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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 have written. If you want to find something more specific, why not pick a genre of show instead from the list in the menu

Romeo & Juliet, Waterloo East – Review

Pros: Much deserved applause for all actors that can recite Shakespeare without a breath. Cons: These performers need a bigger stage! Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is one of my favourite pieces of writing, so I was hugely excited to be watching a live performance of it. If you aren’t familiar with the story of Romeo & Juliet, this is what you have to know. This updated version of the story is set during the warmest months of the year. People outside are celebrating ...

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For King and Country, Southwark Playhouse – Review

Pros: The cast can sustain tension and passion; it is genuinely moving to watch this less-discussed side of WWI history. Cons: A stiflingly hot venue makes several audience members lose concentration; due to the thrust stage, some lines are hard to hear when actors aren’t facing you. At the end of this month, it will be 101 years since the Battle of Passchendaele began. It lasted until November 1917. Unlike the current British heatwave, Passchendaele started with heavy rainfall, turning ...

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The Diana Tapes, Stockwell Playhouse – Review

Pros: The design is well polished. Cons: Everything else. In 1991, tabloid columnist Andrew Morton was approached by one of Princess Diana’s closest friends with a daunting request that he couldn’t refuse. He was asked to write her biography. Tired of suffering in silence, the wife of the heir to the British throne wanted to expose her husband’s wrongdoings and the devious scheming of the royal family and, to do so, she had chosen a journalist with a background as ...

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A Lesson from Auschwitz, New Wimbledon Theatre – Review

Pros: By honing in on Höss, Hyland’s play doesn’t choose the obvious Holocaust perpetrators (Hitler, Himmler, Mengele et al). Cons: Crescendos in Höss’ speech become distracting; likewise, proximity to the audience and prolonged emphasis of gestures can overkill the intensity. The term ‘political hygiene’ is a chilling one, especially when spoken by Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a place he has just described as ‘the largest human slaughterhouse in history’. Hearing these words on a hot Saturday night in gentrified ...

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Sardines, Drayton Arms Theatre – Review

Pros: Sharp writing and good performances characterise this collection of scenes set in a tube train Cons: The lack of connection between the stories means we’re constantly having to get to know new characters “Make sure you take your belongings with you when you leave this life.” So runs the announcement that introduces this sharply observational piece set entirely on a tube train. The young cast each play multiple roles, as we eavesdrop on conversations and snatched exchanges between strangers; tight direction ...

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The Tempest, St Paul’s Church Yard – Review

Pros: All the advantages of being outside in a garden space helping to create a magical atmosphere – flowers, breeze, full moon in a clear sky. Cons: All the disadvantages of being outside in a garden space, spoiling the magical atmosphere – pollen, noises off, helicopters. Right in the heart of Covent Garden, St Paul’s Church Yard is a cool space even on one of the hottest days of the summer, shade provided by the surrounding buildings and a gentle breeze.  Being ...

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Misanthrope, Camden’s People Theatre – Review

Pros: Very entertaining and well acted performance which reminds us how relevant Molière’s plays still are today. Cons: The political point that Furlong tries to make is forced and doesn’t fit the play. In his preface to Tartuffe, Jean Poquelin, better known as Molière, wrote that “if the purpose of comedy is to correct men’s vices, I do not see why any group of men should have special privileges. If this were so, it would have a far more dangerous social consequence ...

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Olaf, Barons Court Theatre – Review

Pros: Good to see an early Ibsen being staged. Cons: Early Ibsen sags in the middle. Ottisdotter Productions bring their focus to lesser known and obscure plays that emphasise the role of women in society. Having last been presented at London’s Adelphi Theatre in 1911, Henrik Ibsen’s Olaf belongs amongst the Norwegian master’s lesser known works, falling outside the 12-play ‘Ibsen Cycle.’ The version presented at Barons Court Theatre is an adaptation by ottisdotter of Anders Orbeck’s translation of Ibsen’s Olaf ...

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Breaking Out Season: Kiss Chase & Guy, The Bunker – Review

Pros: The second show, Guy, is enough to make the whole evening worthwhile Cons: With such contrast between the two shows, a question mark has to be put over the decision to schedule these on the same evening The Bunker’s remit is new contemporary theatre, and with its short Breaking Out Season it is certainly meeting that. Six shows rotating over a month is a great introduction to these emerging theatre groups.  Two shows each night, with the chance to ...

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