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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!

Spotlight: Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott as Julian the Apostate Emperor and Galilean, Henrik Ibsen’s ‘lost masterpiece’, has just opened for the first time in English at London’s National Theatre. The three-hour-long epic Drama deals with the rise and subsequent fall of Emperor Julian the Apostate in the 4th Century AD. The play relies heavily on the actor playing the role of Julian to carry it through: indeed, a flat performance would make the entire experience totally unpalatable. But Andrew Scott, who plays this ...

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London Road, National Theatre

Book and Lyrics by Alecky Blythe Music and Lyrics by Adam CorkDirected by Rufus Norris★★★★ Courtesy of the National Theatre The National Theatre’s London Road is a musical about the (recent) murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich. On the face of it, it sounds like it should be hugely distasteful: a horrifying and entirely true story which is still fresh in the minds of the victims’ families, which has been trivialised and turned into popular entertainment. Rather strangely though, it ...

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Being Shakespeare, Trafalgar Studios

Jonathan Bate Directed by Tom Cairns ★★★ Courtesy of the Ambassador Theatre Group There is always a risk in going to see one man shows as the entire production rests on one person delivering an outstanding performance if the audience are to be kept engaged. Being Shakespeare is also a reasonably long one man show, running for 80 minutes over two acts. Fortunately, Simon Callow, one of Britain’s best loved actors, delivers a very engaging performance which makes it more ...

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Tom StoppardDirected by Trevor Nunn★★★★ Courtesy of the Theatre Royal Haymarket In truth, we hadn’t planned to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead so early in its London run: we were actually planning on trying to catch the last performance of Blythe Spirit at the Apollo. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, we weren’t able to do so. Thankfully, quick thinking allowed us to snap up some front row seats to Tom Stoppard’s existentialist masterpiece, which turned out to ...

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Betrayal, Comedy Theatre

Harold Pinter Directed by Ian Rickson ★★★ Courtesy of Sonia Friedman Productions Rather controversially, I am always unsure about the works of Harold Pinter. On the one hand, I recognise that his writing is certainly very clever: economical and extremely human dialogue, emotionally reserved characters and the ability to develop the story and the characters without the use of longer monologues. On the other hand, I have always found his work a little hard to engage with on stage. Despite ...

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Emperor and Galilean, National Theatre

Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Ben Power Directed by Jonathan Kent ★★★★ Courtesy of the National Theatre We were very pleased when we got our hands on our tickets for Emperor and Galilean, but perhaps not for the correct reasons. In truth, before seeing this show the excitement was due to the fact that it meant we needed only to see London Road (which we intend to do this weekend) in order to have witnessed every single production ...

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Rocket to the Moon, National Theatre

Clifford Odets Directed by Angus Jackson ★★★ Courtesy of the National Theatre The National’s season just past was absolutely second to none. With such shows as Frankenstein, The Holy Rosenbergs, and more recently One Man, Two Guvnors it has really been a triumphant few months for Nicholas Hytner and his team. Perhaps that is why their production of Rocket to the Moon went somewhat less smoothly, with its run being cut short at the last minute. Indeed, we saw it ...

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The Government Inspector, The Young Vic

Nikolai Gogol, in a new version by David Harrower Directed by Richard Jones★★★ Courtesy of The Young Vic Julian Barratt is widely known for being one half of the comedic duo behind award-winning comedy The Mighty Boosh. It is no surprise then that The Young Vic’s new production of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector, in a new version by David Harrower, which casts Barratt as a hapless mayor, has drummed up not only a considerable buzz but also very high expectations ...

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Much Ado About Nothing, Wyndham’s Theatre

William Shakespeare Directed by Josie Rourke ★★★★ Courtesy of Sonia Friedman Productions Sonia Friedman’s newest West End offering has been the subject of much excitement, and with heavy-weights David Tennant and Catherine Tate featuring in the line up, you can understand why. The show had almost sold out before it even opened, but despite the fact that Much Ado About Nothing is quite a safe choice of play, with expectations raised to such high levels there is always a risk ...

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Flare Path, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Terence RattiganDirected by Trevor Nunn ★★★★ Courtesy of Theatre Royal Haymarket “I was very moved by this play. It is a masterpiece of understatement. But we are rather good at that, aren’t we?” Winston Churchill said to the cast of the original production of Flare Path on a winter’s night in January 1943. Britain was still reeling from the Blitz and the Battle of Britain, and the German forces were at their zenith. In many ways, early 1943 was Britain’s ...

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