Review: The Kite Runner

Spellbindingly translated to the stage and here with more power even than before. Don’t miss it.


Review: Geneva Convention

As this gets quieter, it shouts more loudly. Exciting as this is, it will devastate when it finds its arc. This might ascend into something crucial.


Review: That Witch Helen

An absorbing retelling. Whatever Ridewood and Sibyl Theatre tackles next will be worth waiting for.


Review: Women’s Writes

We’ve been lucky to sit in on the first stage of a very promising conversation collaboration, and theatre piece.


Review: Homestead

An adaptation of Lorca's 'the House of Bernarda Alba'


Review: The English Moor

Richard Brome’s 1637 The English Moor marks a new departure for Read Not Dead. You might say with this play it’s Read to be Dead.


Review: You’ll See

Delightfully inventive mini version of Ulysses for mini-people


Review: Little Women

There’s heartbreak and joy here. If you don’t know it, be surprised and moved at this hidden fringe gem, realised by this team in delicately-cut facets.


Review: Laughing Boy

Stephen Unwin directs his own play as a sweep of storytelling, laughter and devastation.


Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

Mike Poulton’s text gleams and snaps. Lucy Bailey’s production of it thrills and occasionally overwhelms, dazzling in its maze of missteps. A must-see.


Review: London Tide

It compels, and nothing in its three hours 15 seems superfluous.


Review: An Officer and a Gentleman

What brings this musical home is the drawing-together of threads that hang loose in Act One. And finally you believe in a story that doesn’t flinch from darkness and sings its distress. Thoroughly enjoyable.


Review: Life With Oscar

Nick Cohen’s exceptional powers as writer and performer are mesmerising


Review: The Valley of Fear

Blackeyed have kept their telling as lean as Holmes’ hawk-like face, and it pounces. If you admire 221b at all, see it this week.


Review: Dream of a Ridiculous Man

A definitive telling of that rarest thing, an uplifting Dostoevsky tale. It’s unlikely to be rendered better than this.


Review: The Motive and the Cue

An extraordinary production. Thorne’s vision is capped by a riveting performance by Gatiss, who glows with the still, sad music of Gielgud’s humanity.


Review: Macbeth

It’s a phenomenal feat and even if you know Macbeth, it’s still a must-see for how a quintessence can be dusted off.


Review: In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts

Outstanding. After this, there’s no other way to tell Chekhov dramatically that he’s not already nailed down in a play himself. Chekhov would have loved it.


Review: Sister Act

In short, a fabulous example of British talent, now endangered, bringing quadruple threat to a magnificent production. Not all such mainstream shows on tour even approach outstanding, but this truly is.


Review: Rika’s Rooms

Emma Wilkinson Wright manages the narrative as an odyssey punctuated by screams. It’s a pretty phenomenal performance and the actor is so wholly immersed in Rika you know you’re in the presence of something remarkable.


Review: Good-Bye

Wholly absorbing, wholly other, it’s a gem of the Coronet’s dedication to world theatre.


Review: Drop the Dead Donkey: The Reawakening

This is as fresh as an AI paint set, and far more transgressive than the original. The fizziest, most outrageous assault on common decency since – I’ll leave it to the gibbons. A must-see.


Review: Oliver!

You’re not going to see anything this special in most (if any) revivals, however luxury-cast. In stripping-back, then regrowing a complete ensemble with even lesser songs, this is the most complete Oliver! we’re likely to see.


Review: And Then There Were None

This is the finest Christie production I can remember. If you’re not a Christie fan, do see this anyway: it’s far more than a whodunnit.


Review: Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol

Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol triumphs as easily the best junior take on this classic I’ve ever seen.


Review: Rika’s Rooms

Emma Wilkinson Wright manages the narrative as an odyssey punctuated by screams. It’s already a phenomenal performance and the actor is so wholly immersed in Rika you know you’re in the presence of something remarkable


Review: Cold War

Cold War ends with a draining-out of hope in Anya Chalotra and Luke Thallon; a desolate beauty the cast certainly earn.


Review: Tom’s Midnight Garden

An absolutely first-rate ensemble and they tell the story with all the wide-eyed wonder of a real enchantment, beyond Christmas, beyond, perhaps time. A gem.


Review: The House of Bernarda Alba

Adaptor Alice Birch takes the House apart like Rachel Whiteread’s sculpture. Harriet Walter is magnificent: staring out like a jailor, patrolling. Hainsworth remains hypnotic and terrible, joyously sexual and headlong as her Juliet in self-destruction.


Review: Refilwe

At just 45 minutes, a delightfully adapted fairy-tale, adapted in its turn. Bisola Aalbi’s rewrite is a lively, timely take on a silent culture war to make people of all ages think again.


Review: Ghosts

Tom Hill-Gibbins emphasises the original’s shock in conversational prose-style too. Stripped to a straight-through 100 minutes is hurtles like the Greek tragedy with reveals it essentially is.


Review: Twelve Angry Men

This is more than a first-rate revival. In this production it’s a must-see one, the definition of a superbly-made, timeless play.


Review: The Changeling

The closer Ricky Dukes sticks to the original, the more accessible, visceral, true this production is.


Review: This Way For The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

Based on the writing of poet Tadeusz Borowski and the paintings of Arnold Daghani This Way For The Gas bears explosive witness to shape the pulse of that post-Holocaust world. Bill Smith, Angi Mariano and their colleagues have wrought an enormous service. In the last great reprise of 'Never' we realise we're seeing the finale of an emerging masterpiece.


Review: The Yellow Wallpaper

Stephanie Mohr’s adaptation is a remarkable manifestation (no other word seems more apt) of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story The Yellow Wallpaper, an important realisation of a key feminist awakening. It’s good enough for you not to want it depicted in any other way.


Review: Accidental Death of an Anarchist

The adage that farce is tragedy speeded up met its greatest progenitor in Dario Fo. In a ferocious new version by Tom Basden of Franca Rame’s and Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, directed by Daniel Raggett in a stunning production now at the Haymarket, the target here is squarely the London Met. And if you slowed down Basden’s brilliant, no-holds-unbludgeoned telling, details prove tragic enough.


Review: Bowjangles: Dracula in Space

The stakes are high, as a talented string quartet encounter Dracula, with tremendously entertaining shenanigans aplenty


Review: Dusk

Provocative, deconstructed and creative theatrical adaptation.


Review: Shakespeare in Love

You’ll forget the film; you might even forget any staged version of Lee Hall’s in the West End. The mystery’s in the ensemble, the production, its bewitching leads Lewis Todhunter and Melissa Paris. With Claire Lewis’ direction, Michael James' music, and Graham Brown’s movement direction to the fore, it’s a mighty reckoning in a little room.


Review: Under Milk Wood

This is an exciting production, outdoors and adding a new dimension to our experience. Pace was a little slow in the first act, where the voices don’t pick each other up, and drop a fraction. But this gear-changes and the second act is energy itself, as the day wanes the actors energise and the whole spirit and voicing ups a notch too. It’s beautifully landed. Very warmly recommended.


Review: Wagatha Christie

The brilliance of movement, lighting, script-editing and strong performances, with physical jokes make this a greater thing than it might be, and this production’s gained a notch of humanity in its tour. But to wish for something more human falls into the very intrusiveness that gave rise to the trial. It’s a tribute to Wagatha Christie – and Liv Hennessy – that it raises that paradox.


Review: Des Kapital

Revolutionary songs sung by a lusty audience in the heart of Hove. A revolution in itself. If you’ve any sympathy, antipathy or subversive sense of humour towards a way at laughing at history’s atrocities, and thinking there must be a better way - this is the show for you.


Review: Moby Dick

It's hard to distinguish puppet from human in a spectacular retelling of Moby Dick.


Review: Lovefool

Though it might be red-topped as a Fleabag for the abused, it’s so much more excoriating. It’s also a work profoundly moving, necessary and – particularly for Gintare Parulyte - an act of courage. Lovefool’s on till May 26th; do rush to this 55-minute must-see.


Review: Brontë

This is what theatre means. BLT and Nettie Sheridan strike gold with emerging talent here, starting their professional careers. It’s to Sheridan’s choreography too we owe a seamless ensemble production. Familiar BLT names blaze with a new fire and in every way there’s synergy between physical exuberance and indelible characterisation. Outstanding.


Review: Kidnapped

A glorious romantic romp with hidden depths


Review: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

This is certainly the best attempt yet to revive this musical with a new accent, and the way to see this musical. With such a company, see it anyway. It’ll prod you with questions and send you singing for answers.


Review: Best of Enemies

James Graham longs for reconcilement. Here, robbed of one he plays off the temperaments of each debater, creating a timeless no-place where each graciously concedes points. It still leaves us with Graham’s profound insight into the nature of the monster both supremely articulate men created: an inarticulate spectacle and theatre of cruelty. A must-see on Encores.


Review: Wagatha Christie

The brilliance of movement, lighting, script-editing and strong performances, with physical jokes make this a greater thing than it might be. But to wish for something more human falls into the very intrusiveness that gave rise to the trial. It’s a tribute to Wagatha Christie – and Liv Hennessy – that it raises that paradox.


Review: Bakkhai

The Tale of Your Times. Of Old Times. Of Times Yet To Come.


Review: A Bunch of Amateurs

Directed by Jacqui Freeman, this latest LLT offering sparkles in a heart-warming tribute to amateur dramatics, with a plot denouement as dizzying as a Shakespeare comedy. There’s not a weak link here. Indeed it’s to be hoped several newcomers will return.


Review: Who Is No. 1?

An outstanding script, with consummate acting. It ought to make London.


Review: Anna & Marina

Dovetailing invention and quotation triumphs. It’s a narrative of thrust and weave as well as tone. Overall it's terrific: one of Richard Crane’s very best works. If you care for gripping drama, can be drawn by hypnotic verse and superb acting, haste over to this unique hour.


Review: Jules et Jim

A thoroughly worthwhile, and in several senses heady undertaking. And certainly worth seeing.


Review: And Then They Came For Me

A multi-genre piece that can play anywhere, and needed now more than ever. Both to challenge denialists and most of all to illustrate the inhumanity of governments like ours towards refugees


Review: Quality Street

Don’t miss this exquisite confection. After this production, there’s possibly no return to the original. It’s a rethinking paying homage to both the sentiment, which it never upstages, and the brand and its factory-workers the comedy gave its name to.


Review: Phaedra

Stone suggests only someone as demonstrably damaged and damaging as Helen (Phaedra), in other words a politician, might pursue self-destruction so relentlessly; and devastate so many. It’s brilliantly achieved elsewhere than with the core relationship.


Review: Dance of Death

A hectic in the blood of 20th century drama. Its just here the hectic is realised like never before.


Review: Wish You Were Dead

There’s a good enough story for this to be recalibrated. Though If you’re a James fan, you’ll need to see this.


Review: Heathers

Rethought, rejigged, bright with humour and shadowed with plangency, this is the Heathers we’re meant to have


Review: The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption returns in an even stronger production than in 2015: sharper, more visceral, and with a stronger set and sound, frames even more resonant performances


Review: James and the Giant Peach

With memorable music and ensemble singing added to a first-rate BLT production, there’s no better Christmas show in town.


Review: Mother Goose

This is more than panto: it’s an affirmation of something that panto here welcomes in, in our time uniquely invoking layers as only Elizabethan/Jacobean drama can.


Review: Henry V

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.


Review: David Copperfield

A paean to live theatre; soaring seasonal spirit, struck with tenderness, joy, sorrow, plangent affirmation.


Review: Sarah

An unnerving testing of that space between naturalism and hallucination, redemption and blank unknowing, studded with a language that flies off the page.


Review: From Here to Eternity

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.


Review: The Lavender Hill Mob

Certainly enjoyable and the second act shows what it might be. There’s not a moment’s longeurs


Review: Pericles

Kelly Hunter’s team have wrought a miracle of flight, realised by an outstanding cast who here at least, make us rank Pericles with Shakespeare’s other late Romances.


Review: The Seagull

A Seagull for the initiated, a meditation rather than the play itself, it’s still a truthful distillation, wholly sincere, actors uniformly excellent


Review: Jews. In Their Own Words.

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.


Review: Lost in the Willows

As a definitive staged version of Kenneth Grahame’s life, it will certainly hold the stage in its subsequent tour.


Review: Dracula

Robert Hamilton’s novel stage version of Dracula should be published and used widely