FringeReview UK 2022
The Finborough produces marvels, though this one, without losing its dazzling, tight DNA, deserves the widest possible transfer.
The best Part 2 we can imagine.
As Ken Tynan once said of another debut, I don’t think I could love someone who doesn’t love this play.
It’s like being illumined from a trip-light.
Howard Brenton touching eighty is at the height of his powers. Tom Littler has assembled a pitch-perfect cast, reuniting two from his outstanding All’s Well. This too.
An object lesson in comic timing; a steep cut above the ‘real’ whodunnits we’re likely to see this year or next.
An excellent revival and the best chance to see this remarkable thriller-cum-farce-cum-meditation.
McGuinness produces one of his finest works wrought from the sawdust of others and rendered it the burst of stars that irradiate the end.
Robert Hamilton’s novel stage version of Dracula should be published and used widely
An impressively finished play. Do see it.
Turns the bleakness of six young men into a celebration of – for now – coming through
Grabs you from the towards the close of Act One and doesn’t let go: from here to curtain we’re in heart-stopping eternity.
Original, bawdy, exploratory, seductive and elegaic in equal measure. A Faberge egg, continually hatching.
A great Hamlet almost realised
Berkoff's festive offering
The definitive Henry V of our time
Bracing, fresh, wholly re-thought in every line, emerging with gleaming power, menace and wit. And I defy anyone not to smile at this new take on Shakespeare’s downbeat ending.
A wonderful score and musicians, above all Bea Segura’s titanic act of shrivelling, make this a must-see.
A major talent with a distinct voice, and the consummate assurance to express it with stamp and precision
There’ll be nothing more blazing or relevant on the London stage this year.
Immersive, outstanding, unrepeatable and unimaginable anywhere else
The title role goes to Isobel Thom, making their professional debut: the greatest I’ve ever seen.
What Richard Bean and Oliver Chris manage is homage, both to Sheridan’s shade, his early bawdy, and despite anything a memorial to those who laughed at themselves to death. A must-see.
It’s Jonathan Freedland’s and Tracy-Ann Oberman’s brilliance to bring off-kilter, casual devastation to the stage; in raw unsettlings that for many keep the suitcase packed.
Some outstanding acting; necessary, a must-see
If you’re a habitual groundling, go before this production vanishes back on tour
Rarely has a Cordelia and Fool scaled such equal terms with such a Lear, rendering a kind of infinity.
Another first-rank revival from JST, specialists in rediscoveries: a fitting end to Tom Littler’s tenure.
No simple swapping of heirs and originals, but a dream of the future by Seacole, or equally present dreams raking the past. Do see this.
Judging by the audience, its bleakness tells. Middle bears its own epiphany.
The most convincing Much Ado for years
This isn’t the most revelatory Much Ado, but the most consummate and complete for a while.
Worth 95 minutes of anyone’s time, you come out heavier with the weight of where you’ve been.
A gem of a production, Taylor McClaine a soaring talent to watch.
Putin’s our monster too. A must-see.
if Comer doesn’t receive awards for this there’s no justice at all.
Ask yourself this. If there were no praise or blame – who would I be?
Russell Kane: The Essex Variant
An unnerving testing of that space between naturalism and hallucination, redemption and blank unknowing, studded with a language that flies off the page.
A real play bursting out of its hour-plus length; with complex interaction, uncertain journeys, each character developing a crisis of isolation only resolved by sisterhood
More of a scattering of earth, ashes and love than simply groundbreaking. But caveats aside, groundbreaking it is.
An outstanding development in Gill’s oeuvre, and of permanent worth.
Stands alone, a wholly original twist to a growing alarm-bell of ethics.
Danny Webb gives the performance of his life. Ralph Fiennes is coiled majesty. Two-and-a-half hours of such material have rarely been so thrilling.
Lucy Kirkwood prophesies what’s in store with savage fury, and no-one’s exempt, least of all her.
A firecracker of a first play. Expect Molotovs.
There’s many reasons to see Williams’ finest play. To realise our potential it’s not enough to have dreams, but for someone to show us what those dreams could be.
A Crucible of searing relevance; by grounding it in its time, it scorches with clarity.
Highlights the truth of its bleak laughter. Humane Strindberg. Now there’s a thing.
It’s not just gender-swerving but role-swerving that threatens sexual and social order. Surprises light up even the last fade.
There’s no finer dramatisation of India’s internal conflicts. Shubham Saraf’s Gandhi-killer Godse stands out in this thrilling ensemble and storms it too.
Simply put: go see this if you’ve any feeling for postwar drama. It’s theatre on the rack and do we need it!
Groundbreaking, superb, unmissable.
Such exquisite works find their time; speak to it again and again and again.
An outstanding revival, full of fierce fun, pathos and a massive tragedy for Christmas, wrapped in red bon-bons.
A reading of Adrian Schiller’s Shylock as probing as other great productions of the past decade; and of Sophie Melville’s nearly-rounded, brittle Portia.
Pamela Carter’s schoolboys embody human connectedness, warmth, a final camaraderie before the chill of history. Unmissable.
Not so much an event as a concentration of Errollyn Wallen’s genius celebrating the life of blind composer Maria Theresia van Paradis, in Graeae’s world-class production
So what could a Sussex-based sci-fi tale of 1913 by Conan Doyle – a space-borne poison belt of gas that hits the earth – possibly have to do with the week of the greatest temperatures known in the UK?
A Seagull for the initiated, a meditation rather than the play itself, it’s still a truthful distillation, wholly sincere, actors uniformly excellent
What theatre can do, how it can change us, how completely different it is from any other experience, has few examples that come close to this.
Perfectly freighted; each character pitched with just enough choice to make us wonder what life, not Stephen Beresford will do with them. Outstanding.
A joyous production, that without its gimmicky close, could certainly furnish a way in for many
Pitch-perfect and compelling. Sometimes knowing your prison walls too much can drive you mad.
Character comedy takes the audience on an hilarious flight of fancy
Catch this sharp-witted, reflective, ever-swirling drama from a master storyteller.
Two Billion Beats was bursting with promise before. Now it delivers with a visceral yes.
Packs a mighty question that can still knock you off balance.
A Brechtian take on Samuel Beckett's iconic play
Ibsen’s elusive masterpiece is so rarely performed seeing it is an imperative. Played with such authority as here, in Norwegian and English, it’s not a luxury but a must-see.
Phenomenal. It’s Aaron Anthony’s and Nadine Higgin’s phenomenal performances that own the Orange Tree’s stripped-back space, and fill it and Yellowman with complexity, heart and utter conviction