Review: Emilia

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

Review: Elise

A Fascinating Portrayal of the Lost Women of the Beatnik Era

Review: Gie’s Peace

Inspiring Stories of Courageous Women - An Exploration of War Through Storytelling and Music

Review: Sisterhood

Three Women Convicted of Witch Craft Make Peace with Their Fates and Reveal How Little Has Changed

Review: The Fishermen

A Traumatic But Transformational Fight For Life, Freedom, and Understanding

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: Trojan Horse

Compelling, devastating, uncompromising,

Review: NewsRevue

Sets the standard, year after year, for rapid-fire sketch comedy.

Review: Brexit

Frenetic inertia wins the day.

Review: Spun

The genius and universality of this play is that Hussain writes stingingly of what it’s like to be working-class as well as Asian.

Review: One For Sorrow

Cordelia Lynn’s a compelling dramatist whose political imagining is swept into musical paragraphs, landing on rhythmic details, pitches of self-betrayal.

Review: Notes From the Field

What makes this harrowing selection work is how Smith varies, gradates and paces her interviews; and builds a climax. It renders the experience a memorial; it’s what such artistry’s for. You will experience nothing like this and leave reeling.

Review: Translations

In this pitched-perfect National Theatre production in the Olivier, Translations taps as close to its power as it can. This is the version for a generation.

Review: Translations

In this pitched-perfect National Theatre production in the Olivier, Translations taps as close to its power as it can. This is the version for a generation.

Review: Act and Terminal 3

everything – set, actors, script – come mesmerizingly and painfully together.

Review: Ubu Roi

An Absurd Look At The State We're In...And What Might Happen Next

Review: White Girls

Clever but raw self-referential storytelling that will likely divide audiences

Review: My Father Held A Gun

"A passionate, storytelling show with live cinematic music about war and peace, acts of heroism, and the love for life."

Review: King Charles III

This is an outstanding production, one of the two or three finest amateur ones I’ve ever seen. It can hold its head amongst consummate professional ones.

Review: For King and Country

Terrific immersive fun. If you want to know what might have happened in an alternative December 1940, this is as exciting, informative and perhaps as authentic experience as you could encounter.

Review: The Great Wave

Turnly’s straightforward play treats of a history we’re unfamiliar with, and we need it straight. That’s more than enough to make it thoroughly absorbing, with far more questions than when we entered the space. Do see it.

Review: The Claim

Ultimately this is a play putting humanity and the limits of empathy on trial, the whole refugee crisis and bureaucracy’s way of distorting, dishonouring witness a corruptive glare that’s universal. It’s a vital, seminal work on how we misunderstand our humanity.

Review: Bad Roads

Leading Ukraine dramatist Natal’ya Vorozhbit won’t indulge the luxury of exploring just one outstanding tableau in isolation in these six harrowing vignettes. Infinitely more than postcards from the edge of the redacted west, they nudge then kick us back out of our own barbaric comforts.

Review: B

We need more Calderon and more of the Court’s excellent International Playwrights programme. ‘Those who are still laughing’, Brecht claimed grimly, ‘have not heard the terrible news.’ Yet he always laughed and Calderon, in William Gregory’s idiomatic translation ensures this piece is memorable because we laugh, scratch our heads, perhaps look furtively at our bags.

Review: The Best Man

It’s a cruel joke Vidal died shortly before the era of Trump. How cruelly he’d have joked about it. But we have this classic political thriller. It’ll last, horribly.

Review: Oslo

Oslo is the kind of recent-history thriller to place with Michael Frayn’s Democracy, the riven vagaries of Copenhagen, or more distantly, of a scope not so far removed from Rona Munro’s James Plays trilogy. You’ll soon see why it won a Tony.

Review: Against

Starring Ben Whishaw as rocket-billionaire-turned-visionary Luke, Christopher Shinn’s Against furnishes a brave sad update to Simon and Garfunkel’s 1960s refrain: They’ve All Come to Look for America. Luke looks for answers in the heart of violence. The ballad of Luke and helpmeet Sheila though haunts its refrain.

Review: Adam

Powerful story of gender and cultural identity

Review: 5 Soldiers

Evocative, dynamic and impressive!

Review: Committee

This edgy new development, faithful to one incident, marks a more than worthwhile variation on such larger works as London Road. It’s more illuminating than the history it sheds music on.

Review: These Trees Are Made Of Blood

A necessary piece of theatre, the band are superb; a couple of numbers will take residence in your ear. Theatrically it’s almost achieved too, and if it feels slightly clunky it’s that the brilliant conceit of political trickery can’t be sustained over the sombre facts the second act introduces us to. The end’s overwhelming. Two audience members sat quietly weeping together and could not move for minutes after. Others sat stunned.

Review: An Octoroon

Of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ brilliance there’s no doubt whatsoever. With such a wonderful cast led by the stunning Nwosu this makes the most persuasive and certainly comical case for a re-fashioning that’s now (almost) the only way we can look at the Boucicault original of this play.

Review: Borderline

"....saving you the need to go to Calais or any other refugee camp"

Review: David Hoyle

A Compelling and Heart Wrenching Explosion of Love

Review: The Forecast

The Forecast is an unforgettable experience on many levels - a horrifying, yet ultimately hopeful story about a future that is already pulling into the driveway

Review: Wet Bread

What’s Left must be right. But the country’s voted, Right. Do catch this! Left-wing activist Adele is just the dominant voice when Morag Sims puts on the best single act of a whole cast I’ve seen in a long time.

Review: Octopus

A forthright political performance that pulls no punches

Review: Protect and Survive

Imagine it’s three minutes to midnight before a nuclear winter. And that’s slipped on January 26th this year to two-and-a-half. Jonathan Williamson’s created a laconic take on the old 1970s-80s nuclear holocaust warnings.

Review: Blindfold: The Night of the Hunt

Four actors led by writer/director Sofia Stavrakaki enact what’s clearly a prison of a circus, people forced to perform a ritual of trouping for the delectation of a whip-cracking elite. A summary hardly does justice to the atmosphere this production evokes or the meta-language burning through the glares of hallucinated prey. You’ll know whether it’s for you if you like Beckett or European theatre

Review: Eglantyne

What’s in this name? Eglantyne means a prickly rose and smells by any name bittersweet. Founder of Save the Children who burned herself out in its service. This is enlightening and moving in equal measure, not only rendering a great service, but asking after Eglantyne Jebb’s breath-taking leaps of empathy, how far we’ve come since.

Review: Tina C’s President -C

Witty, wonderful and warming politics meets drag queen meets country a tent on an intersection.

Review: Travesties

Together with textual revisions making this a newly-definitive production, with the cast re-moulding it and above all Hollander’s superbly faltering diffidence, this is the outstanding revival of a play in the West End this season.

Review: Ready or Not

Ahmed’s writing in Ready or Not for the women protagonists makes you wonder what life, not Ahmed, will do with them. It’s a tribute to a dramatist who dares, and to a sense that this drama has another within it, signalling to be let out.

Review: Limehouse

How do you tell if you’re starting afresh or writing a longer suicide note than Labour’s 1983 manifesto? Even if he can’t nail the specifics of the volte-face, Waters comes tantalisingly close to defining such a political moment in this short drama of the founding of the SDP. With acting as superb indeed commanding as this, it’s a privilege to come away watery-eyed from raw leeks.

Review: Out of Order

Out of Order is a superbly revised first-rank farce with not a weak link, furiously paced featuring perhaps the only time the window (in person?) gets a curtain call.

Review: Mary Stuart

Supremely realized by Stevenson and Williams, Icke’s triumphant production dispenses with trappings save to point up the reverse symbolism at the end which like all opposites fuses into one lost head in two, as both queens’ final gaze burns like scenes from an execution.

Review: The Children

This devil’s bargain of a drama is how one generation takes responsibility for the ecological box of spiders it’s let out. One strength lies in avoiding the obvious. For one thing the children are absent. Kirkwood’s masterly play resonates with macrocosmic power, towering over the minutiae of living.

Review: The Nest

This translation is more than a vivid spin on a foreign play. McPherson has spotted kindred and made it a blood brother of his imagination.

Review: Guerilla Aspies

This is an absolutely necessary and enagaging show about Aspergers we need to see back. The audience was packed, and exhilarated, Wady making contact with nearly everyone but in a creative and – yes – neutrotypical way.

Review: Oil

This is a fabulous tale. Duff’s portrayal, tightrope-walking tenderness over an abyss of fear and atavistic decisions, forms the long burning-down wick of the play. Necessary theatre, and Hickson’s decision to focus on the mother-daughter axis underscores a neat parable of what we say we love, and how it might really love us back.

Review: A Tale of Two Cities

An outstanding production, with the central character given an outstanding performance by Joseph Timms. He’s supported by a near-faultless cast, and no weak links with a whiplash direction against the best of backdrops, even for the worst of times.

Review: Glasgow Girls

Even on fictive terms this would garner praise for its raw power, its beating passion for justice and humanity. Difficult as it might be not to come away warmed this ensemble – and original musical – make it so very easy. This needs to be everywhere and should be shown if not live, then screened.

Review: Child’s Play

An intelligently argued, entertaining defence of a much-maligned generation

Review: A Boy Named Sue

Finely crafted, well acted play that is smart, poetic, gutsy and compelling!