Review: Bedroom Farce
A winter-warming hit.
Review: Bedroom Farce
A winter-warming hit.
Review: Odyssey: A Heroic Pantomime
This compact one hour 45 show must run again. The most inventive, best-written and possibly best-sung panto in Town.
Review: She Stoops to Conquer
Tom Littler’s team reveal rare mettle and sincerity in a classic that can take some (if not all) updating. The 1930s must prove the very limits of belief in such class confusion, but this triumphs with the snap of a cracker, or (as here) the smash of Wedgwood. Outstanding.
Review: Mates in Chelsea
Mates in Chelsea is definitely worth seeing, and apart from adaptations surely the best thing this writer’s produced in a decade. Royal Court Theatre
A mesmerising play, one that won’t fade and whose topicality will only reverberate more. The dialogue’s consummate and touching, the gradual reveals of blindness – and blandness - to racism on a memory-trip with a disastrous family album, releases a slow detonation of all that’s wrong still. One of my comedies of the year. Pretty outstanding.
Elaine Larkin’s production is all of a piece and like all original readings asks of Chekhov what he wants. Larkin also makes demands on her actors they mostly cope very well with, and two excel in: though some of Chekhov’s subtleties – they exist even here – are bleached out. Firmly recommended though.
A timeless and necessary play
Review: Educating Rita
Even if you’ve seen this play, know the film, get a fresh education in masterly acting and see this.
Review: Dead Dad Dog
McKay is even-handed, and very funny. And don’t you just love a ghost in 1985 who’s never heard of Margaret Thatcher?
Review: Imposter 22
A joyous, riotously funny, wholly untypical experience. A play to shift boundaries and ourselves.
What this production gives, in its hovering over periods, is a technocratic gloss on Shaw’s optimism and female agency. That optimism and agency though is why this play continually fascinates. Not because of the mechanics of accent, or even social mobility, but sheer release of human potential. In Patsy Ferran’s Eliza that transformation’s palpable.
Review: As You Like It
It’s the trio of cousins and lover who ensure this production enjoys its fathoms-deep in love. An As You Like It with an inviting new prologue by Travis Alabanza, underscoring the forest’s healing as well as magical inversions; but shorn of its Epilogue. When you see how that Epilogue’s so rich in queerness and transgression it seems an own goal to the fluffier part of this production’s vibes.
Review: Ouroboros: The Return
A surreal whirlwind that is just as heart-breaking as it is hilarious
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: Billy and The Situation
The show portrays Billy 'Fyre Festival' McFarland and Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino's time as cellmates when they were locked up for fraud in a New York state penitentiary.
Review: Playing Latinx
A beautiful and hilarious piece that will broaden your mind
Review: Life With Oscar
Cohen plays an impressive array of characters, from his own parents to the Mexican model of the Oscar statuette Emilio Fernandez.
Review: 1 Ball Show 1 Lung Less
A fantastic show about a less than fantastic couple of challenges.
Review: The Impresario
A light Opera which touches upon big ambitions in a perfect and evocative rendering of a long forgotten time.
Review: Plague, Poo n Punishment
A brilliantly gruesome encounter that runs through the worst but the best of Edinburgh’s history.
Energetic and entertaining!
Review: Kieran Hodgson: Big In Scotland
Through skilful storytelling we are immersed in a tale that brings to life character after character with sharp cutting whit
Shortlist really must be experienced by anyone who appreciates excellent theatre, brilliant writing or those who simply want a good laugh.
Well worth seeing now as they are, especially so you can say you caught them before they took the Fringe by storm.
“ Murderbot is going to asses my performance,” says Lavin at the top of the show, “And then you’re going to decide if you care.” At least in this case, the robot did find Colleen Lavin to be very funny. I have to say I agree.
Review: Bad Play
Not Bad Enough to be Delicious
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 – seamlessly transferred to an ampitheatre.
Review: Gerry Carroll-Young
At age 70, Gerry Carroll-Young is bringing his clown comedy to entertain Fringe audiences.
Review: Mad Ron: Crime School
A masterclass in crime-based character comedy
Daly is the Pied Piper of Edinburgh – Enchanting, witty, interactive and relatable. A one woman show that pokes fun at satirical characters from her past!
Review: Breed or Bust
It is easy to see why Raven is also known as a storyteller midwife.
Review: Bill’s 44th
Relatable. Joyous. Everyone needs a Bill in their life!
One woman's coming of age story about failed relationships
The sheer energy and fun that the performers are clearly having cannot help but transfer to the audience’s mood.
This 65 minutes takes you on a traversal of human, not simply Jewish experience, out of all proportion to its length. One of the highlights of the latter dog-days, or as here, the long night of the hamster. Three leading playwrights showcased by Emanate, which in just two years has shown how essential it already is, how indispensable it can become.
Original and relatable stories that do not fail to get a laugh from the audience every single time
Review: Be My Guest
A funny and charming (with attitude) search for self-acceptance.
Review: For Better, For Worse
A decent family drama in the shadow of momentous national decision making.
Review: The Messenger
An inventive chase in mask and mime.
Review: Magic For Animals
You’ll find Magic For Animals to be magic for you as well.
Review: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Nightmare
Gilbert and Sullivan like you've never seen it before.
Review: Rosie Holt – That’s Politainment
Contemporary political satire that invites people to laugh less and think more.
Review: Laser Kiwi: Rise of the Olive
A whirlwind of silliness, physical prowess and clowning
Review: Burning Down the Horse
The audience - very nearly completely full - was in stitches throughout the entire piece.
Review: Egg: Absolutely Fine
A craking feminist ode to friendship
A fascinating tale of searching for home in a city that is a foreign land.
Review: Meat Boy
A hilarious tale of revenge, nut allergies and how not to play a recorder.
Review: Indoor Kids
An interesting story of two next door neighbours who became the very best of friends.
Review: Nicola Macri: Single Entendre
Macri’s performance is warm and inviting, and although her arguments are made intelligently and with plenty of back-up, it never feels like a lecture as much as a chat with a pal who occasionally dances around as the Spectre of Sex, here to ruin every conversation with its ubiquity.
A balanced take on the effects of the referendum, delivered with plenty of heart.
Review: Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz
A Young Man Looks for Love, and Finds it from His Audience
Review: The Booth
Clashing egos and back stage shenanigans
Joe Orton’s The Ruffian on the Stair and Funeral Games come to the Lantern Theatre for four performances. This in-house double bill of one-acters is directed by Daniel Finlay and Mark Burgess respectively. A fitting end to the Lantern’s extraordinary week
A striking verbatim transcript.
Review: Bowjangles: Dracula in Space
The stakes are high, as a talented string quartet encounter Dracula, with tremendously entertaining shenanigans aplenty
Review: A Good Panto Die Hard
The alchemy required to create this panto/action/comedy/musical, and get away with it, should not be underestimated.
Review: This Isn’t Working
One of the best sketch comedy groups to have been seen.
Review: Love, Monty
A one man show of original writing from an exceptional actor playing to the strengths of yesteryear.
Review: Aude Lener – On Edge
Beautifully crafted physical and observational comedy
An entertaining farce set in a brothel with quality performances by its three-strong cast
Review: The Baron and the Junk Dealer
A fascinating riff on popular theme that is deliciously meta.
Review: The Grand Old Opera House Hotel
An absolute blast with gags galore, soaring operatic arias and great performances
Review: Whipped Up!
A morning for baby and care giver that is a delicious treat.
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: Initial Consult
Despite what might seem to be heavy material, there is never a moment where you feel like you can’t laugh. It is all delivered with warmth, energy, and skill that is impossible to not be charmed by.
Review: Bertie Hodd: Dad Jokes
A Sweet and Hilarious Portrait of a Father in Transition
Review: Green Fingers
Delightful, fun, musical stories with puppetry about being different.
Physical theatre, 1960’s spy extravanganza
Review: Jingle Street
Annoyingly catchy jingles that will linger longer than you might want
Review: Dead Man’s Suitcase
The search for life's reset button
Review: Julius Caesar – The Musical
Caesar without any of the boring political soliloquies
Review: Rubbish Romeo and Juliet
Simply the best way to introduce anyone to the works of the Bard
No doubting of the power of this double-bill from Kansas. The Paul Robeson is solid gold, the Suzi of the Dress, quicksilver.
Review: Beyond the Nose
Daring and delightful clownfest from a fifty plus troupe that enages, inspires and impresses
Review: London Assurance
Dazzle might be the name of the hero’s ligging new bestie. But it’s what Dion Boucicault’s London Assurance (1841) directed by Tony Bannister with Jacqui Freeman at LLT is about. Their production though blazes midsummer laughter through dog-days. Leave the night to Shakespeare, this is high noon with a hangover. Worth several Dreams for miles around. Applause and laughter throughout this production - the liveliest I can remember for years – prove it. Do see it.
Review: Goodbye Jolene
A gentle tribute to singing, its people and touching disabilities that affect us all (in this case one in seven), it’s a major sixth in Siobhan Nicholas’ own augmented chord of plays. If you’re attracted by any of the themes, it’s a must-see, but it’s worth anyone’s 90 minutes.
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: Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!
A cost-of-living revolution in St James Street? You’d better believe it as Triada Theatre kick off the weekend with Dario Fo’s 1974 Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! at the Lantern Theatre. Superb, energised theatre, rough occasionally, but mostly very-well performed, imaginatively staged, rapturously received. Now get out on the streets.
Review: London Assurance
Dazzle might be the name of the hero’s ligging new bestie. But it’s what Dion Boucicault’s London Assurance (1841) directed by Tess Gill at BLT is about. And it’s what this production does. Gill’s production though blazes midsummer laughter. Leave the night to Shakespeare, this is high noon with a hangover. Worth several Dreams for miles around. A must-see.
Review: Can I Be Bored Now ?
When was the last time you didn't use your phone for the whole day?
Review: The Last Night Out
Very-well written, darkly comedic, more touchingly true, writer Paul M Bradley and Georgie Banks take this just as far as it’ll go. Highly recommended.
Review: A Caravan Named Desire
Anything by Alexander and Helen Millington is worth coming for. A Caravan Named Desire isn’t yet at the level of I Love Michael Ball but by the time you see it, it almost certainly will be. This is a team to watch and queue for.
Review: Surfing the Holyland
A profoundly joyous and a joyously profound show, touching on all those issues of assimilation, marriage drift and acceptance; as well as self-discovery. For most of all as Erin Hunter brings out with sparkling wit and straight looks, this is about women’s agency. Dive in, you’ll surface with a whoop.
Review: Sleeping Trees: Western!
Sleeping Trees return to Brighton!
Review: Viking 9-5
What can being in a game-show and acting as a Viking teach a 20-something man about life? A fact and fun-filled story written and performed by Tom Draper.
Review: THE WRöNG PLANET..!?
When Absolutely Fabulous meets the Mighty Boosh!
Exemplary Ealing Comedy Revival
Where's Lulu? Tricks and treats - A great combination of mime and acrobatics!
Review: Awful People
As someone who lists one of her pastimes as ‘spite’ Julie Burchill - who’s written the play Awful People with Daniel Raven – seems in remarkably forgiving mode. It’s a benign intergenerational tussle. Burchill and Raven have built up chuck-lists of late boomer assumptions. When the crisis arrives, outcomes are well-devised and pacy.
A man's attempts to navigate the modern world
Review: The Dreams of Salvador Dali
Visit your Unconscious mind ...
Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Enough questions with the child, cruelty and othering, to raise questions that don’t dissolve in a dream. Yet there’s light enough to resolve this too. A warmth between the lovers somehow drags us out from the mask of branches Terry revealingly doffs at the end. Absorbing and a must-see.
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: The Heist | Solo Full Mask Show
Imaginative storytelling – Not to be missed!
Review: The Way Old Friends Do
In a show celebrating the revival of friendship, twice, through the love of a non-binary ABBA tribute band, it’s good to know who you can rely on. You can rely on this scintillating, bittersweet play too. Absolutely recommended.
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.
Lea Sep at Femfest
Review: Sound of the Underground
It’ll remain one of the break-out, breakthrough, certainly ground-breaking shows this year.
Review: And Then The Rodeo Burned Down
Clowning and physical theatre
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.