FringeReview UK

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FringeReview UK 2020

#AIWW The Arrest of Ai WeiWei

Brenton powerfully concertinas a continent’s politics and one artist’s refraction of it. Wong is outstanding


A Separate Peace

Stoppard looks at society’s phantom limb ethic. Even when it’s gone it aches, and it aches to have someone opting out.


A Streetcar Named Desire

A landmark production


Afterplay

Miraculously-attuned. A wafer-thin but absolutely genuine slice of Chekhov. Do see it.


Albion

Victoria Hamilton still dominates, but Albion’s a fine ensemble piece. Goold has given Albion the air it needs: an unsettling parable on forcing an identity of ourselves.


all of it

A miniature classic of snatched meaning. Catch it.


Amsterdam

Did I say sucker-punch? It’s what the Orange Tree do every time.


An Inspector Calls

Still an outstanding production we might take for granted.


Andrew Lloyd-Webber 50th Birthday Live from the Royal Albert Hall, 1998

The great discovery was the multi-roling Marcus Lovett, sexy and lethal, able to attack several roles and convince you he was born for them, even into them.


Antony and Cleopatra

Supremely worth it to see a pair so famous weighing equal in their own balance, perhaps for the first time.


Barber Shop Chronicles

Barber Shop Chronicles is a breath-taking revelation for those of us who had small inkling of a world in miniature.


Beyond Glory

A powerful telling of the personal accounts of eight recipients of the Medal of Honour.


By Jeeves!

A thoroughly enjoyable period-style musical.


Cats

Easily the finest production we’ll get


Cops

A first-rate distillation of cop drama, into the theatre of cop’s lives.


Coriolanus

A Coriolanus memorable for politics sinewed with personal forces: an active interrogation of democracy. And in Josie Rourke’s production Tom Hiddleston’s someone riven by intimations of his true self


Cyprus Avenue

Devastating drama about the DNA of bigotry played as surreal farce.


Cyrano de Bergerac

James McAvoy is peerless and his companions are Asterix-hot.


Death of England

This work never loses its charge, its own rapturous arrival Spall gives the performance of his career so far.


Drawing the Line

Terrific, a harrowing education.


Far Away

Our greatest playwright since Beckett and Pinter. An outstanding revival. Hesitating?


Frankenstein

The acting scales cliff-edges of unreason. One remembers the scale of betrayal and loss of redemption


Frankenstein (alternate version)

The acting scales cliff-edges of unreason. One remembers the scale of betrayal and loss of redemption. Benedict Cumberbatch here is Frankenstein, Jonny Lee Miller the Creature. The alternate version aired first is still available.


Hamlet

In Michelle Terry’s quicksilver, quick-quipping Hamlet, much has been proved, from interpretive to gender fluidity in tragic action, that sets a privilege on being in at a beginning.


Henry VI

The most effective condensation of the pith of the trilogy we’re likely to see.


I and You

Will leave you in a heap and wonder what else Lauren Gunderson has written that comes near this.


In Praise of Love

There’s no reason not to see this rare gem


Jane Eyre

You’ll never see a better adaptation of this classic


Jesus Christ, Superstar

A sovereign production, unlikely to be equalled for the foreseeable


Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

A salutary reminder of how a great musical talent and collaboration started


Krapp’s Last Tape/Eh Joe/The Old Tune

It’s Jermyn Street. If you can, see it.


Kunene and the King

A strain of greatness.


Lipstick

Performances and play that should turn us upside down. Do make a detour for this brave. tremulously beautiful coming of love.


Love Never Dies

One of the most fascinating dark-hued musicals Lloyd-Webber’s written


Nora

Stef Smith’s brilliant riff on Ibsen’s original is revelatory


Not Quite Jerusalem

An enduring little classic of Englishness on the turn, out of the ideal-exhausted Seventies and on the edge of darkness.


One Man, Two Guvnors

Outstanding. An immediate comic classic.


Phnom Penh – 40 Years On From The Khmer Rouge

An extraordinarily assured debut


Richard II

Do see this.


Romeo and Juliet

Completeness is just one reason to cherish this clean-driven clear-headed production


Scenes with girls

Scenes with girls owns a buzz, a life, a difference about loving that gives it a sliver of unique.


Shirley Valentine

A funny, touching story of a life almost lost


Shoe Lady

Katherine Parkinson inhabits that breaking through the office crust asphyxiating us


Signed, Sealed, Delivered

A unique take on the isolation foisted on all of us


Teenage Dick

Ambition treads on teenage dreams and their devastation.


The Cutting Edge

You hope, unfairly, for a sequel.


The Dog Walker

I want to know what life, not just Paul Minx will do with his characters afterwards. So will you.


The Good Dad (A Love Story)

Intricate, fiercely intelligent, this play packs far more force than some twice its length. Sarah Lawrie’s intensity is magnificent.


The Mikvah Project

Still a brave and beautiful play.


The Phantom of the Opera

The Albert Hall’s sovereign production, unlikely to be surpassed particularly with the special encore.


The Skin Game

Treat this as a wonderful premiere you’ve not had to stir for.


The Sound of Music

Phenomenal singing all round. A more than solid recommendation for that alone.


The Sugar Syndrome

A pitch-perfect revival. Even down to the dial-up screech.


The Taming of the Shrew

See it and you’ll never think of the Shrew without this groundbreaking stab at the dreams of men.


The Tin Drum

Nico Holonics’ blaze-through avatar is unlikely to be surpassed.


The Two Noble Kinsmen

We’re looking at a bright Book of Hours. Barrie Rutter’s done it profound service, adding a warmth and agency that opens up this pageant. This is hopefully just the first of many such he’ll bring to the Globe.


The Visit

Kushner’s just brought The Visit home with him.


The Welkin

Already a contender for one of the best plays of 2020.


The Winter’s Tale

Enjoy its slow burn miracles.


The Winter’s Tale

Far more than a curate’s egg, this production reveals things we’ve never seen


This House

Vibrant proof as to why it’s been called the play of the decade


Tiger Country

Tells us more truthfully then any play has, the heroism that hardens, the sacrifice that endures.


Treasure Island

First-rate theatre. In Joshua James’ Ben Gunn and above all Pasy Ferran’s Jim, we see stars rising quicker than Arthur Darvill’s superb Silver can point them out.


Twelfth Night

Tamsin Greig’s extremes as Malvolia mark the first intimations of the terrible and define this production. The ground’s shifted.


Wild

Theatrically the most thrilling end to any Bartlett play


Women Beware Women

A stylish, timely production which redefines how we experience Middleton.


Wonderland

Outstanding. Surely the definitive study of the dignity of physical labour, and breaking of its amity.


You Stupid Darkness!

Bleakly funny, with flickers of tragedy, to make you see how redemptive kindness is