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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The Winter’s Tale

An enormously satisfying reading that happens to be groundbreaking. It’s Sean Holmes’ finest production yet.


Review: Heathers

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


Review: The Journey to Venice

Wiebke Green possesses the measure and tempo as well as delicacy of Bjorn Vik’s work. An exquisite gem worth seeing more than many larger, longer, louder shows.


Review: Titus Andronicus

One of the Globe’s most lucid recent productions; and the most consistently-realised aesthetic. It knows what it is: a stunningly thought-through, musically inspired production.


Review: Duet For One

Kempinski has crafted an enduring drama of what it’s like to lose the joy of a life worth living.


Review: Watch on the Rhine

Hellman’s uneasy drama, reaching out to our own quandaries, has answers that stay news. A must-see.


Review: Rocky Horror Show

The most lucid-voiced Rocky I’ve seen and on balance strongest cast for a long time. Two great reasons to return, or adventure for your first awakening on Planet Transexual.


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: 12:37

The Finborough produces marvels, though this one, without losing its dazzling, tight DNA, deserves the widest possible transfer.


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: 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: 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: 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 Doctor

A triumph for all concerned. Juliet Stevenson even gains in stature. Robert Icke’s revival could hardly go better than this.


Review: Hamlet

Destined as one of the toughest OFS undertakings, it comes through with a blaze


Review: I, Joan

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


Review: Fruit Flies Like a Banana

No banana could fly as fast as these three virtuoso performers in this must see show as they combine virtuoso musicianship with acrobatics and dance


Review: Rebel

You may not know where you are going, but they promise it won’t be boring… and they deliver


Review: The Tempest

A joyous production, that without its gimmicky close, could certainly furnish a way in for many


Review: Jack Absolute Flies Again

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.


Review: Much Ado About Nothing

This isn’t the most revelatory Much Ado, but the most consummate and complete for a while.


Review: Dad’s Army

You feel you’ve been part of an invited audience at one of the original TV productions


Review: Shake the City

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


Review: Waitress

Halfpenny raises soaring music theatre, an ounce of gold in the throat and stars six inches above it.


Review: The Wrong Planet

There’s a great act struggling out of this blissfully baggy monster.


Review: House of Shades

There’ll be nothing more blazing or relevant on the London stage this year.


Review: Henry VIII

A wonderful score and musicians, above all Bea Segura’s titanic act of shrivelling, make this a must-see.


Review: As You Like It

Pure holiday humour. For all outdoor markets, I’d buy this.


Review: Cocky and the Tardigrades

Bonkers brilliance. Cocky couldn’t have been premiered with two more stunning actors, and the author’s flawless stepping-in remains remarkable.


Review: Spirit of Woodstock 2 – The Sequel

There’s no greater writer/performer working in Brighton, or Sussex, and Spirit of Woodstock Parts I and 2 is Jonathan Brown’s most dazzling show to date.


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 Rise and Fall of Little Voice

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice sings out of damage into heartbreak and redemption. Those who don’t know the play or its outcome should see this, even those who have.


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: Private Lives

Private Lives can never disappoint: it plays itself and as far as it’s a work of verbal tennis this production won’t pall either


Review: Hamlet

A great Hamlet almost realised


Review: The Merchant of Venice

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.


Review: Beautiful

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


Review: Measure for Measure

Immerse yourself in Blanche McIntyre’s quizzical production. You’ll come nearer to this play.


Review: Hamlet

Jumbo’s Hamlet strips out accretions and ghosts you into asking who or what Hamlet is. See it if you possibly can.


Review: Macbeth

Building out of Macbeth a recurring epic of structural violence not ended with one overthrow, sets the seal on this outstanding production.


Review: Heathers

Sometimes the dark is light enough. Meanwhile enjoy an exceptional cast and talent you’ll long to see again in something finer.


Review: Music For Rooftops

On the roof, balcony and terrace, a brass extravaganza


Review: Twelfth Night

With Michelle Terry as Viola, one of the most touching and truthful Twelfth Nights I’ve seen.


Review: Romeo and Juliet

A fleet, brilliantly upending, wholly relevant take on the Verona-ready toxicity feeding male violence and young depression


Review: Dirty Dancing

There’s a fitting heart-warming climax to a dream of production. And a surprise to those who think they know the film.


Review: The Tempest

Café Voltaire in ruffs invokes a magical Tempest.