Review: Oliver!

There’s not a moment in this two-hours-40 where you’re not at the edge of your seat. The best musical revival this year. Don’t wait till it transfers to the West End.


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: 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: 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: 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.


Review: Cowbois

Cranford’s gone Wild West, via the Court and RSC. Cowbois is of course daft. But it’s magnificent in its silliness, contains wonderful – and truthful – moments. Deadly serious can have you rolling in the aisles and still jump up for the revolution.


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: Oh What a Lovely War

Musically directed by Ellie Verkerk the six-strong cast play instruments throughout. They’re a phenomenal team, singing beautifully a capella or in solo. With six young actors mostly fresh out of drama school absolutely at the top of their first game, we’re treated to acting both hungry to prove and yet touched by the world they’ve entered. This is an outstanding production.


Review: Something Rotten

If the proof is in the pudding (or the omelette, if you’ve seen the show), this production is proof of what can happen when community theatre is given the support and resources that allow people to showcase their innate creativity and talents.


Review: Greatest Days

It’s a one-stop night out to spot upcoming with established talent. Everything from costume-change to curtain-call is a kaleidoscope.


Review: Blood Brothers

This reinvigorated classic has overwhelming impact: as story, as lyric fable, as terrible moral for these distracted times.


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: An Afternoon With Anton Du Beke and Friends

Du Beke would have easily been able to present a polished, over-the-top extravaganza to rival the Ziegfeld Follies, but this being the Fringe, he gave us an intimate, scrappy hour that provided the perfect tonic for a rainy day in the last week of the festival. 


Review: Brain Hemingway

A blocked playwright with a looming deadline is haunted by the subject of her last failed show: Ernest Hemingway.


Review: Blue Morpho

The flapping of a butterfly’s wing can have a great effect


Review: After This Plane Has Landed

New musical drama based on the harrowing story of kidnapped British journalist John McCarthy and Jill Morell's relentless campaigning for his freedom.


Review: Broadway Diva

A magical journey through classic musical theatre show tunes


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: La Petite Gerda

Imaginative retelling of Snow Queen story with beautifully sung songs, excellent acting and creative storytelling.


Review: Oscar at the Crown

An immersive neon extravaganza that brings us Oscar Wilde, not as we know him and not as we ought to either.


Review: Jingle Street

Annoyingly catchy jingles that will linger longer than you might want


Review: The Sound of Music

This is a top, not just first-rate cast; a riveting, rethought revival. There’s not a weak link - and some vocal surprises. The end is almost unbearably moving. Some still come over mountains as here, some in small boats. You might not feel the same about something you thought you knew. An outstanding revival.


Review: Then, Now and Next

The Book and Lyrics are peerless for this scale, or indeed anywhere: and we can only look forward to much more from Orton and Robyns. This is a heart-rending, heart-warming piece. Laughter certainly, tears, yes those too. The must-see musical of the summer.


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: Kidnapped

A glorious romantic romp with hidden depths


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: Idle Women

Musical theatre that motors along the canals of England with women at its heart and helm.


Review: Kidnapped

A fantastic reimagining of a classic tale set in a time we need to be challenged.


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: Heathers

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


Review: A Mother’s Song

An incredible musical feat of centuries of connection made through song, motherhood and a dazzling sense of bridging continents and time with ballads.


Review: The Emergence Festival

A fascinating evening of well-considered works that augur well for many with a real future in the arts.


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: 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: Cher A New Musical

See it here first before you feel compelled to travel to pay West End prices.


Review: A Wilde Life

Oscar Wilde is in a bar in Paris and wants to talk about himself - what could possibly go wrong?


Review: Caligari

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


Review: Fabulett 1933

Camp and tender musical portrayal of life for queers in 1933 Berlin through the forced closing of the decadent Fabulett club.


Review: Little Git

A musical story of everyday disappointment, told by two musicians, reaching a significant age with equally significant decisions to be made.


Review: Waitress

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


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: Beautiful

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


Review: Rocky Horror Show

Absolutely worth seeing however many times you have already


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: On Your Bike

Love, labour and left over pizzas in a foot-tapping whirligig of a musical.


Review: Six

Outstanding, the finest West End musical for years


Review: Tom Lehrer

Another sovereign tribute. Stefan Bednarczyk brings Tom Lehrer swaggering out of retirement.  


Review: Mr and Mrs Nobody

A warm-hearted yet sharp-witted peek at how the Pooter half live


Review: Sitting Pretty

When you see this show return, it’ll be outstanding, and in the frame for awards.


Review: Living Newspaper #7

Like all the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series, we need this. Watch a group of young dramatists take on the future


Review: Living Newspaper #6

Like all the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series, we need this. Watch what this does with the future


Review: Living Newspaper #5

Like all the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series, we need this. Watch.


Review: Before After

A pristine, heartwarming Valentine of a musical, starring a pair of real-life lovers, it deserves a real-life run


Review: Public Domain

At 65 minutes it’s worth anyone’s time and emphatically money.


Review: Hollow

Poignant music compliments a compelling fable with strong imagery


Review: Lady M

An inspired idea that struggles a little to deliver itself


Review: Being Posy

A solo performance which is written large in visible ink and all the more truthful for it.


Review: Beauty and the Beast

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


Review: The Sound of Music

Phenomenal singing all round. A more than solid recommendation for that alone.


Review: Cats

Easily the finest production we’ll get