Review: Sappho

A bit of theatrical democracy invoking pre-democracy crafts an exquisite irony for a rainy afternoon. Do see it.


Review: Kunstler

An outstanding production persuading us such a self-narrating show can enthral as well as inform. A hidden gem.


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: Storming!

Stands alone, a wholly original twist to a growing alarm-bell of ethics.


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: Good-Bye

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


Review: Turning the Screw

This six-hander is a 90-minute announcement of a major talent. An almost flawless play.


Review: The Good John Proctor

A valuable corrective to anticipate both real events and Arthur Miller’s take on Abigail Williams


Review: Same Team

A raw exposition of what it is like being left without a roof until you find hope in a collective heart.


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: The Good Dad (A Love Story), The Mitfords

Now a superb double-bill, and makes a compelling case for these two shows to be yoked together, with their intertwining of family, sisterhood, abuse and terrible consequences.


Review: Pain and I

A poetic musing upon the effect and poignancy of suffering, but not doing so in silence.


Review: Retrospective

This is a first-rate ensemble and Parry has mastered a superlatively-layered interaction. Forget reading, this is a brace of vibrant performances.


Review: The Confessions

Though not the ordinary made phenomenal, Alexander Zeldin’s touchstone, it’s an outstanding personally-inflected testament and striking advance.


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 Father and the Assassin

There’s no finer dramatization of India’s internal conflicts. Hiran Abeysekera’s Gandhi-killer Godse stands out in this thrilling ensemble and storms it too.


Review: Infamous

Emma Hamilton, mother and ward. Expect spats. Nine months since her National Theatre Kerry Jackson opened, April de Angelis arrives at Jermyn Street with the three-hander Infamous, directed by Michael Oakley, till October 7th. Even though the earlier play was staged in the smaller Dorfman, Infamous is chamber music by comparison. As in Kerry Jackson, De Angelis avoids tragedy where it clearly offers itself. The final two scenes though offer more; it’s piquant, momentarily uplifting, a little sad. And dramatically right it’s expressed in dance.


Review: Wiesenthal

A surprisingly humorous biography of the great Nazi Hunter.


Review: Mrs. President

A slightly esoteric look at Mary Lincoln’s life


Review: Blue Morpho

The flapping of a butterfly’s wing can have a great effect


Review: Self-Raising

An inclusive, engaging and thought provoking show about family dynamics.


Review: Joe & Ken

Most of all, this couple capture the feel of the Orton/Halliwell exchange, the chemistry, the aromatic stink of sex from Craig Myles’ Orton, the sweat and self-disgust of Tino Orsini’s Halliwell. John Dunne’s created an Ortonesque, almost What the Dramatist Saw version of events. Orton might have liked that best. And Halliwell, narrating his own death in Orsini’s delivery, been appeased.


Review: When Winston Went to War With the Wireless

An absorbing, layered, superbly entertaining two-and-a-half hours that couldn’t be more relevant. Set against The Motive and the Cue, it also proves how history allows Jack Thorne to be even more versatile than we imagined.


Review: The Sound of Music

This is a top, not just first-rate cast; a riveting, rethought revival. There’s not a weak link - and some vocal surprises. The end is almost unbearably moving. Some still come over mountains as here, some in small boats. You might not feel the same about something you thought you knew. An outstanding revival.


Review: The Madness of George III

Surely the Sarah Mann Company’s finest hour, overcoming the BOAT’s wondrous yet treacherous acoustics – and weather. Alan Bennet’s 1991 The Madness of George III is their most ambitious, most jaw-dropping production. This magnificent revival poses even more urgent questions. A twitch on the thread for all of us.


Review: Dear England

There’s a sacramental thrill as you enter the NT’s Olivier: both sci-fi and ancient Greek. James Graham Dear England, directed by Rupert Goold, is like that: tackling something seen as almost too sacred, at once transcendent for many; but so impacted by nationalist hubris it’s become sclerotic. We enter the game at a historically pivotal moment. Where English football will never be the same. Outstanding.


Review: Tony!

There’s no doubt this is an offbeat, brilliant, rude, absolutely necessary musical. Its acid test will come from younger Millennials and Zoomers. But then that’s the point: the winners rewrite history. History has just struck back, and it’s a blast.


Review: The Return of Benjamin Lay

Naomi Wallace and actor Mark Provinelli inhabit this gestural giant with wit, sympathy, rage and an agency burning up centuries between. It’s profoundly moving too, speaks to our condition of techno-serfdom, new slavery, discrimination everywhere. The packed audience are never sure who might be picked on next, but delight in the calling-out. Superb.


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: A Brief List of Everyone Who Died

“Death is the most natural thing in the world.” Not to five—year-old Gracie, whose life of resistance as Gracie, Grace but mostly Graciela Jacob Marx Rice traces in A Brief List of Everyone Who Died. Yet again Finborough have mounted – and nurtured – a first-class work miles from larger fare that fades. Do rush to see it.


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: Tony!

There’s no doubt this is an offbeat, brilliant, rude, absolutely necessary musical. Its acid test will come from younger Millennials and Zoomers. But then that’s the point: the winners rewrite history. History has just struck back, and it’s a blast.


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: My Brilliant Divorce

Like any first-rate actor, Louise Faulkner lets each eyebrow rise and fall: Quizzical, hurt, amused, they all register. A work to be savoured for its exuberant telling of one of the most painful things to hit any of us, through nightmare to laughter to loving oneself, to the hope of love. Highly 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. 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: A Manchester Girlhood

Julia Pascal’s A Manchester Girlhood is a rich work, a slice of generations happening. Rosie Yadid’s musical arrangements furnish the greatest amplification of this lighting-sketch of heritage, rendering soul and hope, the essence of generations.


Review: The Motive and the Cue

An extraordinary production. If it’s a homage more magnificent than wholly revealing, it doesn’t stint on a riveting performance by Mark Gatiss, who glows with the still, sad music of Gielgud’s humanity.


Review: Who Is No. 1?

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


Review: The King’s Speech

Outstanding. Direction is revelatory, the musical cues from Logue’s own methods culminating on the finest single scene I’ve witnessed at BLT. Even if you’re from the Republic of Brighton and Hove, do push your way to the front for this one. A study of how a Republican humanises a man mired in the cerements of his own subjection holds lessons for us yet.


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: No I.D.

The celebration of acceptance and being wholly comfortable in your own body for the first time in your life transmits to everyone. It should make you more comfortable, knowing how Tatenda Shamiso radiates the joy of his, bestowing a kind of benediction. A quietly groundbreaking show.


Review: Dancing at Lughnasa

A flawless cast and creative team gather to a point in Josie Rourke’s often meticulously faithful revival, and disperse. This is the only play this year I’d willingly see again soon. Outstanding.


Review: Strike!

An important work, not just for historical reasons; you’ll leave cheering.


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: The Only White

A vital play that needs to seen. See it here and subsequently a well-deserved transfer or revival.


Review: Sugar Coat

Essential theatre. Five singer-actors, memorably punchy music, witty and heartbreaking – most of all groundbreaking – storytelling. 90 minutes of this and you’ll know just what to do with the patriarchy.


Review: Steel Magnolias

Uniquely moving, it’s a night worth anyone’s time, and its truths that resonate long after the curtain.


Review: Urban Nan

A walking tour that never leaves your ears, but takes you on a fantastic final journey


Review: Dinner With Groucho

McGuinness produces one of his finest works wrought from the sawdust of others and rendered it the burst of stars that irradiate the end.


Review: Nan Makes History

A beautifully gentle introduction into a classic journey exploring the works of a classic Scots writer


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: Silence

More of a scattering of earth, ashes and love than simply groundbreaking. But caveats aside, groundbreaking it is.


Review: I, Joan

The title role goes to Isobel Thom, making their professional debut: the greatest I’ve ever seen.


Review: Storming!

Stands alone, a wholly original twist to a growing alarm-bell of ethics.


Review: Marys Seacole

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.


Review: Anne Boleyn

If it’s drama you’re after in Brighton Fringe, this is one of the two or three essential stops. Thrilling, authoritative, with Greene the jewel in a sparkling ensemble.


Review: Orlando

A gem of a production, Taylor McClaine a soaring talent to watch.


Review: The Misfortune of the English

Pamela Carter’s schoolboys embody human connectedness, warmth, a final camaraderie before the chill of history. Unmissable.


Review: The Corn is Green

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.


Review: The Paradis Files

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


Review: Beautiful

Outstanding, and outstandingly transferred as a tour that brings its stature with it.


Review: A Splinter of Ice

Absorbing. With such an acting masterclass the play’s a bewitchingly-voiced fugue on the limits of belief and betrayal.


Review: Slings and Arrows

The principal reason why a stage should always be a platform for the voices unheard.


Review: Rosetti’s Women

A lovely, dramatic presentation that covers the racy relationships, from the perspectives of three of his women, of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.


Review: Six

Outstanding, the finest West End musical for years


Review: On Arriving

On Arriving takes sixty minutes it seems we’ve been immersed in a Greek Tragedy of ninety. See it.


Review: Lone Flyer

An absorbing drama, absorbingly acted and produced.


Review: The Lady in the Van

Sarah Mann and her company will surely return with this gem of transubstantiation.


Review: Anton Chekhov

The nearest we’ll come to meeting Chekhov. In Pennington’s masterclass.


Review: Sacrament

A revelation, superbly written and acted. Comparisons have been made with A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. I can think of no higher praise either. You must see this.


Review: Illusions of Liberty

A finely-calibrated solo play of what it’s like to enter that tunnel of near-undiagnosable but very real illness. Corinne Walker’s both authoritative and quicksilver. Do catch it.


Review: Angela

A tender, beautifully pitched exploration of the individuality of a life, despite what illness may eventually steal.


Review: Amadeus

In the most spectacular production imaginable, Lucian Msamati’s supremely crafted lead sets off the quicksilver of his rival Adam Gillen.