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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!

The Dark Room, New Diorama Theatre

Written & Directed by David Byrne ★★★★ Pros: An excellent adaptation, some great performances and fantastic direction make this a cohesive and slick piece of work. Cons: Slightly variable individual performances in places, but this is a minor gripe. Our Verdict: A fantastic show from a superb creative team. Definitely worth seeking out, better than many things on the West End and cheaper by miles. Courtesy of Richard Davenport After the success of our last outing to the New Diorama ...

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A Lady of Substance, Tristan Bates Theatre

Jon CooperDirected by Samantha German ★★★ Pros: Fantastic performances, great performance venue and good to see daring pieces of writing being aired. Cons: The script is rather indulgent and it’s a bit too long.  Our Verdict: A very good production of a script that needs a bit more work. Courtesy of Sheer Drop Theatre Company Over the last few months we’ve started to properly branch out into the world of fringe theatre. As a result we’ve discovered some absolute gems, ...

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The Death of Norman Tortilla, Tristan Bates Theatre

Charlotte CoatesDirected by Tom Latter★★★ Pros: Some great performances, and some interesting situations. Will not leave you bored.  Cons: Tries to be too many things at once. Endearing? Shocking? Leaves you wondering.  Our Verdict: Certainly not a boring production, but lacks focus.  Courtesy of Sheer Drop Theatre The Tristan Bates Theatre, just around the corner from the Cambridge Theatre and slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden, describes itself as ‘the thorn in the side of the West End’. It ...

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The King’s Speech, Wyndham’s Theatre

David SeidlerDirected by Adrian Noble★★★★ Pros: Flawless performances, clever set and great script. Will keep you riveted from start to finish. Cons: Sticks too closely to the film version. Our Verdict: A production destined for success, overall an excellent piece of theatre. Not to be missed. Courtesy of Tristram Kenton for The Guardian The film of The King’s Speech was one of 2010’s most successful movies, drawing widespread critical acclaim and no less than twelve Academy Award nominations, four of which ...

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Sweeney Todd the Musical, Adelphi Theatre

Libretto by Hugh Wheeler, based on the play by Christopher BondMusic & Lyrics by Stephen SondheimDirected by Jonathan Kent★★★★ Pros: Musicals as they should be; fantastic lead performances, great music and no overbearing set or special effects.  Cons: A couple of less engaging performances from the supporting cast.  Our Verdict: An excellent musical, even we were satisfied!  Courtesy of Tristram Kenton for the Guardian I think you probably know us well enough by now to have realised that musicals are ...

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Bingo, The Young Vic

Edward BondDirected by Angus Jackson★★★ Pros: Patrick Stewart gives one of several great performances in this beautifully designed play.  Cons: Edward Bond’s self-righteous play borders on dull.  Our Verdict: One for the big time Stewart fans, or those who like Bond, but don’t expect a rollercoaster of a ride!  Courtesy of Tristram Kenton for the Guardian Chichester Festival Theatre is on a bit of a run, churning out some brilliant productions perfect for transfer to the West End. Sweeney Todd, ...

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The Well & Badly Loved, Ovalhouse Theatre

Written and Directed by Ben Webb ★★★★ Pros: Strong stylistic staging, excellent movement sequences. Cons: Overly lengthy at times, contains its fair share of stereotypes. Our Verdict: Enjoyable for people of all walks of life – gay or straight, a piece worth seeing. Courtesy of Risking Enchantment The Ovalhouse is a theatrical space in south London which strives to host ‘theatre for people with something to say’, and this is particularly the case for their latest season, entitled if only… ...

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One Man, Two Guvnors, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Richard BeanDirected by Nicholas Hytner★★★★★ Pros: Easily the funniest show in town, different-in-a-good-way to the original, Owain Arthur is ridiculously good, The Craze are still playing the music. Cons: None. Except for the fact that it gets out at the same time as Phantom of the Opera, forcing you to share limited pavement space with so-called ‘Phans’! Our Verdict: Still at the top of it’s game, it remains the must-see show in London. Courtesy of Alistair Muir for the Daily ...

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The Bomb (Second Blast), Tricycle Theatre

Ryan Craig, David Greig, Zinnie Harris, Diana Son and Colin Teevan Directed by Nicolas Kent ★★★ Pros: A fascinating commentary on the influences and dangers of nuclear weapons in the modern world. Cons: A shame it is truncated into two productions – it seems bizarre not to present the origins of the bomb alongside its consequences. Sometimes feels like too much of a geopolitics lecture.  Our Verdict: An urgent and interesting production overall, and a fitting swansong for Nicolas Kent.  ...

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Can We Talk About This?, National Theatre

Conceived and directed by Lloyd NewsonCo-Production between the National Theatre and DV8 Theatre★★ Pros: DV8’s stylised physical theatre. Cons: The political agenda is uncomfortable. Our Verdict: DV8 is a brilliant physical theatre troupe, it’s a shame about the topic they’ve picked to perform which only detracts from what they do best. Courtesy of Gergoe Nagy for the Guardian Through verbatim speeches and stylised movement, DV8 are back on stage at the National Theatre, tackling the potentially flammable issue of Islam’s ...

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