Review: The Booth

Clashing egos and back stage shenanigans


Review: Love, Monty

A one man show of original writing from an exceptional actor playing to the strengths of yesteryear.


Review: Rites of Passage

A new play from two compelling performers, fascinating, moving, and relatable.


Review: Adults

An entertaining farce set in a brothel with quality performances by its three-strong cast


Review: Decay

A first class production by an accomplished youth theatre


Review: Poof!

Combining subtlety with an inspirational message, this truly is a bit of magic.


Review: Initial Consult

Despite what might seem to be heavy material, there is never a moment where you feel like you can’t laugh. It is all delivered with warmth, energy, and skill that is impossible to not be charmed by. 


Review: Joe & Ken

Most of all, this couple capture the feel of the Orton/Halliwell exchange, the chemistry, the aromatic stink of sex from Craig Myles’ Orton, the sweat and self-disgust of Tino Orsini’s Halliwell. John Dunne’s created an Ortonesque, almost What the Dramatist Saw version of events. Orton might have liked that best. And Halliwell, narrating his own death in Orsini’s delivery, been appeased.


Review: Jingle Street

Annoyingly catchy jingles that will linger longer than you might want


Review: Our Father

‘Our Father unpacks the embodied, generational consequences of absent-present F/fathers being, human’. Mo Korede poetically approaches the theme of fatherhood with skill, style and substance.


Review: Sectioned

A raw and poetic journey through the experience of being sectioned


Review: When Winston Went to War With the Wireless

An absorbing, layered, superbly entertaining two-and-a-half hours that couldn’t be more relevant. Set against The Motive and the Cue, it also proves how history allows Jack Thorne to be even more versatile than we imagined.


Review: Word-Play

Here though, Rabiah Hussain’s greatest strengths are allied to an excoriating sense of the limits of first language, how it colonises, even destroys mother tongues, and marginalises, even imprisons those who buck the monolinguistic norm. Hussain’s poised for remarkable things.


Review: Cuckoo

Michael Wynne bringing something full circle touches where the floating island of home and family might bring sanctuary, or last refuge before the cuckoos come and kick you out. A must-see, particularly for those who’ve not thought the Royal Court could rock with laughter.


Review: Union

After his breakthrough Rainer, much is expected of Max Wilkinson. Here he dazzles in depth with a fable of the limits of human agency, and conscience. Do see it.


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: Goodbye Jolene

A gentle tribute to singing, its people and touching disabilities that affect us all (in this case one in seven), it’s a major sixth in Siobhan Nicholas’ own augmented chord of plays. If you’re attracted by any of the themes, it’s a must-see, but it’s worth anyone’s 90 minutes.


Review: The Swell

An absorbing play, as breathtaking as one of its surfing epiphanies. The Swell will break over your head. Let it. You’ll come up for air changed. A small masterpiece.


Review: Dear England

There’s a sacramental thrill as you enter the NT’s Olivier: both sci-fi and ancient Greek. James Graham Dear England, directed by Rupert Goold, is like that: tackling something seen as almost too sacred, at once transcendent for many; but so impacted by nationalist hubris it’s become sclerotic. We enter the game at a historically pivotal moment. Where English football will never be the same. Outstanding.


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: Cheesy Cheesy Catchy Mousey

There’s surprises here you’ll discover. A superb landmark in Mark Daniels’ gifted exploration of Absurdism’s relevance. This isn’t deadly theatre, it’s quietly lethal to deathly assumptions everywhere. See it.


Review: Hope has a Happy Meal

A balloon dystopia announces Tom Fowler Hope has a Happy Meal. It’s a smiley killer-clown place with real clowns; very funny at times though charged with melancholy for what might have been. Despite one or two moments, Hope feels a solid world, rather than a sketchy work distended into a play. Fowler’s settling into himself, definitely both worth seeing and pursuing.


Review: The Return of Benjamin Lay

Naomi Wallace and actor Mark Provinelli inhabit this gestural giant with wit, sympathy, rage and an agency burning up centuries between. It’s profoundly moving too, speaks to our condition of techno-serfdom, new slavery, discrimination everywhere. The packed audience are never sure who might be picked on next, but delight in the calling-out. Superb.


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: all of it

Still the most sheerly thrilling yet intimate piece MacDowall has written, though all three pieces amplify that. A miniature classic of snatched meaning its staging too flashes by with shocking brevity. In all it lasts just 90 minutes. Catch it.


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: The Last Night Out

Very-well written, darkly comedic, more touchingly true, writer Paul M Bradley and Georgie Banks take this just as far as it’ll go. Highly recommended.


Review: A Caravan Named Desire

Anything by Alexander and Helen Millington is worth coming for. A Caravan Named Desire isn’t yet at the level of I Love Michael Ball but by the time you see it, it almost certainly will be. This is a team to watch and queue for.


Review: Frogmore Poets at 40

If treating of some poets more fully than others, it reflects on what sticks in the aural memory without notes. It was however a memorable evening; the poets themselves will remain present, now their presence at least remains indelible.


Review: I Believe in One Bach

An absorbing, extraordinarily well-written short play on letting go of your identity, the part giving it meaning. It’s also excoriatingly funny. On a mundane level, it’s case of ‘work won’t love you back’; on another, to quote the Narrator, this work’s not a noun but a verb. In addressing how we live up to the transcendence we create for ourselves, it affirms the unanswerable. The finest new short play of the fringe.


Review: A Brief List of Everyone Who Died

“Death is the most natural thing in the world.” Not to five—year-old Gracie, whose life of resistance as Gracie, Grace but mostly Graciela Jacob Marx Rice traces in A Brief List of Everyone Who Died. Yet again Finborough have mounted – and nurtured – a first-class work miles from larger fare that fades. Do rush to see it.


Review: Under the Kunde Tree

There’s much to learn here, and as theatrical spectacle this is the intimate intimating the epic. Clarisse Makundul has given us a powerful work, and I’d urge you to see it.


Review: Il Burattino

An Italian soldier at the eastern front


Review: 30 and Out

It’s important Brighton welcomes such terrific all-encompassing shows such as this, sashaying hilarity and superbly-crafted storytelling with dance and poignant witness. You can’t go away a bit unchanged.


Review: Chemistry

Chemistry is a consummate production. Yet again Sam Chittenden reminds us how theatre can punch holes into the future, partly to ensure they never happen.


Review: Greenfinch

Pete Strong maps his life through walks in nature in a poetic exploration of how we lift ourselves up and move on


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: Awful People

As someone who lists one of her pastimes as ‘spite’ Julie Burchill - who’s written the play Awful People with Daniel Raven – seems in remarkably forgiving mode. It’s a benign intergenerational tussle. Burchill and Raven have built up chuck-lists of late boomer assumptions. When the crisis arrives, outcomes are well-devised and pacy.


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: 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: Idle Women

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


Review: Havisham

As ever with Heather Alexander, this is a masterclass in acting. It’s also a masterclass in directing and technical address. The outstanding one-person show of the Fringe so far


Review: The Motive and the Cue

An extraordinary production. If it’s a homage more magnificent than wholly revealing, it doesn’t stint on a riveting performance by Mark Gatiss, who glows with the still, sad music of Gielgud’s humanity.


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: 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: No I.D.

The celebration of acceptance and being wholly comfortable in your own body for the first time in your life transmits to everyone. It should make you more comfortable, knowing how Tatenda Shamiso radiates the joy of his, bestowing a kind of benediction. A quietly groundbreaking show.


Review: Jules et Jim

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


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: You Bury Me

An essential play so rich in its one-hour-forty you emerge dazed with possibilities. Director Katie Posner hopes it’ll change you. So do I.


Review: The Only White

A vital play that needs to seen. See it here and subsequently a well-deserved transfer or revival.


Review: Pussycat in Memory of Darkness

Neda Nezhdana’s play is a world: not simply a map of pain and war footage. Both essential and in the mesmerising Kristin Millward’s and Polly Creed’s hands, with this team, it’s almost a compulsory visit.


Review: SAP

SAP will endure as both a superb play and key witness in a struggle for acceptance, to be heard. See it.


Review: Out of the Frying Pan

If you know Judy Upton as a playwright you might have an inkling what to expect in this debut fiction. Witty, observant, self-deprecating, very funny, full of subversive glee, with its own moral field. I’d put nothing past this extremely gifted writer


Review: BLACK SUPERHERO

Sharp, shapely dialogue, sizzling humour, ambitious theatricality a compelling story wrapped in baggy metaphors. There’s never a moment when the play’s proved less than engaging, sometimes riveting. A must-see debut play.


Review: Farm Hall

A stunningly confident debut. My outstanding play of the year so far.


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: Mad(e)

A mind-altering experience, and in writer and director one of the most inspiring partnerships I’ve seen


Review: Graceland

Understanding traumatic narrative from the outside: seeing through a skylight, darkly. An impressive debut


Review: Romeo and Julie

A gentle, heart-warming, occasionally hilarious play, and strikes a fresh redemptive note in Gary Owen’s work. Callum Scott Howells and Rosie Sheehy blaze across this play like meteors inexorably entering the earth’s orbit, seemingly doomed to break up or worse. And did I say it showers screamingly funny one-liners too?


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: In the Net

See In the Net for its ambition, its occasionally gorgeous language, Offie-worthy lighting and in Carlie Diamond, an actor to greet and watch, making I predict one of the most assured debuts of the coming year.


Review: Irrelevant

Keith Merrill and Debbie Chazen have crafted an Everywoman (and man) for whoever’s gifted yet still never makes it. Look forward to a lot more of this kind from Merrill’s Le Gallienne.


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: 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: Here

A major talent with a distinct voice, and the consummate assurance to express it with stamp and precision


Review: The Lavender Hill Mob

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


Review: Not One of These People

Worth 95 minutes of anyone’s time, you come out heavier with the weight of where you’ve been.


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: Cher A New Musical

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


Review: Something in the Air

An outstanding development in Gill’s oeuvre, and of permanent worth.


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.