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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!

Freedom, Books, Flowers, and The Moon, Waterloo East Theatre

Sarah PitardDirected by Cat Robey★★★★ Pros: A dedicated adaptation of Wilde’s fairy tales for children. A perfectly sized production for the space in question. Cons: A slightly (only slightly) dragged out second half. Also, some interactions seemed a tiny bit deliberate and unrealistic. Our Verdict: A well thought-out and penetrating adaptation of two of Wilde’s best loved shorts. A nice venue as well, with a relaxed crowd and very professional front-of-house staff. A real rose among the thorns in terms ...

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The Effect, National Theatre

Lucy PrebbleDirected by Rupert Goold★★★★ Pros: Excellent performances, a beautiful, clinical design and a script that proves Prebble isn’t a one trick pony. Cons: Prebble clearly has an opinion about the issues involved, and consequently it can feel more like a lecture than an exploration in places. Our Verdict: Another excellent Cottesloe production from the NT and Headlong. Definitely worth seeing for the emotional journeys, even if you have no interest in the topic of mental illness and neuroscience. Credit: ...

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In Extremis, King’s Head Theatre

Neil BartlettDirected by Caroline Devlin★★★ Pros: An interesting script from a great playwright with two very charming lead performances. Cons: Some hard-core Wilde fans may have a few issues with the casting. Our Verdict: Although this is a clever, insightful script delivered beautifully by two talented actors, I didn’t feel like I was looking at Oscar Wilde. The play is still very enjoyable, however, and well worth the ticket price. Courtesy of Kean Productions On 24th March 1895, a week ...

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The Cat’s Mother, The Courtyard

Pericles SnowdonDirected by Natalie Scott and Joseph Thorpe★★★ Pros: An interesting idea, with some good collaborative work by this group of young women, who are working hard to increase the presence of women on the stage. Cons: The script, while strong in places, needed more active development by the directors and the performances suffer as a result of this. Our Verdict: Not going to go down in history as one of the greatest pieces of theatre ever created, but an ...

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The Upstairs Room, King’s Head Theatre

David K. O’HaraDirected by James Savin★★ Pros: There’s a good bit of humour layered into pretty heavy context (the apocalyptic demise of London). Excellent accent work by Anthony Cozens. Cons: Many plot and character strands are rather ambiguously introduced and re-referenced, but never sufficiently brought together; this could be meant as a cleaver, artsy device, but I found unsatisfying. Our Verdict: An intelligently crafted piece of writing, direction and performance which is perhaps too heady for the stage. Credit: Juliana ...

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Carbon Dating, Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Ron ElishaDirected by John Fricker★★★ Pros: A well-polished production featuring quick-wit and down-to-earth sketches from the frontlines of first dates. Cons: Low stakes and a weak point of view create a sketch comedy feel, so the show lacks real weight. Our Verdict: A less-than-ground breaking but appreciatively light-hearted rom-com that will absolutely entertain but won’t linger on conscience. Credit: Mark Bowsher If you loved the 2009 film, He’s Just Not That Into You or other similar romantic-comedies, OutFox Productions and ...

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Who is Noskov?, Theatro Technis

Five plays written by George NoskovDirected by George Eugeniou Grey Foam: ★★Turkey: ★★★ Pros: The opening and closing scenes of an empty stage with voices coming through the speakers were poignant and an excellent idea which both enthralled the audience at the beginning and caused them to leave thinking. Cons: Sadly the space, a thrust black box theatre and stage, was not used very well by either the actors or the director. The venue seemed just too big for the ...

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Riot Night, The Old Frizzle

Hugh JanesDirected by Robert Young★★★ Pros: Some nice performances, particularly from Alex Williams. Fantastic idea for a show. Cons: Never quite becomes totally immersive. Sometimes feels a little overdone. Our Verdict: An important production which is likely to become more subtle and immersive as the run progresses. Worth making a detour to see! Riot Night, 12-15 November 2012 This is the second production I’ve seen recently dealing with last year’s London Riots, but I must confess that I am not ...

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The Seagull, Southwark Playhouse

Anton Chekhov in a new version by Anya ReissDirected by Russell Bolam★★★★ Pros: A dazzling cast of talented, dynamic actors with some excellent scriptwriting from a future legend (you heard it here first!). Also, the ice-cream served at the interval is worth the ticket price alone. Cons: I struggled with the first few scenes. This had more to do with the actors slowly getting into their roles than any issue with the script. Not a big deal, however, as the ...

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The Trojan Women, Gate Theatre

Caroline Bird, After EuripidesDirected by Christopher Haydon★★★★★ Pros: An excellent and original reworking of the Greek text with stellar performances and an exceptional design. Cons: Sight-lines are a little tricky, but blockages can be avoided by arriving early to claim front seats. Our Verdict: An all-around wonderful production featuring a spectacular script, cast, design, and message. Courtesy of the Gate Theatre Several years ago I worked in the sound-booth for my university’s production of The Trojan Women, so while I ...

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