Review: All’s Well That Ends Well

Don’t go expecting searing insights, but do go for a crack ensemble who will surely turn many to Shakespeare. An endearing and uplifting enterprise.

Review: As You Like It

A first-rate outdoor revival, and easily rivalling what the Globe have to offer.

Review: Homestead

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

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: As You Like It

It’s the trio of cousins and lover who ensure this production enjoys its fathoms-deep in love. An As You Like It with an inviting new prologue by Travis Alabanza, underscoring the forest’s healing as well as magical inversions; but shorn of its Epilogue. When you see how that Epilogue’s so rich in queerness and transgression it seems an own goal to the fluffier part of this production’s vibes.

Review: Henry V

A satisfying seasonal finale: a clear, engaging, visceral production with nothing vital lost. It’s as straight-down-the-martial line as outdoor productions of Henry V need to be.

Review: Romeo and Juliet

One of the finest OFS productions. Its velocity, tumbling comedy and bawdy, tragedy through lightning brawls, rapier-wit foiled in quicksilver, rapiers foiling wit, headlong teen despair, the exaltation of love flown in lyric sonnets and defying stars: it’s all here, principally because of three outstanding actors. The Romeo of newcomer Isabella Leung, who’s never played Shakespeare in her life, the return of Catie Ridewood as Juliet. And the return from that golden season of 2021: David Samson as Mercutio.

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 – seamlessly transferred to an ampitheatre.

Review: The Taming of the Shrew

A slowly evolving, involving reading. Alex Louise can certainly develop this to a full-scale production. She just needs to take care of the script’s truth, though it seems contradictory. Confidence and imagination will soon sort that.

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: Bakkhai

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

Review: The Winter’s Tale

An enormously satisfying reading that happens to be groundbreaking. It’s Sean Holmes’ finest production yet.

Review: I, Joan

The title role goes to Isobel Thom, making their professional debut: the greatest I’ve ever seen.

Review: The Comedy of Errors

One of the most vivid, aesthetically cogent, certainly funniest OFS productions

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: The Tempest

A joyous production, that without its gimmicky close, could certainly furnish a way in for many

Review: Julius Caesar

If you’re a habitual groundling, go before this production vanishes back on tour

Review: As You Like It

Pure holiday humour. For all outdoor markets, I’d buy this.

Review: Julius Caesar

A fleet powerful Julius Caesar, with some outstanding performances

Review: Twelfth Night

With Michelle Terry as Viola, one of the most touching and truthful Twelfth Nights I’ve seen.

Review: Romeo and Juliet

A fleet, brilliantly upending, wholly relevant take on the Verona-ready toxicity feeding male violence and young depression

Review: Rapunzel

A tremendously enthusiastic summer panto slap bang in the tradition of getting them going, taking them on a journey and filling them full of good cheer.

Review: Richard II

One of OFS’s strongest productions, it’s also a return to roots.

Review: The Twits

A summer must-see to charge you up for the autumn, and taking on the real twits ahead.

Review: Dracula

You should see this with some fine acting and a storyline making more sense of Dracula than Stoker does himself.

Review: The Lady in the Van

Sarah Mann and her company will surely return with this gem of transubstantiation.

Review: As You Like It

Heartwarming, giddyingly vital yet clear with its own truth.

Review: As You Like It

A heartwarming revival. Jack Laskey, Bettrys Jones and Nadia Nadarajah have made a space for this As You Like It well beyond its initial moment last year.

Review: Henry V

The enormous energy Sarah Amankwah brings proclaims greatness in the making

Review: Clean

An unmitigated yell for old-school feminism

Review: Eyam

A ringing, tolling end to a pioneering season. This play must have a life – and already possesses a miraculous importunity.

Review: The Crucible

Identity Theatre Company’s Blue Remembered Hills was a stand-out last year. Directed by Nettie Sheridan and Gary Cook, this is too: strongly-conceived and mostly well-acted with stand-outs: don’t miss it.

Review: Emilia

This is a necessary, thrilling play, its energy and message spill straight into the audience.

Review: Othello

Othello will never quite seem the same again; that’s an achievement and a marker.

Review: Animal Farm

A swift and telling production that’s quick-swerving on its feet with memorable vocal projection and physical acting that’s a delight and enticement. This outstanding outdoor version feels special.

Review: The Comedy of Errors

This is a light-footed, thump-fisted, limp-wristed and eye-poppingly uproarious production.

Review: The Tempest

A superb, fleet outdoor Tempest. What it has to lack in quiet subtlety, it more than makes up in fleet humour with dispatch, keen wit, warmth, and truth.

Review: Rear View

Where live street theatre and guerrilla film-making mesh in perfect harmony.

Review: Julius Caesar

Together with several definitive and newly-founded interpretations, it’s Hytner’s lithe political thriller that emerges by contrast as a physical assault on the senses. From out of the smoke and flashes of this outstanding production, there’s jumpings-on and off as participants run up from all sides and even jostle people out of the way.

Review: Boudica

Do see this, a magnificent and largely successful attempt to revive History plays, with an energy and on occasion subtlety that with justice should bring us more large-scale Tristan Bernays.

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream’s ideal for open air summer nights: The Brighton Shakespeare Company produces the most joyous, certainly sweetest Dream I can remember. It’s fresh, certainly but also enormously warm-hearted. You feel the ‘silver bow new-bent in heaven’ has unloosed a shower of happiness.

Review: Blue Remembered Hills

This is by any standards a remarkable production that at BOAT has found its time and avatar. Sheridan and Cook lead a production that takes Blue Remembered Hills back to somewhere near its source.

Review: The Plain Dealer

Nicholas Quirke and D. A. F. T. will always confound expectations. Long may they do so. Quirke’s D.A.F.T. Theatre arrives at Brighton Open Air Theatre – or to crowd acronyms, B. O. A. T. - with Restoration dramatist William Wycherley’s 1676 The Plain Dealer. With hovering seagulls swooping for chicken legs, and a superb exit by Matthew Carrington f-ing everything then ‘F-ing interval’ it’s a sparklingly-observed revival.

Review: The Comedy of Errors

As excellent outdoor theatre it approaches the quality of the Globe and others on tour. Most important, it never clutters, direction supremely clear in this most tangled of works. In imagination and reach they’re already consummate; they’ll doubtless vie with the Globe On Tour soon. And there’s that tang of the time to savour, uniquely theirs.

Review: Depart

Big, bold, beautiful, baffling.

Review: When Love Grows Old

Could this be the pilot to a melancholically-observed sitcom like Vicious? One audience member suggested it. Whilst The Romance of the Century is beautifully observed and deftly revivifies a much-fictioned historical turning-point, The Weatherman is outstanding comedy, as are the performances.

Review: Company of Wolves

A show with great potential that fell a little short

Review: Walking:Holding

A poignant performance piece for one audience member.

Review: One Million

A large-scale outdoor production celebrating the spirit of youth.

Review: Fixing Point

A kind of personal sonic treasure hunt in a beautiful landscape.

Review: A High Street Odyssey

An interesting site specific wander, giving a new perspective on shopping

Review: Allotment

"touching and darkly humorous"

Review: The Bus Show

Madcap mayhem on ... a bus!

Review: If I ruled the World

A show that gives the world to you

Review: And No Birds Sing

Victorian theatre for the search-engine generation.

Review: Hotel Medea

A six hour journey through the classic myth, full of light and shade .. and then, finally, the morning light.

Review: Allotment

A beautiful tragicomic site-specific two-hander

Review: Mirazozo

Unique and uplifting

Review: What Remains

A haunting promenade around Edinburgh's medical school with Grid Iron

Review: I Came By Myself to a Crowded Place

This slight but atmospheric piece uses optical technology to tell the plaintive tale of a missed tryst

Review: Carnivale

Intruiguing and has a lot of potential

Review: Power of Compassion

A theatrical education in Tibetan Buddhist spiritual culture

Review: Suspicious Package

An intriguing and unique theatrical experience.