Review: Richard III

In a female-led cast led by the eponymous Richard III (Michelle Terry) it’s striking that the trio of cursing women is this production’s highlight


Review: Sanctuary

Christine Rose as dramatist is a name we’ll be hearing, with luck, very soon.


Review: Homestead

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


Review: The Trials of Magnus Coffinkey

Of the 115 (mostly London) shows I’ve seen this year so far, it ranks as the most profound, and one of the very finest.


Review: Magpie

This really has no place in the Brighton Fringe. Perhaps the Festival. What is a slice of the darkest Sean O’Casey doing at a 9pm slot? Outstanding.


Review: Laughing Boy

Stephen Unwin directs his own play as a sweep of storytelling, laughter and devastation.


Review: Frozen

Frozen is far more than a thriller: it’s an interrogation into the limits of what evil-doing is, what redemption and some capacity to forgive might be, and its consequences: and above all it ends in a thaw cracking like a Russian spring.


Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

Mike Poulton’s text gleams and snaps. Lucy Bailey’s production of it thrills and occasionally overwhelms, dazzling in its maze of missteps. A must-see.


Review: Machinal

This triumphant revival by Ustinov Studios and the Old Vic might finally encourage exploration. You must see this.


Review: Macbeth

It’s a phenomenal feat and even if you know Macbeth, it’s still a must-see for how a quintessence can be dusted off.


Review: Hide and Seek

An absorbing two-hander with as unexpected an ending as Lauren Gunderson’s I and You


Review: The Duchess of Malfi

There’s so much to admire here that it’s a happy duty to urge you to see it, if you can, any way you can.


Review: King Lear

This smouldering production – fast-talking or timeless - fully engages with the play. It makes almost perfect sense: and two families’ DNA ring true as rarely before.


Review: Othello

With institutional racism and trauma compounded in a feedback loop, this Othello’s a timely, and timeless broadside on everything toxic we inhale and expel as venom.


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: 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: 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: Portia Coughlin

Alison Oliver’s appeared in the outstanding revival of the year till now: Dancing at Lughnasa. Now she leads the other one. If you see one play this month, make it Portia Coughlin.


Review: A View from the Bridge

Here, the hurtling much shorter second act contains a thrilling impulsion and catastrophe that had the audience on its feet. Mostly that’s responding to a great play, but latterly this production carries that charge.


Review: The Changeling

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


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: 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: The Father and the Assassin

There’s no finer dramatization of India’s internal conflicts. Hiran Abeysekera’s Gandhi-killer Godse stands out in this thrilling ensemble and storms it too.


Review: Birthright

There’s no denying Birthright’s sheer power, authenticity and perennial struggle played out between natural justice and lagging custom. It’s the breakthrough work of a masterly writer, whom only the Finborough look set to revive, as they have here. We’d be impossibly poorer without the Finborough.


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: Macbeth

The strangeness of this Macbeth wraps in those three Witches/Murderers plus Seyton, slowly perambulating their trolleys around. The eerie, in Schmool’s sustained chords, remains. The horror, elsewhere.


Review: The Accrington Pals

Actors and director can take pride in mounting this intensely moving play, especially in the sheer flow they all bring to Act Two, blazing an arc of ever-growing tensions. It could carry anywhere. ACT did it some service, and must know it.


Review: The Goat

Martin Malone more than revives Edward Albee’s 2002 masterpiece The Goat, at the New Venture Theatre; he rethinks how we can receive it. An exemplary revival of a play Michael Billington named one of his 101 Greatest – even over Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Make up your own mind; see it. Martin Malone more than revives Edward Albee’s 2002 masterpiece The Goat, at the New Venture Theatre; he rethinks how we can receive it. An exemplary revival of a play Michael Billington named one of his 101 Greatest – even over Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Make up your own mind; see it.


Review: Romeo and Juliet

It’s not just that Isis Hainsworth’s Juliet is the sun here, though her outstanding performance is the heart of this Romeo and Juliet. This is one of the most thrilling, sometimes harrowing Romeo and Juliets I’ve seen. Fittingly a world where sun and extinction flash and vanish, it’s the Shakespeare production of the summer.


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: Titus Andronicus

One of the Globe’s most lucid recent productions; and the most consistently-realised aesthetic. It knows what it is: a stunningly thought-through, musically inspired production.


Review: The Crucible

A Crucible of searing relevance; by grounding it in its time, it scorches with clarity.


Review: Hamlet

Destined as one of the toughest OFS undertakings, it comes through with a blaze


Review: Julius Caesar

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


Review: King Lear

Rarely has a Cordelia and Fool scaled such equal terms with such a Lear, rendering a kind of infinity.


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: House of Shades

There’ll be nothing more blazing or relevant on the London stage this year.


Review: Henry VIII

A wonderful score and musicians, above all Bea Segura’s titanic act of shrivelling, make this a must-see.


Review: The Father and the Assassin

There’s no finer dramatisation of India’s internal conflicts. Shubham Saraf’s Gandhi-killer Godse stands out in this thrilling ensemble and storms it 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: Anne Boleyn

If it’s drama you’re after in Brighton Fringe, this is one of the two or three essential stops. Thrilling, authoritative, with Greene the jewel in a sparkling ensemble.


Review: Hamlet

A great Hamlet almost realised


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: Hamlet

Jumbo’s Hamlet strips out accretions and ghosts you into asking who or what Hamlet is. See it if you possibly can.


Review: Macbeth

Building out of Macbeth a recurring epic of structural violence not ended with one overthrow, sets the seal on this outstanding production.


Review: Metamorphoses

The overriding sense, not surprisingly with these actors, is joy.


Review: The Normal Heart

An outstanding revival. If you see one play this autumn, make it this one.


Review: Is God Is

A stunning, preternaturally timed production


Review: Leopoldstat

Stoppard’s written out his theatrical testament. Outstanding.


Review: Julius Caesar

A fleet powerful Julius Caesar, with some outstanding performances


Review: Romeo and Juliet

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


Review: This Beautiful Future

Heartstopping. There’s an absoluteness here we need. We must prove desperate for it or die ourselves.


Review: Paradise

A sleeping classic in the making


Review: Richard II

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


Review: Miss Julie

The end is like life-blood draining away. It’s what Strindberg meant. See it.


Review: Troilus and Cressida

We’re privileged to see this rarely-performed work moulded by OFS. A play for our times.


Review: Macbeth

A stylishly visceral production.


Review: The Spanish Tragedy

The OFS are taking flight with the best scratch nights the Elizabethans never had.


Review: King John

A tedious brief tragedy? King John is fun… It’s been said.


Review: Coriolanus

A Coriolanus memorable for politics sinewed with personal forces: an active interrogation of democracy. And in Josie Rourke’s production Tom Hiddleston’s someone riven by intimations of his true self


Review: The Two Noble Kinsmen

We’re looking at a bright Book of Hours. Barrie Rutter’s done it profound service, adding a warmth and agency that opens up this pageant. This is hopefully just the first of many such he’ll bring to the Globe.


Review: Antony and Cleopatra

Supremely worth it to see a pair so famous weighing equal in their own balance, perhaps for the first time.


Review: Frankenstein (alternate version)

The acting scales cliff-edges of unreason. One remembers the scale of betrayal and loss of redemption. Benedict Cumberbatch here is Frankenstein, Jonny Lee Miller the Creature. The alternate version aired first is still available.


Review: Frankenstein

The acting scales cliff-edges of unreason. One remembers the scale of betrayal and loss of redemption


Review: Romeo and Juliet

Completeness is just one reason to cherish this clean-driven clear-headed production


Review: Hamlet

In Michelle Terry’s quicksilver, quick-quipping Hamlet, much has been proved, from interpretive to gender fluidity in tragic action, that sets a privilege on being in at a beginning.


Review: Women Beware Women

A stylish, timely production which redefines how we experience Middleton.


Review: The Visit

Kushner’s just brought The Visit home with him.


Review: Blood Brothers

The blend of definitive and new cast members in a recent classic has overwhelming impact: as story, as lyric fable, as terrible moral for these distracted times.


Review: The Duchess of Malfi

The scalpel and scruple of class and coolness breaks into tragedy and gifts us three outstanding moments


Review: Richard III

This production could draw out the poison of being dead serious in terminal bursts of laughter


Review: Blood Wedding

In several ways, this is about as good as it gets.


Review: Frankenstein

There’s a clean sharp fusion between these two writers that heralds something special.


Review: I Run

A vivid solo performance of a man running furious, powerful and heartbroken into the grief of his dead daughter.


Review: The Mill on the Floss

Stunning. This consummate, flawless production is an event for BLT and Brighton