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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 menu.

Tonight Is Your Answer, Theatre Royal Stratford East

Sarah Rutherford Directed by Dawn Reid ★★★★  Pros: A play about women, with an A-list cast, female director and author, that asks important questions about race.  Cons: Perhaps the play could have gone further in certain areas, but more of that later.  Our Verdict: A good ice breaker to kick off the latest Angelic Tales Festival. Courtesy of Theatre Royal Stratford East Earlier this week, the Theatre Royal’s season for new writing got off to an excellent start with a ...

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Surprise Theatre, Royal Court

Inua EllamsDirected by Thierry Lawson★★★★★ Pros: This is a wonderful piece of theatre from an incredibly talented writer/performer. Not knowing what you are seeing until the curtain goes up ensures you appreciate it without preconceptions. Cons: None really, although the set is a bare box and more could be done with the lighting to evoke the change in locations from Nigeria to London. Our Verdict: I love Inua Ellams – this is a fabulous piece of poetic writing and he ...

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Hear a Pin Drop Here, Battersea Arts Centre

Holly Rumble★★★★ Pros: An interesting topic is used to explore the sights and sounds of London living.  Cons: Only a small cog in the wheel of a much larger project. Our Verdict: A lovely project that has taken a very simple idea and ran with it. While not strictly falling under the obvious definition of theatre, Holly Rumble’s piece is well considered! Holly Rumble walked every street within a 500-meter radius of the Battersea Arts Centre. Every 50 yards or ...

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Adventure/Misadventure, Ovalhouse

Written and directed by Nick Field ★★ Pros: Poetic writing, memorable original music and the theatre even lay on sushi and saki. Cons: The performance lacks polish; aspects of the show felt gimmicky and I felt the play’s message to be trite. Our Verdict: The mixture of rollerskating, harp playing, and travel writing does not add up to a rewarding theatrical experience. Courtesy of Ovalhouse  Adventure/Misadventure got off to a wonderful start when, upon arrival at the Ovalhouse theatre, I ...

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Happy New, Trafalgar Studios

Brendan Cowell Directed by Robert Shaw ★★★ Pros: This play has it all: comedy, drama, ups and downs. It will have you laughing at one moment and in tears the next. It is impossible to be bored. Cons: It takes a while to really understand the whys and hows of the characters. Until the pieces fall into place it feels a bit hard to let the play sink in.  Our Verdict: A completely different theatrical experience with multiple innovative elements. ...

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The Amen Corner, National Theatre

James Baldwin Directed by Rufus Norris  ★★★★★  Pros: A unique and remarkable script, exceptional performances and gorgeous costumes with the best live jazz you’ll find in London town. Cons: Literally nothing. Our Verdict: We love the National and yet this production surpasses even its own high standards. This is an unforgettable evening of first class theatre. Courtesy of The National Theatre ‘Some of the congregation are sick in the body, some are sick in the soul.’ The Amen Corner has already ...

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Blair’s Children, The Cockpit

Anders Lustgarten, Paula B Stanic, Georgia Fitch, April De Angelis, Mark Norfolk Directed by Charlotte Westenra ★★★ Pros: The characters are well written and varied with good performances by the cast. The parallel recollections provide a textured view of the human story of the Blair years. Cons: The stories lack climax and the production fizzles out in the second act. It would benefit from a lot more humour. Our Verdict: Gets off to a strong start, with a sound concept, ...

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Rutherford and Son, St James Theatre

Githa Sowerby Directed by Jonathan Miller★★★★  Pros: Strong and nuanced acting, especially the central performance of Rutherford, and a beautiful period set.  Cons: At two and a half hours long, the heavy storyline could be a bit too much for some. Our Verdict: Grim and somewhat old fashioned, it is a hard going-evening but still an enjoyable production with compelling performances. It is worth going to see if you like a period drama. Courtesy of St James Theatre Set in the ...

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A Picture of Dorian Gray, The White Rabbit Cocktail Club

Rob JohnstonDirected by Andy McQuade★★★★ Pros: A truly original, deliciously dark and modern reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s gothic novel, with top-notch performances to boot. Cons: Dark lighting and less than ideal sightlines made it sometimes difficult to get the most out of the action, and audiences completely unfamiliar with the source material may feel a bit confused. Our Verdict: It’s a thrilling and chilling gothic piece brought to life by a diverse and talented cast – not one to miss! ...

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Mandrake, The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Machiavelli, adapted by Howard Colyer Directed by Scott Le Crass ★★ Pros: A fun romp of a story. Cons: Limited depth of thought in this production. The script is played comically rather than as comedy. Verdict: Loosely enjoyable but ultimately not very satisfying. Courtesy of The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre When you enter the auditorium you see clever and elegantly designed dividing frames that suggest the creation of a vast array of locations and, in their sparseness, promise simple but ...

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