: Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre, London)

Aladdin had a rocky start. First, it gave things a go in Seattle with a limited run that had distinctly average reviews. Then came a pre-Broadway try-out in Toronto with the same cast that was marginally better but still failed to wow critics. And by the time it reached the Great White Way (still with the…

Review: Funny Girl (Savoy Theatre, London)

Starting at Menier Chocolate Factory, this transfer follows a string of high profile revivals at the Savoy Theatre. Funny Girl, starring woman of the moment Sheridan Smith, charts the rise of wannabe actress Fanny Brice and her relationship smooth talker and gambler Nick Arnstein. Direction by Michael Mayer – On the whole there’s some fine direction by…

Review: Sunset Boulevard (London Coliseum, London)

Sunset Boulevard is being dubbed as the ‘Theatrical Event of the Year’ after returning to the West End for the first time since it’s original run at the Adelphi Theatre back in 1993. Telling the story of ageing actress Norma Desmond, it explores her relationship with failing writing Joe Gillis, and her eventual demise. In this new production,…

Review: Cleansed (National Theatre, London)

What’s it all about? Your guess is as good as mine, and I’ve actually seen it. Essentially over the course of an hour and a half we watch a man named Tinker slowly torture a group of strangers who are all confined in an asylum-like environment. A gay couple, Carl and Rod: one who won’t admit…

Review: War Horse (New London Theatre, London)

What’s it all about? One man and his dog is so last century; now, it’s all about one man and his horse. This is the story of Albert, a young farm boy, who befriends a horse named Joey after his father has a moment of compulsive shopping disorder down the market and buys a horse…

Review: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre, London)

What’s it all about? Despite the name of the play this isn’t so much about the 1927 song Black Bottom but more about the events surrounding the recording of it. Taking place within the recording studio, it focuses on Ma Rainey’s band, their relationships with one another, and the power struggle between Ma Rainey and studio…

5 Broadway musicals the West End needs

I’ve been thinking about the current state of the West End, and while I don’t like to compare London theatre to Broadway, we really do seem to be lacking in the musical department. (Arguably, we are far stronger when it comes to plays but, like I say, this isn’t about comparisons…) We still have a…

Review: Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre, London)

What’s it all about? This is a musical of epic proportions. Not satisfied with covering a single event within history, it spans nearly 20 years in the run up to unrest within France in the 19th century. Jean Valjean is a man imprisoned for 19 years for pinching a loaf of bread. Upon release he…