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Reviews

Reviewing is at the heart of what we do. Here you’ll find all the reviews that our wonderful team of reviewers have written. On average we review around 15 productions all over the capital every week, so there should always be something that takes your fancy!

A Life, Finborough Theatre

Hugh LeonardDirected by Eleanor Rhode★★★★ Pros: A remarkable script with a knock-out central performance. Cons: Not every actor can do the Irish accent convincingly which spoils the illusion at times. Our Verdict: A great revival of an underrated script. Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre A Life is a Tony award-nominated play from esteemed Irish playwright Hugh Leonard. The story centres around Desmond Drumm, an embittered civil servant, as he grimly faces his own mortality. Drumm also features as a minor ...

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Scenes from an Execution, National Theatre

Howard BarkerDirected by Tom Cairns★★★ Pros: Some interesting concepts in the scripts and good performances on stage. Cons: Sometimes a bit slow, and tries to say a lot of things at once. Our Verdict: Enjoyable with the usual high production values, but not groundbreaking. Courtesy of the National Theatre One thing you don’t expect to see when you pay a visit to the National Theatre is a catastrophic set malfunction. In a way, we were lucky to witness such a ...

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Bookworm, Etcetera Theatre

Written and directed by Jessie Cave★★★★ Pros: A solid hour of fun, quirky humour, spiced with some educational tidbits and some always-satisfying Fifty Shades of Grey jokes. Cons: A few sketches dragged, and some humour may be unapproachable for audience members who wouldn’t consider themselves well read.Our Verdict: A dynamic and original production, and well-worth the small ticket fee. Suitable for bookworms as well as audiences just looking for a laugh. Courtesy of the Etcetera Theatre Jessie Cave may be ...

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A Chorus of Disapproval, Harold Pinter Theatre

Alan AyckbournDirected by Trevor Nunn★★★ Pros: What could be described as a dream line up of talent. Cons: Underdeveloped plot ideas lead to a weird combination of humour and cruelty which don’t mix well. Our Verdict: A bit of a disappointment, I expected more from such strong actors and I think the script and (dare I say it?!) the direction let it down. Courtesy of Catherine Ashmore for The Guardian It’s a tricky thing, press night. The auditorium is filled ...

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The Collective Project, Camden People’s Theatre

Presented by The Pensive Federation★★★ Pros: The concept is fantastic and original. The acting is dynamic and there is lots of contrast from each of the plays. The more you think about what is going on, the more subtleties surface. Cons: There was some stereotyping and understandably after only twelve days it wasn’t entirely polished. It was a shame when it ended! Our Verdict: An innovative idea delivered by an up-and-coming group with bags of talent. Courtesy of The Pensive ...

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Private Peaceful, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Michael MorpurgoAdapted and directed by Simon Reade★★★★ Pros: It is brilliantly acted and beautifully written. Cons: Whilst billed for eight years and upwards, I feel age ten is probably more appropriate. Our Verdict: A wonderful all round show, sadly finished now but we hope for a prolonged run in due course! Courtesy of The Telegraph It has been quite some time since I have wholeheartedly joined in a spontaneous standing ovation. It was definitely well-deserved in this production of Private ...

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The Random Acts of Strangers, Etcetera Theatre

Anthony Bull★★★ Pros: A strong cast perform interesting monologues about modern life. Cons: Some parts of the play left me feeling a bit confused. Our Verdict: An enjoyable evening with some very impressive acting. Courtesy of Etcetera Theatre The Random Acts of Strangers is a series of monologues taken from seemingly unrelated modern-day nameless characters. The story begins with ‘Stranger 1’ – a beautiful, middle-class black girl who describes the difficulties she faces in her romantic relationship. She tells us ...

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Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, The Space

Book and Lyrics by Bill RussellMusic by Janet HoodDirected and Choreographed by Joseph C Walsh★★★ Pros: Showcases some strong young and up-and-coming talent. The Space, a converted church with a warm, spiritual interior, nicely augments the memorial and celebratory nature of the piece. Cons: Powerful vocals were occasionally too great for the space. The storyline is slightly overdone, and the running time a bit too long. Our Verdict: A tight-but-slightly-dated production with an important theme and story to tell (the ...

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