Review: Sanctuary

Christine Rose as dramatist is a name we’ll be hearing, with luck, very soon.


Review: Super Connected

Epic music, film and theatre production with a warning


Review: Homestead

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


Review: Cold Water

Still in her twenties but vastly experienced, it’s going to be exciting to see where Lawford breaks out to next.


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: 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: Much Ado About Nothing

A triumph of tone, of textual intercourse and tight-reined spirits. Beatrice’s star is dancing. It’ll stay fresh as the feelgood Shakespeare this summer.


Review: Lived Fiction

Unique, spellbinding, groundbreaking; above all makes everyone more alive to the possibilities of being human.


Review: Captain Amazing

Simon Stephens commented “If I could get all your numbers I would ring you all up individually and urge you to see Captain Amazing.” That can’t be improved on. It’s a must-see.


Review: El Viaje

The inspirational story of a Cuban refugee, set to song and music


Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors

A joyous revival. Though working in TV production, Hayden’s writing is too good, too well-shaped not to develop in theatre instead.


Review: You’ll See

Delightfully inventive mini version of Ulysses for mini-people


Review: Dawn Again: A Rap Opera

Elliot has a problem: two girlfriends, both giving birth on the same day in the same hospital


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: Magpie

This really has no place in the Brighton Fringe. Perhaps the Festival. What is a slice of the darkest Sean O’Casey doing at a 9pm slot? Outstanding.


Review: The Promise

With a first-rate cast and team it’s a groundbreaking work.


Review: Laughing Boy

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


Review: Frozen

Frozen is far more than a thriller: it’s an interrogation into the limits of what evil-doing is, what redemption and some capacity to forgive might be, and its consequences: and above all it ends in a thaw cracking like a Russian spring.


Review: Peter Pan

Maybe a too sobering affair for Christmas


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: The Pull of the Stars

World premiere of Emma Donoghue’s new play set in a maternity ward during the Spanish Flu pandemic in Dublin, directed by Louise Lowe.


Review: Algorithms

A bisexual Fleabag for 2024? It’s more than that


Review: London Tide

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


Review: Testmatch

A superbly witty interrogation of identity, abuses many histories deep, asking questions it sets up in not too sober a fashion. Testmatch is a lightning-conductor.


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: Machinal

This triumphant revival by Ustinov Studios and the Old Vic might finally encourage exploration. You must see this.


Review: Haudin the Jaikets

A celebrational read through of a drama based upon one night never to be forgotten in Scottish boxing history.


Review: Banging Denmark

This production’s 100 minutes are so absorbing you’re not quite sure if the time’s stopped, or just your preconceptions. Stunning, a must see.


Review: Life With Oscar

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


Review: The Comeuppance

Might prove the most lasting American drama about. emerging to a different world.


Review: Punchline

Destined to be a riveting play in Kay’s late-emerging canon.


Review: Queers

All I can repeat is: see it.


Review: Muswell Hill

Cook and team have shown commendable disregard for comfortable options, sharing a rediscovery.


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: Foam

Scorching script, outstanding acting, particularly by Richards, a must-see.


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: 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: The Human Body

The work’s best at its quietest, where intimacy doesn’t need shouting. It’s still an intriguing development, as Kirkwood, as in her magnificent The Welkin, interrogates the condescensions of history.


Review: Hangmen

Assured, idiomatic performances. And Martin McDonagh’s distinction resonates in a manner peculiar to him alone. A must-see for anyone in Sussex.


Review: Cluedo 2

The last ten minutes in particular are the silliest stuff: which is why it works. Soon more of the show will tighten and we’ll see that quality retro-fit.


Review: London Zoo

A masterly play in the making. It goes where very few dare, and in an environment we think we know. Very highly recommended.


Review: The Lighthouse

An enthusiastic and personal attempt to take the issues around mental ill health and produce the idea that all shall be all right in the end, as it was.


Review: Hide and Seek

An absorbing two-hander with as unexpected an ending as Lauren Gunderson’s I and You


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: Casserole

One of the finest small-scale plays to come out of Arcola’s Studio 2 recently. Do see this.


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: Bette and Joan

Outstanding performances, an outstanding set too. As one director said, this production’s more compelling than the original 2011-12 seen touring at Brighton in 2012. The very intimacy of the space, with pitch-perfect acting, makes this an even finer vehicle for the play.


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: The Duchess of Malfi

There’s so much to admire here that it’s a happy duty to urge you to see it, if you can, any way you can.


Review: Stitches

The end’s both poignant and visionary. A show to remember long after the Bear’s imagined batteries run down.


Review: Escaped Alone

A masterclass in character, disturbing ecological revelations and banal and important commentaries  on life.


Review: Vanya

This is the greatest one-man performance I’ve seen, said a Chekhov-immersed director of 45 years’ experience next to me. Yes.


Review: Jab

Highly recommended, it’s also essential.


Review: Dear Octopus

Two hours 45 starts slowly but you feel Smith’s arc move with its casual, supremely naturalist conversation to moments where time stands still. Outstanding revival.


Review: Sleeping Beauty

If you care for ballet and you’re not in Covent Garden every month, see this.


Review: ACT Playwriting Course

Mark Burgess and his students should feel immensely satisfied. And of course the students themselves divinely dissatisfied as they develop their craft.


Review: Turning the Screw

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


Review: King Lear

This smouldering production – fast-talking or timeless - fully engages with the play. It makes almost perfect sense: and two families’ DNA ring true as rarely before.


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: Just For One Day

Despite history’s caveats, O’Farrell’s core message isn’t about white saviours or pop stars but how ordinary people unite to change things.


Review: Before After

A pristine, heartwarming Valentine of a musical, it fully deserves its revival


Review: Till the Stars Come Down

Even this early, it’s safe to predict we’ll look back at the end of 2024 and proclaim it as one of the year’s finest.


Review: Othello

With institutional racism and trauma compounded in a feedback loop, this Othello’s a timely, and timeless broadside on everything toxic we inhale and expel as venom.


Review: Ragnarök

A triumphant technical achievement with a story to tell of an end to our world, followed by a new beginning


Review: For Entertainment Purposes Only

Philip Ayckbourn’s songs are the heart of this collection. It’d be thrilling to see a full musical here; and staged in London. Enthusiastically recommended, there’s gems, with more of Ayckbourn’s elegiac sensibility than I’ve ever seen. More of this please.