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: And Then There Were None

This is the finest Christie production I can remember. If you’re not a Christie fan, do see this anyway: it’s far more than a whodunnit.


Review: Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol

Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol triumphs as easily the best junior take on this classic I’ve ever seen.


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: Cold War

Cold War ends with a draining-out of hope in Anya Chalotra and Luke Thallon; a desolate beauty the cast certainly earn.


Review: Tom’s Midnight Garden

An absolutely first-rate ensemble and they tell the story with all the wide-eyed wonder of a real enchantment, beyond Christmas, beyond, perhaps time. A gem.


Review: The House of Bernarda Alba

Adaptor Alice Birch takes the House apart like Rachel Whiteread’s sculpture. Harriet Walter is magnificent: staring out like a jailor, patrolling. Hainsworth remains hypnotic and terrible, joyously sexual and headlong as her Juliet in self-destruction.


Review: Refilwe

At just 45 minutes, a delightfully adapted fairy-tale, adapted in its turn. Bisola Aalbi’s rewrite is a lively, timely take on a silent culture war to make people of all ages think again.


Review: Ghosts

Tom Hill-Gibbins emphasises the original’s shock in conversational prose-style too. Stripped to a straight-through 100 minutes is hurtles like the Greek tragedy with reveals it essentially is.


Review: Twelve Angry Men

This is more than a first-rate revival. In this production it’s a must-see one, the definition of a superbly-made, timeless play.


Review: The Changeling

The closer Ricky Dukes sticks to the original, the more accessible, visceral, true this production is.


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 Yellow Wallpaper

Stephanie Mohr’s adaptation is a remarkable manifestation (no other word seems more apt) of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story The Yellow Wallpaper, an important realisation of a key feminist awakening. It’s good enough for you not to want it depicted in any other way.


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: Bowjangles: Dracula in Space

The stakes are high, as a talented string quartet encounter Dracula, with tremendously entertaining shenanigans aplenty


Review: Dusk

Provocative, deconstructed and creative theatrical adaptation.


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: Under Milk Wood

This is an exciting production, outdoors and adding a new dimension to our experience. Pace was a little slow in the first act, where the voices don’t pick each other up, and drop a fraction. But this gear-changes and the second act is energy itself, as the day wanes the actors energise and the whole spirit and voicing ups a notch too. It’s beautifully landed. Very warmly 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, 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: Des Kapital

Revolutionary songs sung by a lusty audience in the heart of Hove. A revolution in itself. If you’ve any sympathy, antipathy or subversive sense of humour towards a way at laughing at history’s atrocities, and thinking there must be a better way - this is the show for you.


Review: Moby Dick

It's hard to distinguish puppet from human in a spectacular retelling of Moby Dick.


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: Kidnapped

A glorious romantic romp with hidden depths


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: 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: 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: Bakkhai

The Tale of Your Times. Of Old Times. Of Times Yet To Come.


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: Who Is No. 1?

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


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: Jules et Jim

A thoroughly worthwhile, and in several senses heady undertaking. And certainly worth seeing.


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: 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.


Review: Phaedra

Stone suggests only someone as demonstrably damaged and damaging as Helen (Phaedra), in other words a politician, might pursue self-destruction so relentlessly; and devastate so many. It’s brilliantly achieved elsewhere than with the core relationship.


Review: Dance of Death

A hectic in the blood of 20th century drama. Its just here the hectic is realised like never before.


Review: Wish You Were Dead

There’s a good enough story for this to be recalibrated. Though If you’re a James fan, you’ll need to see this.


Review: Heathers

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


Review: The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption returns in an even stronger production than in 2015: sharper, more visceral, and with a stronger set and sound, frames even more resonant performances


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: 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: Sarah

An unnerving testing of that space between naturalism and hallucination, redemption and blank unknowing, studded with a language that flies off the page.


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: The Lavender Hill Mob

Certainly enjoyable and the second act shows what it might be. There’s not a moment’s longeurs


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 Seagull

A Seagull for the initiated, a meditation rather than the play itself, it’s still a truthful distillation, wholly sincere, actors uniformly excellent


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: Dracula

Robert Hamilton’s novel stage version of Dracula should be published and used widely


Review: Silence

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


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: Waiting For God

Sarah Mann and Nathan Ariss lead a fine company into a dash to eternity and back. With a memorable finale of two weddings and a funeral.


Review: Hedda

A must see mesmerising modern take on an Ibsen Classic


Review: Caligari

a 1920's silent film about power and illusion retold by a talented young company of musician/actors


Review: A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Imaginative production of a magical realism story with intrigue, drama and subtle humour that people of all ages can enjoy together.


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: The Poison Belt

So what could a Sussex-based sci-fi tale of 1913 by Conan Doyle – a space-borne poison belt of gas that hits the earth – possibly have to do with the week of the greatest temperatures known in the UK?


Review: Waitress

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


Review: The Dance of Death

Highlights the truth of its bleak laughter. Humane Strindberg. Now there’s a thing.


Review: Astra

There’s nothing remotely like it and Foyle’s team have broken through to the stars.


Review: Cluedo

An object lesson in comic timing; a steep cut above the ‘real’ whodunnits we’re likely to see this year or next.


Review: Cancelling Socrates

Howard Brenton touching eighty is at the height of his powers. Tom Littler has assembled a pitch-perfect cast, reuniting two from his outstanding All’s Well. This too.


Review: The Last

Chittenden’s done a great service not only to Mary Shelley’s novel, but to the way we imagine. And Amy Kidd’s exemplary.


Review: Room

As a condensation and enactment of Woolf’s seminal text this can’t be improved on. The outstanding one-person show I’ve seen this Fringe.


Review: God of Carnage

Acting here is tighter than any version I’ve seen. This revival of a modern classic has to be the best of the Fringe so far.


Review: Orlando

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


Review: How It Is Part 2

Immersive, outstanding, unrepeatable and unimaginable anywhere else


Review: Beautiful

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


Review: When We Dead Awaken

Ibsen’s elusive masterpiece is so rarely performed seeing it is an imperative. Played with such authority as here, in Norwegian and English, it’s not a luxury but a must-see.


Review: An Hour and a Half Late

Don’t miss this authentic, touching, devastatingly comic anatomy of a marriage as soufflé, supremely served by Rhys-Jones and Dee.


Review: The Da Vinci Code

Actually improves on Brown with theatrical humour and bold gestures; with a set that tells the story almost as much as the strong cast.


Review: The 39 Steps

A recalibrated masterpiece and another outstanding production from BLT.