FringeReview UK

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FringeReview UK 2020

#AIWW The Arrest of Ai WeiWei

Brenton powerfully concertinas a continent’s politics and one artist’s refraction of it. Wong is outstanding


15 Heroines: 15 Monologues Adapted from Ovid

Groundbreaking. The smallest producing theatre in the West End through lockdown has become the largest.


A Coward Coupling

Family Album is possibly the most disastrous production this already unfortunate play has ever sustained. More, Coward would declare it’s a travesty; of genius. Hands Across the Sea is pitch-perfect in a slightly outré version of what Coward meant.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

With Baum’s direction they and we discover new thresholds, new anatomies


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This surely is the greatest Dream since Peter Brook’s landmark 1970 production.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Might be the finest Globe Dream


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A theatrical arcady on our doorstep


A Separate Peace

Stoppard looks at society’s phantom limb ethic. Even when it’s gone it aches, and it aches to have someone opting out.


A Streetcar Named Desire

A landmark production


Afterplay

Miraculously-attuned. A wafer-thin but absolutely genuine slice of Chekhov. Do see it.


Albion

Victoria Hamilton still dominates, but Albion’s a fine ensemble piece. Goold has given Albion the air it needs: an unsettling parable on forcing an identity of ourselves.


all of it

A miniature classic of snatched meaning. Catch it.


Amadeus

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


Amsterdam

Did I say sucker-punch? It’s what the Orange Tree do every time.


An Inspector Calls

Still an outstanding production we might take for granted.


Antony and Cleopatra

Supremely worth it to see a pair so famous weighing equal in their own balance, perhaps for the first time.


As You Like It

Heartwarming, giddyingly vital yet clear with its own truth.


Barber Shop Chronicles

Barber Shop Chronicles is a breath-taking revelation for those of us who had small inkling of a world in miniature.


Beauty and the Beast

Nothing so convincing has been done with this legend. It deserves many revivals.


Beyond Glory

A powerful telling of the personal accounts of eight recipients of the Medal of Honour.


By Jeeves!

A thoroughly enjoyable period-style musical.


Cats

Easily the finest production we’ll get


Cops

A first-rate distillation of cop drama, into the theatre of cop’s lives.


Coriolanus

A Coriolanus memorable for politics sinewed with personal forces: an active interrogation of democracy. And in Josie Rourke’s production Tom Hiddleston’s someone riven by intimations of his true self


Crave

One of the most important productions since lockdown.


Cyprus Avenue

Devastating drama about the DNA of bigotry played as surreal farce.


Cyrano de Bergerac

James McAvoy is peerless and his companions are Asterix-hot.


Death of England

This work never loses its charge, its own rapturous arrival Spall gives the performance of his career so far.


Drawing the Line

Terrific, a harrowing education.


Far Away

Our greatest playwright since Beckett and Pinter. An outstanding revival. Hesitating?


Frankenstein

The acting scales cliff-edges of unreason. One remembers the scale of betrayal and loss of redemption


Frankenstein (alternate version)

The acting scales cliff-edges of unreason. One remembers the scale of betrayal and loss of redemption. Benedict Cumberbatch here is Frankenstein, Jonny Lee Miller the Creature. The alternate version aired first is still available.


From Henry VI Part 3 to Romeo and Juliet

Join and revel – they’re not anywhere near ended.


Hamlet

In Michelle Terry’s quicksilver, quick-quipping Hamlet, much has been proved, from interpretive to gender fluidity in tragic action, that sets a privilege on being in at a beginning.


Henry VI

The most effective condensation of the pith of the trilogy we’re likely to see.


I and You

Will leave you in a heap and wonder what else Lauren Gunderson has written that comes near this.


In Praise of Love

There’s no reason not to see this rare gem


Inside This Box

Showcases future names and above all is defiant with hope and agency


Jane Eyre

You’ll never see a better adaptation of this classic


Jesus Christ, Superstar

A sovereign production, unlikely to be equalled for the foreseeable


Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

A salutary reminder of how a great musical talent and collaboration started


King John

A tedious brief tragedy? King John is fun… It’s been said.


Krapp’s Last Tape/Eh Joe/The Old Tune

It’s Jermyn Street. If you can, see it.


Kunene and the King

A strain of greatness.


Les Blancs

A superb realization of Lorraine Hansberry's unfinished masterpiece - a classic of Ibsenite proportions


Lipstick

Performances and play that should turn us upside down. Do make a detour for this brave. tremulously beautiful coming of love.


Love Love Love

Epic eavesdropping casts that ultimate spell: reading ourselves by flashes of lightning.


Love Never Dies

One of the most fascinating dark-hued musicals Lloyd-Webber’s written


Macbeth

A stylishly visceral production.


Much Ado About Nothing

A blissfully alive production.


Nora

Stef Smith’s brilliant riff on Ibsen’s original is revelatory


Not Quite Jerusalem

An enduring little classic of Englishness on the turn, out of the ideal-exhausted Seventies and on the edge of darkness.


One Man, Two Guvnors

Outstanding. An immediate comic classic.


Richard II

Do see this.


Richard III

A deeply revolving production.


Rockets and Blue Lights

A paean to endurance, love, and wrenched freedoms.


Romeo and Juliet

Completeness is just one reason to cherish this clean-driven clear-headed production


Scenes with girls

Scenes with girls owns a buzz, a life, a difference about loving that gives it a sliver of unique.


Shirley Valentine

A funny, touching story of a life almost lost


Shoe Lady

Katherine Parkinson inhabits that breaking through the office crust asphyxiating us


Shoe Lady

Katherine Parkinson inhabits that breaking through the office crust asphyxiating us


Signed, Sealed, Delivered

A unique take on the isolation foisted on all of us


Small Island

A reboot for the future, a passport for change.


Teenage Dick

Ambition treads on teenage dreams and their devastation.


The Cutting Edge

You hope, unfairly, for a sequel.


The Deep Blue Sea

Helen McCrory plumbs the erotic despair of Hester Collyer’s abandoned woman in this absorbing revival of Rattigan’s masterpiece.


The Dog Walker

I want to know what life, not just Paul Minx will do with his characters afterwards. So will you.


The Good Dad (A Love Story)

Intricate, fiercely intelligent, this play packs far more force than some twice its length. Sarah Lawrie’s intensity is magnificent.


The Madness of George III

This magnificent revival poses even more urgent questions. A twitch on the thread for all of us.


The Merchant of Venice

A fleet traversal memorable for insights the company bring during and after their performance of it


The Merry Wives of Windsor

One of the two most cogent, most fun Merry Wives of recent years.


The Mikvah Project

Still a brave and beautiful play.


The Mikvah Project

Still a brave and beautiful play.


The New Tomorrow

There’s a generosity here, a big hug. Theatre itself affirms the value of life to those who might yet shape it for the better.


The Odyssey

A stupendous undertaking


The Phantom of the Opera

The Albert Hall’s sovereign production, unlikely to be surpassed particularly with the special encore.


The Skin Game

Treat this as a wonderful premiere you’ve not had to stir for.


The Spanish Tragedy

The OFS are taking flight with the best scratch nights the Elizabethans never had.


The Sugar Syndrome

A pitch-perfect revival. Even down to the dial-up screech.


The Taming of the Shrew

See it and you’ll never think of the Shrew without this groundbreaking stab at the dreams of men.


The Tin Drum

Nico Holonics’ blaze-through avatar is unlikely to be surpassed.


The Two Noble Kinsmen

We’re looking at a bright Book of Hours. Barrie Rutter’s done it profound service, adding a warmth and agency that opens up this pageant. This is hopefully just the first of many such he’ll bring to the Globe.


The Understudy

Do catch it, and match the feelgood price with nudging theatres towards opening night.


The Visit

Kushner’s just brought The Visit home with him.


The Welkin

Already a contender for one of the best plays of 2020.


The Winter’s Tale

Enjoy its slow burn miracles.


The Winter’s Tale

Far more than a curate’s egg, this production reveals things we’ve never seen


This House

Vibrant proof as to why it’s been called the play of the decade


Tiger Country

Tells us more truthfully then any play has, the heroism that hardens, the sacrifice that endures.


Treasure Island

First-rate theatre. In Joshua James’ Ben Gunn and above all Pasy Ferran’s Jim, we see stars rising quicker than Arthur Darvill’s superb Silver can point them out.


Troilus and Cressida

We’re privileged to see this rarely-performed work moulded by OFS. A play for our times.


Twelfth Night

Tamsin Greig’s extremes as Malvolia mark the first intimations of the terrible and define this production. The ground’s shifted.


Uncle Vanya

The definitive Vanya for our times


Wild

Theatrically the most thrilling end to any Bartlett play


Women Beware Women

A stylish, timely production which redefines how we experience Middleton.


Wonderland

Outstanding. Surely the definitive study of the dignity of physical labour, and breaking of its amity.


You Stupid Darkness!

Bleakly funny, with flickers of tragedy, to make you see how redemptive kindness is