Critics - Dominic Cavendish

Dominic Cavendish – The Telegraph London Theatre Critic

Selected reviews by Dominic Cavendish, lead theatre critic of The Telegraph.

Dominic Cavendish is the lead theatre and comedy critic for The Daily Telegraph.

Dominic is also the founding editor of the audio archive Theatrevoice.

As a creative writer, in 2008 he adapted Orwell’s Coming Up For Air for the stage, which transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in London following its Edinburgh debut, retitled as Orwell: A Celebration. He also conceived and contributed to COALITION, a season of short plays about the new government at Theatre503 in late 2010.

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A Christmas Carol (2022)

★★★

"This Scrooge is a little too nice for his own good"

"The fine actor Owen Teale has irascibility in spades but lacks Ebenezer's coldness – and maybe the Old Vic just needs a new festive show"

"Into the camp of being a touch too warm fully to answer the brief falls, alas, Owen Teale, leading the sixth iteration of Jack Thorne’s deft Old Vic adaptation. The Welshman, not far into his sixties, is plainly a fine actor and in terms of projecting power alone won’t leave anyone in the cheap seats feeling short-changed. But there’s a ruggedness and rubicund vivacity about him that even the dilapidated detail of his flowing dressing-gown can’t quite hide."

"But this show’s familiarity aside (it’s almost on tourists’ Yuletide to-do list), the cupboard for five-star Scrooges is now looking a touch bare. Isn’t it high time the Old Vic changed its festive menu?"

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The Sex Party (2022)

★★★★

"Terry Johnson is back on top with this risky trans bedroom comedy"

"It’s one risk to make trans lives a central talking-point in a jocular entertainment, but Johnson raises the stakes by making questions about sexual desire, biological identity and ‘gender ideology’ integral to the storyline. "

"I can’t imagine many theatres were keen to give such a thrusting provocation a platform, venerated though Johnson is. Bravo to the unfunded, open-minded Menier, then. Whatever the shortcomings of the piece – there’s a smack of contrivance about Lucy’s presence and caricature stalks the four couples – it’s defined by rollicking dialogue, good old-fashioned writerly craft and an implicit faith in theatre as a forum for exploring difficult, even taboo, subjects."

"For all its knowing bouts of crassness, The Sex Party is sensitively handled. A return to form for Johnson, it invites us to think about what we choose, who we choose, and how we arrive at being truly ourselves."

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Blackout Songs (2022)

★★★★★

"A dark, witty, indispensable drama (at a theatre the Arts Council completely stripped of funding)"

"Joe White’s new play, at Hampstead, is a potent, witty, brilliantly acted two-hander about the effects of alcoholism"

"... it’s alcoholic black-outs that form the focus of White’s potent (almost song-less) two-hander, which occupies Hampstead’s downstairs studio but could easily migrate to a larger stage despite its woozy intimacy and breathy nuance."

"Over 90 minutes, which can start to feel like a small eternity, we’re drawn into their psycho-drama of longing, need and mutually reinforced patterns of behaviour – months hurtle by, they pull apart, reunite for one last glug. It’s a familiar subject redolent, say, of Blake Edwards’s 1962 film Days of Wine and Roses, yet the livewire approach, accentuated by interludes of unpredictable movement, feels fresh, their co-dependency in a pas de deux with the grip of the hard stuff."

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A Christmas Carol (2022)

★★★★

"Adrian Edmondson proves a joyously propulsive Scrooge in this lavish RSC revival"

"He may no longer be a Young One, but the former Vyvyan's energy levels haven't dipped one bit – and the show is superb"

"It’s a pleasure to report that the intervening decades haven’t fatally dimmed the comedian-turned-actor’s energy-levels. This is a joyously propulsive performance that stands comparison with the mutton-chopped best of them. All the snarling malevolence, haunted bewilderment and belated contrition-rich kindness, with rejuvenated sprightliness to boot, is present and correct."

"First seen in 2017, David Edgar’s adaptation, directed with dab-handed polish by Rachel Kavanaugh, has its cake and eats it. We get the requisite lavish spectacle, with all the trimmings... But Dickens and his friend and editor John Forster are here part and parcel of the narrative, the author’s creative process and political rationale discussed as Gavin Fowler’s garrulous literary genius spirits up the page-turner in order to fulfil his outraged social justice mission."

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Fisherman's Friends: The Musical (2022)

★★★

"An enjoyable trawl story that needs more Sturm (and Drang)"

"Provided you love the yo-ho-hoing sound of sea shanties, this touring stage incarnation of the popular 2019 film is for you"

"There are some 25 actors and musicians, and when it’s all hands on deck, it’s quite a sight to behold: the replica quayside set more bustling than St Ives at tourist season high-tide."

"For those who love the yo-ho-hoing sound of that ancient mariner music, there will be no demands for money back, as feet are stomped and manly vocal cords flexed, with almost soothing interludes from the siren-voiced Parisa Shahmir as Alwyn."

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Mary (2022)

★★

"A suffocatingly claustrophobic study of Mary, Queen of Scots"

"Rona Munro's James Plays are magnificent, but her new take on the ill-fated Mary has a too-narrow line of inquiry and fails to excite"

"It may well be that, when watched as part of the cycle, Mary, a chamber piece for three principal actors, sharpens the saga to a satisfying point. It usefully accentuates parallels with women today, especially post MeToo, in its discussion of the queen’s sexual vulnerability and its argument over the degree to which she was coerced, or in control, at crucial moments. Viewed on its own, though, while showcasing Munro’s writerly flair, and presented with imposing precision and wood-panelled splendour by Roxana Silbert, it feels too suffocatingly claustrophobic in its narrow line of inquiry."

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Tammy Faye – A New Musical (2022)

★★★

"Feels too much by numbers and lacks revelations"

"It isn’t a hell of a show in the wrong sense, but it’s surprisingly purgatorial at points, struggling to find a strong dramatic pulse"

"This slickly staged piece cuts, with argumentative force but not enough serrated wit or charged emotion, to the chase of how the channel emerged and became the envy of more conservative ministers, who swooped after the couple’s finances unravelled, and the law got involved – their nemesis being Jerry Fulwell, who wangled a take-over."

"The first half lacks soulful belters, redemption only achieved in a ballad called Empty Hands and then a handful of wonderfully vigorous gospel and spiritual numbers in the mid second half. In the lead Katie Braben is sunnily forceful, touchingly fragile and, gifted of voice, uplifting in her survivor’s anthem at the close, but didn’t the real-life Tammy have more crankiness than we’re shown? "

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@sohoplace (2022)

"Never mind its uninspiring name – @sohoplace is both welcoming and full of wow-factor, its opening show a life-affirming treat"

"Sleek and glass-fronted, with swanky digital signage, it’s as deluxe as a five-star hotel within, its decorative hallmark a twinkling line in astrological references. The amphitheatre at Epidaurus was a key inspiration for theatre-owner Nica Burns, working with architect Simon Allford. And there’s a fantastic democratic energy to the triple-tier, flexible 602-seat auditorium, with no restricted views and ample comfort. The opening configuration (others are possible) is in-the-round, accentuating both intimacy and freedom."

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Marvellous (2022)

★★★★

"The West End’s first new-build theatre in 50 years gets off to a Marvellously silly start"

"Never mind its uninspiring name – @sohoplace is both welcoming and full of wow-factor, its opening show a life-affirming treat"

"Sleek and glass-fronted, with swanky digital signage, it’s as deluxe as a five-star hotel within, its decorative hallmark a twinkling line in astrological references. The amphitheatre at Epidaurus was a key inspiration for theatre-owner Nica Burns, working with architect Simon Allford. And there’s a fantastic democratic energy to the triple-tier, flexible 602-seat auditorium, with no restricted views and ample comfort. The opening configuration (others are possible) is in-the-round, accentuating both intimacy and freedom."

"In skittishly retelling the story of Neil Baldwin, something of a local living legend in Stoke on Trent, Marvellous answers the warm embrace of the theatre with a markedly communal form of entertainment that feels like a much-needed hug."

"It is, superficially, highly incongruous in hip, fashionista Soho, but having seen it up in Stoke, I can avouch that the acoustic, and vibe, is better here. The come-one, come-all spirit of the new venue suits the daffy alchemy of an evening which starts like an potentially alienating in-joke and builds, by degrees and via an ingredient-spattering cooking session, to a shared delirium of life-affirming silliness."

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My Neighbour Totoro (2022)

★★★★

"A vital power surge of Anglo-Japanese creative electricity"

"It’s a pleasure to report that what fans loved about Hayao Miyazaki's film has been beautifully served in this stage version"

"You have to go back to the mega-musical Matilda to find a family friendly RSC project around which so much excitement buzzes and upon which so much hope is pinned"

"There’s a humble, faux-naif quality to some of the scenic elements, but ‘Totoro’ is magnificently humongous with a mighty, reverberating growl, wicked smile, lumbering walk and bouncy castle of a fluffy tum. The wow-factor of his spectacular appearances, worth the price of admission alone, is matched by the hallucinogenic, 12-legged ‘Cat-bus’"

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The Doctor (2022)

★★★★★

"Juliet Stevenson is riveting in this brilliant interrogation of cancel culture"

"The Doctor hurtles a neglected classic of Austrian drama from an early-20th-century Vienna simmering with anti-Semitism to a 21st-century London beset by those same prejudices and complex layers of identity politics too."

"Though she avoids being sympathetic, her line of thinking is seductive – and such is the actress’s beady focus that we’re with her, thought by thought: “A ‘woke’ perspective? … The use of language makes one want to cry... "

"At almost three hours, it’s a long evening, yet it’s a hugely rewarding one too. And in its stimulating experimentalism, it’s just what the doctor ordered to help resuscitate the cerebral life of our post-viral, musically bloated West End."

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John Gabriel Borkman (2022)

★★★

"Not even Simon Russell Beale can shore up Ibsen’s financial-crisis drama"

"The Bridge Theatre's staging of this play about the aftermath of self-inflicted monetary disaster should feel bracingly topical, and yet..."

"... what should seem gripping and on-the-money proves frustratingly in need of a theatrical stimulus, and even the trusty bazooka of Simon Russell Beale in the lead lacks full fire-power. Given the talent on board, the deficit is odd."

"Sour, regretful Ibsen still has much to tell us about the human cost of success – but his grim tidings need lustier pickaxe strokes."

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The Crucible (2022)

★★★★★

"Gripping revival of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece speaks to us with urgent force"

"Erin Doherty confirms herself as one of our finest young actresses in a magnificent restaging of the 1953 American classic"

"The key thing for any revival, though, is that it doesn’t feel too much like a lecture in disguise. This, Lyndsey Turner’s gripping revival at the National magnificently manages to do. It’s not as if she reinvents the piece, it’s more that she refreshes it, honouring the specificity but banishing clutter and creating an understated yet awe-inspiring monumentalism. Before each scene, designer Es Devlin wraps the action behind a curtain of lit falling water, the beauty of that biblical torrent offset by bleak surrounding darkness."

"The evening builds an accumulating and harrowing sense of crushing internal logic and group-think; the credulity of the visiting authority figures combines with the bewilderment of those accused and carted off to create an engulfing atmosphere of total helplessness."

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Eureka Day (2022)

★★★★

"This anti-woke satire is exactly what the Old Vic needed"

"Oscar-winner Helen Hunt makes her London debut in a revival of Jonathan Spector’s timely 2017 play about an anti-vaxxer parent"

"Eureka! Have they got it? Is our theatre finally awake to the ludicrous – and also pernicious – side of woke? To me, it feels like a turning-point that the Old Vic has ushered on to its stage Eureka Day, Jonathan Spector’s very sharp, very droll satire on the duplicities and deficiencies of progressive group-think – first seen in the States in 2017."

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Handbagged (2022)

★★★★★

"I was transfixed and moved by this uncanny portrait of the late Queen"

"It's worth queueing round the block for Moira Buffini's play, which depicts the meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher"

"All I can say is that I was transfixed and moved in ways I don’t recall being when the production premiered shortly after Baroness Thatcher’s death in 2013."

"Those coming to terms with the end of an era, and seeking some means to express their devotion too, should queue round the block to see this."

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The Clothes They Stood Up In (2022)

★★★

"A loving take on Alan Bennett's novella about middle-class manners"

"This Nottingham Playhouse production is a hoot - even if it doesn't quite capture Bennett's wry beadiness"

"The author has given the project his blessing, and you can see why it would be thought to work a treat: a fair bit of droll, easily transferred, dialogue, a decent amount of incident, and a couple we can have a good old laugh at."

"Thompson could bestow less effort on her performance – her mode of boggle-eyed dottiness and plaintive peculiarity can grate. Scarborough, though, does just fine as the beetling old fusspot, with his sly penchant for “dirty” photographs. We left that world behind years ago, but perhaps at this strange hour of retrospect, it’s allowable."

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Gabriel Byrne: Walking with Ghosts  (2022)

★★★★★

"This enthralling evening is one of Gabriel Byrne’s greatest achievements"

"The veteran Irish star finds numinous wonder amid accreted nuggets of existence in this soulful staging of his 2020 memoir"

"... this relatively modest project, a small hillock of a solo show, in which the 72-year-old star surveys his life and career, deserves to be ranked as one of his greatest achievements, even if it’s the definition of evanescent."

"He’s funny, rueful – damaged..."

"A soulful evening that finds numinous wonder amid accreted nuggets of existence."

Reviewed at the Edinburgh International Festival.

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Antigone (2022)

★★★★

"Pours a provocative gallon of petrol on the play’s eternal flame"

"Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is mounting the first Greek tragedy in its history – the timing is disconcerting, but the staging's excellent"

"The new version at Regent’s Park by Inua Ellams pours a provocative gallon of petrol on its eternal flame."

" Overall, it’s sophisticated and stylishly staged (Max Webster and Jo Tyabji direct); the al-fresco amphitheatre setting adding a sense of connection with the original, despite the modernity of the approach. Negatives? Well, though there’s a visually incandescent climax, it’s not (yet) fully moving..."

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The Narcissist (2022)

★★★

"The ghost of Trump haunts the stage again"

"Harry Lloyd stars as an electoral strategist in a new work which isn't quite sure what it is saying"

"As played by Harry Lloyd, Jim oozes self-composure and intelligence offset by a chill detachment. He’s far from being preeningly self-obsessed, though."

"He’s surrounded by characters who either seem under-written or interact with him in ways that can have a slightly hollow ring – not least Claire Skinner’s Democrat senator who emerges as little more than a cipher."

"I applaud its ambition, but it’s not yet the hoped-for play for today."

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Into The Woods (2022)

★★★★

"Terry Gilliam’s hallucinogenic take on Sondheim rises from the ashes of cancellation"

"Axed by the Old Vic, the ex-Python's first, visually astonishing go at directing a musical is a must-support rather than a mere must-see"

"What’s the verdict? The evening is a logistical triumph in terms of working wonders in a smaller venue than originally envisaged; and for reasons of artistic self-expression alone, it’s a must-support rather than a mere must-see. Still, at this point in time the experience warrants, I’d say, two and a half cheers."

"So far, so spellbinding. Vocally, it’s more of a mixed bag, with a few of the best lines oddly thrown away. It’s bound to bed in given time but more heft, attack and pace wouldn’t go amiss to counter the lurking tendency of Sondheim’s lyrics (book by James Lapine) to sound samey in their concise irony and knowingness; a darker reprise of the first, wish-filled quest protracts the tale almost to the point of déjà-vu enervation."

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The Trials (2022)

★★★

"The new play putting adults on trial for their climate-change sins"

"The Trials, by Dawn King, sees the younger generations mete out ecological justice to their elders. But where’s the dramatic power?"

"... while the acting from the newcomers is forgivably variable, all bring authenticating freshness to the stage, and there are some faces to watch. Charlie Reid as Tomaz, archetypally sulky then arrestingly animated by flights of fancy about the vanished world, impresses; so does Francis Dourado as the cautious, quizzical Mohammad and Honor Kneafsey as responsible jury-leader Ren. Stars of the future? The next step is just to ensure there’s a future at all."

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The Great British Bake Off Musical (2022)

★★★

"Eminently digestible, but where’s the flour power?"

"This tongue-in-cheek homage at the Cheltenham Everyman has a few terrific showstoppers yet lacks the tears and tension of the baking itself"

"I’m not an avid viewer – a dipper-inner, more like – so can’t speak for BakeOffistas, but judging by the warm reaction to the try-out in Cheltenham, it’s clear devotees won’t be recoiling in disgust. Whether the tongue-in-cheek homage is cooked to perfection is another matter."

"The crucial missing ingredients, though, are the sweat, tears and angsty tension of the baking itself. You want less patter, more butter. The show lacks flour power: no one gets their hands dirty (there’s much cursory denoting of culinary activity), or fully imparts the all-or-nothing nature of the baking beast. A bit more time in the development oven required, I’d say."

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Identical (2022)

★★★★★

"Identity-swap musical that’s ingenious to the point of genius"

"Directed by Trevor Nunn, the Nottingham Playhouse's new tale of reunited twins who change places has the makings of a must-see phenomenon"

"The singing is superb and the music serves the fairy-tale-like story well, expressive of giggling youthful exuberance in the camp, the metropolitan sophistication of a Hansel and Gretel ballet, and exploring the attendant childhood and parental angst with a light touch. Does it sound a bit samey at times? Yes. But the way it combines one girl’s music with the other’s lyrics in the finale, so that each completes and complements the other, is ingenious to the point of genius, eliciting awe at the complex mysteries of life and at the finely-wrought truthfulness of art."

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The Tempest (2022)

★★★★

"Three Lions, blow-up lobsters and Prospero in a pair of budgie smugglers"

"Sean Holmes's modish adaptation has gimmicks aplenty, but somehow works"

"The Tempest was classed as a comedy in the first folio. That assists Holmes’s bold decision to steer away from a reverent reading of its study of a brother betrayed moving towards forgiveness, and look for funny-peculiarity in unexpected places. He gives this late play the kick of upstart youth."

"I was in two minds about Holmes turning ‘Our revels now are ended’ into a bitter sting in the tale, but it’s of a piece with a production that unpacks Shakespeare’s strange cargo without much care for precedent, and subjects it to fresh inspection."

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The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe (2022)

★★★★

"British theatrical verve at full pelt"

"First seen in 2017, Sally Cookson’s marvellous stage adaptation – now at the Gillian Lynne Theatre – combines profundity and playfulness"

"Director Michael Fentiman was recruited to make the production touring-friendly; he applied his own sensibility, and a new creative team, bringing actor-musicians folksily to the fore, cramming the spry action with visual flourishes and springing more illusions."

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Much Ado About Nothing (2022)

★★★★

"Blissful revival of a conveyor-belt classic"

"There are moments during Simon Godwin’s blissful revival of Much Ado, when the evening seems to deliver all the fun of a foreign hols without the hassle of baggage reclaim at Heathrow."

"Is it perfect? No, but it’s very serviceable in a bijou hotel kind of way – and there’ll be another one along, anytime soon; it’s a conveyor-belt classic."

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Crazy For You (2022)

★★★★★

"A magnificent revival with songs that knock you for six"

"Watching this magnificent new staging at Chichester – directed as well as choreographed by Susan Stroman, who choreographed that 1992 production – you have to agree that Americans do seem to have the edge when it comes to pleasure-giving spectacle and songs that knock you for six."

"A near impossible amount is loaded onto the shoulders (and dancing shoes) of Charlie Stemp as the banker with a heart of gold, but, following triumphs in Half a Sixpence and Mary Poppins, he affirms his status as a 24-carat stage star. By turns rubber-limbed goofball and epitome of debonair charm, he achieves a weightlessness in his waltzes, quick-turns and tap frenzies you never tire of watching and which he seemingly never tires of delivering."

"They’d be crazy not to transfer it.'

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The Tempest (2022)

★★★

"Deborah Warner's male-dominated production gives an intimate account of Shakespeare's late play"

"Nicholas Woodeson, 72, gives us a dowdy, shifty, slightly professorial Prospero, albeit book-less, who initially combines acidity with flashes of spleen."

"Whatever the slight frustrations, it’s heartening to see work on this scale (a cast of 14) staged away from London, and blessed with a clarity of utterance."

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The Seagull (2022)

★★

"Emelia Clarke’s wings are clipped by this ascetic Chekhov staging"

"The Game of Thrones star isn’t given the chance to shine in this new production, so spartan it’s distractingly ostentatious"

"In so far as they go, constrained by a directorial conceit so sparing it’s distractingly ostentatious, I can’t fault the cast, but they yield little that couldn’t be obtained in more traditional, pleasure-giving Chekhov. "

"it’s too static and sapping, in these joy-starved times"

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Richard III reviews - RSC Stratford (2022)

★★★★

"This Richard III is historic and stylish – but why trim Shakespeare’s best lines?"

"Given Hughes’s relative inexperience in Shakespeare, it’s a triumph. But while the evening wins the case for him – and, by extension, other disabled performers – to take on the role as their birthright, it doesn’t quite overthrow the ongoing claim of their best able-bodied counterparts. Lived experience is a route in, but so are imagination, empathy and craft. The mighty legacy of Sher and others won’t so easily be consigned to the past."

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Mad House (2022)

★★★

"David Harbour stars in a darkly comic play about his own mental health"

"As the damaged man-child, Harbour delivers the requisite goods: hefty, forceful, brooding, tilting between sardonic intensity, petulance and yowling rage. As his dad, however, Pullman often seems more sweetly helpless than residually noxious."

"The dark comedy draws you in, but hits the snag of leaving you a bit high and dry when you yourself are required to care. This show, directed a bit stiffly by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel, isn’t laying claim to the mighty impact of such American family drama behemoths as Long Day’s Journey into Night. All the same, it struggles to dovetail the sharp comic back-biting with a sense of truly gut-wrenching showdown. "

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That Is Not Who I Am (2022)

★★

"Cyber thriller is more mess than mystery"

"The Royal Court teased us with the promise of a premiere by an ‘unknown’, but the end result is not the biting satire it thinks it is"

"At its best the Royal Court gives us the inside-scoop on life in Britain today. But for all the inventive comedy at work here, and a salient core point about the difficulty of discerning the truth, in modern life, as in art, the net effect is inconsequential."

"The piece certainly asks the valid question as to how power can be held to account if the powerless can be easily discredited, legitimate grains of truth lost amid piled-on supposition"

"After all the hype, a damp squib for the silly season."

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The Southbury Child (2022)

★★★★★

"Hugely cathartic, this is the play of the year so far... blissfully funny and ineffably touching"

"Stephen Beresford’s heaven-sent new work stars an immaculately understated Alex Jennings as a priest taking a stand against modernity"

"At its heart is a stand-off between an individual and his community so tightly enwoven with competing principles and conflicting emotions it has an almost Ibsenite intensity. Yet its subtle, wry tonal quality puts you more immediately in mind of Alan Bennett, a prompting assisted by the fact that Alex Jennings, who has played Bennett on stage and screen, takes the lead as David Highland, blending beatific reticence with charismatic fallibility."

"Jennings is as immaculately understated as the script, lunging in a telling bout of desperation for a glass of whisky. Trying to prop everyone up, he’s crumbling inside, and finds a soul-mate of sorts in the new curate, a handsome Scot (Jack Greenlees) whose homosexuality is tolerated but not institutionally supported. "

"Beresford won a Bafta for the screenplay of Pride. He can pride himself on this. My play of the year so far."

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A Dolls House, Part 2 (2022)

★★★★★

"How on earth do you follow up Ibsen’s masterpiece? Exactly like this"

"Lucas Hnath's audacious sequel to the pioneering 1879 drama, at the Donmar Warehouse, is nothing less than essential viewing"

"Noma Dumezweni is magnificent as the shifty revenant, arriving in a smart velvety period dress as if wholly fixed on the purpose at hand, but forced on the back foot as the household she abandoned starts to turn the tables."

"Each character has their voice, and that’s strikingly the case with the maligned Torvald, whom Brian F O’Byrne makes patriarchally stiff yet seething with emotion: icy, indignant, ferocious, and also, crucially, frail, as much a humble human casualty as a combatant in the battle of the sexes and the fracturing war against social conditioning and systemic oppression. Essential viewing."

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Tony! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera) (2022)

★★★

"Begins promisingly, then outstays its welcome"

"Harry Hill and composer Steve Brown’s musical is intermittently inspired but winds up echoing the failings of TB’s divisive premiership"

"Much as I’d like to report a palpable hit – Lord knows, we all need cheering up – like TB’s premiership Tony! begins promisingly, moves into a disappointing phase and then outstays its welcome.

Tonally, it’s semi-successful. Given what a figure of opprobrium Blair became, it balances a need to keep us on-side, and woo us with charm, while holding the busted flush at arm’s length. It doesn’t help that a resolutely beaming Charlie Baker in the title role is actually a closer facial match to Gordon Brown. What’s trickier is that the show struggles to shift out of a cartoon register – you want it to sound the complexities of Blair’s tenure, but it mainly sticks to “yah boo” satire."

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Britannicus (2022)

★★★★

"From incels to Putin, Racine's dusty old play feels oddly relevant"

"This assured revival at the Lyric Hammersmith is the mother of all psycho-dramas"

" In this mother of all psycho-dramas, it’s as if we hurtle from early contractions of fear to the blood-stained hatching of a monster, those involved at once caught up in the process, yet somehow bystanders to the hermetic horror.

Atri Banerjee’s assured mainstage revival at the Lyric, utilising a fine version by Timberlake Wertenbaker from 2011 that banishes any sense of a dusty school-text, conveys the remorseless nature of proceedings."

The Telegraph
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The Unfriend (2022)

★★★★

"Effortlessly entertaining, and maybe the most ‘promising’ debut in ages,"

"It’s hardly a profound evening but it’s a perceptive one."

"The action is line-by-line funny and an apt commentary on English middle-class manners. The inability of these inhibited types to desist from politeness and eject their guest reaches its hilarious apotheosis when they try to peddle the lie that Peter’s elderly mother is on her way out. Elsa turns tables by shooing the pair off through the front-door to do their bit, while mock-sweetly cosying up to their kids. Shearsmith excels himself as the picture of rising, suppressed consternation, hoisted with his own petard."

The Telegraph
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The Glass Menagerie (2022)

★★★

"Amy Adams is heartbreaking.. I loved her performance"

"To be blunt, I loved her performance. It’s clear, simple, believable, and quietly heart-breaking in its contained vulnerability."

"What Adams catches in her determined radiance and subtle gestures – dabbing a finger with spittle to try and smooth his hair, as if he were still in short trousers – is the female equivalent of Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman: someone going through the motion of coping but in dire need of some good news."

The Telegraph
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Murder On The Orient Express (2022)

★★★★

"Watch out, David Suchet, there's a superb new Poirot in town"

"Henry Goodman is mesmerising in Chichester Festival Theatre's handsome production of Agatha Christie's whodunit"

The Telegraph
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My Fair Lady (2022)

★★★

"A watershed production, but not a benchmark"

"Amara Okereke flowers opposite Vanessa Redgrave, but the staging is underpowered"

The Telegraph
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Grease (2022)

★★★★

"Peter Andre shines with a small but prominent part"

The Telegraph
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Oklahoma! (2022)

★★★★★

"Punchy, playful and sexy, this Oklahoma! is an absolute knockout"

"First seen in New York, this revelatory production, now at the Young Vic, interrogates the landmark musical to within an inch of its life"

"Experimental in feel, it strips things back to reveal tough personalities, strong sexual drives, few creature comforts and violent impulses sprouting amid sun-kissed corn fields. In place of a lavish orchestra, the score has been brilliantly reinterpreted so the music, delivered by a small band, offers instead a homespun folksiness. That has evident charm, but Fish interrogates Oklahoma! to within an inch of its life, bringing out its darkness, indeed plunging spectators fully into blackness at points, and sounding its complexities."

The Telegraph
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Much Ado About Nothing (2022)

★★★★

"Much Ado About Nothing marks a welcome return to innovation and inspiration at the Globe"

"The ideological obsession that has marred too many Bankside shows recently is mercifully absent in Lucy Bailey's splendid production"

"The production opens the summer season, finally back at full capacity. More than that, defined by its attention to detail, it balances directorial innovation with actorly inspiration, avoiding the ideological rampancy of some recent shows here."

The Telegraph
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Jerusalem (2022)

★★★★★

"Mark Rylance still rules the kingdom"

"This revival of Jez Butterworth's masterpiece, first staged in 2009, remains a crucial theatrical rite"

"None of the erstwhile comic – or indeed lyrical - impact is lost. Rylance’s waggling eyebrows, mystified stares and quiet burr that can shift into a roar transfix, as before. He’s older, inevitably: 62. Physical stiffness is more manifest, but that seems intended and artistically valuable – you can credit that this former dare-devil has, at various times, broken every bone in his body.

"And, as much as Byron comes to resemble an indestructible spirit of bucolic misrule, Rylance’s pronouncedly hobbling, rooster-ish gait – puffed chest contorted – signals that he’s running out of road. The three-hour action, traversing St George’s Day and the annual Flintock Fair, builds towards a twilight denouement of lonely mortal intimations and sacrificial reckoning."

The Telegraph
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Prima Facie (2022)

★★★★

"Jodie Comer’s brilliant West End debut is like a punch to the guts"

"This solo piece at the Harold Pinter, in which Comer plays a lawyer who is raped, reveals the the Killing Eve star as a natural on stage too"

"West End debuts don’t come much more astonishing than this solo tour de force by Jodie Comer. In Prima Facie, she plays a London criminal barrister complacently expert in sexual assault cases, who unravels after she’s raped by a work-colleague, and during the pitiless ensuing trial. Her performance, running a full-pelt 100 minutes, propels her into the front rank of stage stars."

"If there’s an issue with the play it’s that in its final epilogue, it bluntly avows that need for systemic change, effectively demanding our indignation, whereas that concern bubbles up quite naturally in response to what we witness. Though the presentation of what happens to Comer’s thirtysomething character – Tessa Ensler – unambiguously shows her as a rape victim, Miller’s slant, and Comer’s portrayal, still teem with rich nuance, testing sympathies."

The Sunday Times
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The Corn is Green (2022)

★★★★★

"Nicola Walker is unmissable in this riveting production"

"The National Theatre’s revival of Emlyn Williams’s 1938 play is crowned by the Unforgotten star’s finely calibrated performance"

"Miss Moffat is the embodiment of the teaching profession at its most tirelessly dogged, dutiful and – to a hugely moving degree – self-denying. Walker's forte – as shown so brilliantly in the ITV detective drama Unforgotten – is her ability to communicate admirable purpose; few eyes blaze with such intelligence, few frowns convey such concentration. There are also hints of sadness within the self-containment."

"Iwan Davies’s brooding, casually clever Evans emerges from the pits of juvenility and stands on the brink of a great escape from all he has known, his sense of self and class in the balance. In the first half, on an empty stage, there’s a rich comedy to the small-town mindsets, typified by rough-and-tumble youths and the snooty, sexist, proudly philistine local squire (Rufus Wright). In the second, we get a proper living-room set by Ultz, and the dramatic stakes are raised, particularly by a sexually bold local lass (Saffron Coomber’s Bessy). A battle of female wills ensues over Evans’s future; without wishing to spoil the twist, Miss Moffat has to go the extra mile of sacrifice to win out, lending her the force and nobility of a tragic heroine."

The Telegraph
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Punchdrunk: The Burnt City (2022)

★★★

"Not quite a theatrical Trojan horse"

"This major new work by the immersive pioneers has some good ideas, but lacks the surprise of their greatest work"

"After eight years away from major happenings in London they’ve taken over two listed buildings amid the old Royal Arsenal site by the river at Woolwich. Felix Barrett, Maxine Doyle and team have got 100,000 square feet to play with, and they go to town, or to Troy, with it. With mixed results; this doesn't match the surprise and spontaneity of their Poe-inspired masterwork The Masque of the Red Death, but even if it disappoints by their standards, the scale and attention to detail leaves the competition standing."

"For me, the huge redeeming feature lay in the closing sections, amid the cavernous and palatial Greek area: shiver-making, brutal and beautiful scenes recognisable from The Oresteia and a final frenzied dance that transcends time, like a Grecian urn coming to life. The future of theatre? It feels a little too variable – however knowingly so – for that, but it still undoubtedly brings the past to all-consuming life with inventive twists and turns, and obsessive passion."

The Telegraph
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The 47th (2022)

★★

"Bertie Carvel’s perfect Trump impression can’t save this superficial play"

"Mike Barlett's latest "near-future" play imagines Donald Trump re-running for president in 2024"

"You could watch Carvel having a ball as Trump for hours. Which is just as well because the great bogeyman of recent US politics hogs the limelight for much of the near-future action, set at the tail-end of Biden’s first term, in 2024."

"Tamara Tunie’s Kamala Harris has a gravitas that feels unearned. The women, inevitably, resist unabashed misogyny. Goold brings his usual sheen to proceedings, played out under an oval-ish strip of light, yet can’t hide the lack of meaningful substance beneath the theatrical polish. See it for Carvel’s tour de force, perhaps, but as Trump would attest, you can’t win ’em all."

The Telegraph
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To Kill A Mockingbird (2022)

★★★★★

"Aaron Sorkin’s revelatory adaptation blazingly captures the zeitgeist"

"Harper Lee's famous 1960 novel comes rivetingly to life at the Gielgud Theatre, with Rafe Spall hypnotic as lawyer Atticus Finch"

"Watching it from the vantage of 2022, though, it’s clear that the piece is more than just classily cast (in this case, Rafe Spall takes the lead), well-wrought and boasting talking-point elements. It blazingly captures the zeitgeist, so that what remains firmly in period is also urgent, the furore about Floyd reinforcing its percipience."

The Telegraph
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Straight Line Crazy (2022)

★★★

"Ralph Fiennes exudes brute force as New York's master builder"

"The actor captures the muscularity of Robert Moses in a fascinating but flawed new play by David Hare"

"Hare, or Hytner, could have divided the lead between two actors, one younger - conveying the residual dynamism of a Yale-man intent on changing the world – with Fiennes the battle-hardened operator. That might make the trajectory clearer, and with the star turning 60 this year, you don’t quite get the initial sense of a radical upstart, brazenly inveigling his way into the monied home of the tycoon Henry Vanderbilt, and demanding the elites of Long Island yield."

"Hare has alighted on a topic of monumental fascination. Call me crazy but Netflix should snap it up."

The Telegraph
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Cock (2022)

★★★

"Mike Bartlett’s sexuality-crisis drama still just about measures up"

"'Rocketman' star Taron Egerton is under-used in the Ambassadors' revival of a smart 2009 work that has broadly kept pace with the times"

"Presented against a curved back wall of burnished metal with fluorescent-effect rods dangling from on high, the production projects modish style without attaining the searing intensity of the original cockpit staging. And while the script has broadly kept pace with the times, liberalism’s leaps and bounds have lent a sepia tinge to its focus on bisexuality, even if it still strikes a valid blow for unconstrained self-definition. (NB: everyone remains clothed and sex is teasingly implied.)"

"All in all, it still measures up, but the super-talented Bartlett – the original magic Mike perhaps – went on to bigger and better things and is girding his loins for two premieres in the coming weeks."

The Telegraph
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Maria Friedman & Friends - Legacy (2022)

★★★★

"It’s as if Sondheim is in the room with us – corny, but true"

"The Menier Chocolate Factory's touching tribute to the late musical-theatre genius sees Maria Friedman do him (and two other greats) proud"

"it’s a feast for Sondheim fans with a nice sprinkling of numbers from the other two, with a few surprises on top. Throw in affable chat and reminiscence, and the soirée risks over-stuffing its guests; but given how moreish Sondheim’s songs are, and how sating, it amounts to vital comfort food for these jittery times."

"We knew that Sondheim’s legacy was assured, but that point is further underlined by fresh-faced contributions from Friedman’s smiley son Alfie, virtuosic in a hectic sardonic number from Merrily; Indonesian sensation Desmonda Cathabel, giving an impeccable rendition of The Miller’s Son; and a choir from the Royal Academy of Music in the wistfully optimistic Our Time."

The Telegraph
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The Collaboration (2022)

★★★★

"Paul Bettany brings agony and ecstasy to the role of Andy Warhol"

"This Young Vic production imagines the unlikely - but true - encounter between the doyen of pop art and Jean-Michel Basquiat"

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Moulin Rouge! The Musical (2022)

★★★★

"The perfect way to celebrate our post-pandemic freedom"

The spectacular, Tony-winning adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's much-loved film is short on plot but more than makes up for it in entertainment

The Telegraph
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Cabaret (2021)

★★★★★

"Eddie Redmayne dazzles in the kill-for-a-ticket theatrical triumph of 2021"

"Rebecca Frecknall’s staging of the 1966 Kander and Ebb classic re-affirms the sensuous joy of performance and sends shivers down the spine"

""Redmayne, returning to theatre after a decade, offers a dazzling vision of the Emcee role, so long associated with Alan Cumming in the Mendes production, that makes it freshly glinting and sinister," wrote Cavendish.

"As Sally Bowles, the English deb turned devil-may-care show-girl, Buckley achieves no smaller feat: she makes you laugh, breaks your heart, has you hanging on her every word - sung or otherwise," he continued. "The Irish actress's period accent and distinctive attitude, nonchalance combined with subtle forcefulness and vulnerability, sets her far from Liza Minnelli in the 1972 film."

The Telegraph
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Best of Enemies (2021)

★★★★

"Witnessing the birth of televised political discussion as blood-sport"

"James Graham's dramatisation – at the Young Vic – of the game-changing 1968 Gore Vidal and William F Buckley Jr debates packs a real punch"

The Telegraph
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The Book of Dust (2021)

★★★

"A promising adaptation cursed by its daemons"

"Nicholas Hytner's new Philip Pullman adaptation at the Bridge Theatre has plenty going for it but currently feels like a Christmas curio"

The Telegraph
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2021)

★★★★★

"British theatre at its gob-smacking best"

"Young and old alike will be entranced by the return of this illusion-packed Neil Gaiman adaptation"

"Katy Rudd’s production honours every philosophical beat and every pulse-racing thud of the experience, as good as putting us in the shoes of James Bamford’s bashful, inquisitive Boy"

The Telegraph
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Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) (2021)

★★★★★

"Austen would have loved this smart, silly, laugh-out-loud show"

"This full-bodied, all-female adaptation of Austen's masterpiece at the Criterion is even better than it was two years ago – praise indeed"

The Telegraph
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Back to the Future (2021)

★★★★★

"The car's the star in this feelgood triumph"

"Great Scott! This musical based on the Eighties classic shouldn't work - but it's magnificent"

The Telegraph
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Frozen The Musical (2021)

★★★

"The venue puts the show in the shade.

"The newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane is jaw-dropping, but this stage version of the all-conquering Disney film feels less magical"

The Telegraph
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Les Miserables (2020)

★★★★★

"Perfect theatre, in a perfect theatre"

"Prepare for a fresh outbreak of Les Mis mania."

The Telegraph
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Magic Goes Wrong (2020)

★★★★

"A terrific new helping of the art of comic incompetence"

"their commitment to the character-comedy and the skill they deploy to bring their stunts off adds a complexity to their medicinal froth. We buy into the idea that we’re genuinely watching hopeless cases – and we want them to suffer for their idiocy but also, in unexpected ways, transcend it."

The Telegraph
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Cyrano de Bergerac (2019)

★★★★★

"I defy anyone not to fall in love with it."

“James McAvoy proves a revelation in a super-smart stripped-back Cyrano that turns the play on its head and left me speechless with admiration.”

“The stage-magic lies in the musculature of the word-music he unleashes in a two-hour long work-out of lungs and larynx. Those ravishing verbals have been given a 21st century spin. The rhyming couplets have acquired a street-wise panache; rap-culture informs the rapier wit. An 18-strong cast – dressed-down in everyday gear – occupy a no-frills theatrical environment (exposed stage, wooden surrounds, plastic chairs). It’s like a performance poetry gig. They wield hand-held mics, beatbox too.”

The Telegraph
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& Juliet (2019)

★★★

"It's essentially glorified panto"

"While this show isn’t in the same league as Mamma Mia! by fellow Swedes Abba, those with a willing ear for his brand of shiny pop should enjoy hearing his bangers rendered at high volume and landing with a swaggering, truant disposition."

"Part of me thinks this feelgood extravaganza might just prove the new We Will Rock You"

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DEAR EVAN HANSEN (2019)

★★★★

"A star is born as the Broadway hit comes to the UK"

"Dear Evan Hansen, which premiered in 2015 and stormed Broadway the following year (winning six Tonys), gives voice to the angst of doubt-riddled adolescence, the flipside of the country’s brutal winner-loser culture. It is also widely regarded as the first major musical to put the subject of social media centre-stage."

"I was consistently (darkly) entertained, not just by the narrative twists and turns but the internal knots into which Hansen ties himself, prompted by his tangle of misplaced altruism, grasping opportunism and beta-male insecurity. At the same time, the evening does feel – much like its protagonist – supremely calculated; and for all its cleverness, there is an air of chilliness about it. Original though the scenario undoubtedly is, it unfolds fairly schematically; too few of the characters feel fully fleshed out."

The Telegraph
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Groan Ups (2019)

★★★★

"Growing pains of the most painfully funny kind"

"The script deftly unites moments broad and silly with elements wistful and serious within a simple structure: we follow the shifting relations and fortunes of five school friends, from early primary days past the terrible teens to an adult reunion."

"Yes, the scenario is a bit scribbled on a bus, trades on stereotypes, and gag-wise has its share of groaners. Yet aside from showcasing Mischief’s rare facility for generating mirth and turning the stage into a zestful playground, it suggests a growing maturity of artistic ambition. "

The Telegraph
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Groan Ups (2019)

★★★★

"Growing pains of the most painfully funny kind"

"Yes, the scenario is a bit scribbled on a bus, trades on stereotypes, and gag-wise has its share of groaners. Yet aside from showcasing Mischief’s rare facility for generating mirth and turning the stage into a zestful playground, it suggests a growing maturity of artistic ambition. "

The Telegraph
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Lungs (2019)

★★★★

"Claire Foy shines and Matt Smith glints in doomsday play."

"Both actors cope brilliantly with the technical and tonal challenges, although the scripted-sounded nature of their verbal emissions can irk and the characters are more like talking predicaments than fully rounded personae. Foy shines brightest, her thinking aloud exhilarating in its runaway force. Smith – seemingly unaged since his Dr Who prime, flexing action-man limbs, even performing press-ups – is good at glinting tenderness, ardency and sheepishness (there are philandering parallels to Philip)."

The Telegraph
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Vassa (2019)

★★

"A rare misfire from north London’s creative powerhouse"

" Redmond contends admirably enough, chilling the temperature with an Anne Robinson-esque winteriness (lots of baleful looks, weary reprimands), but the character barely lives and breathes more successfully than her unseen moribund other half."

"Bartlett – who delivered one of the plays of the decade here with King Charles III – gives us neither a compelling vision of the past nor something that correlates well to the present. There is also something awry with the staging by up-and-coming director Tinuke Craig, which gives little period specificity. The flip, often fast dialogue has the veneer of a black comedy - and offers moments of wit - but it’s not only hard, as a consequence, to latch on to what people are driving at (the intrigue is quite involved) but it’s a challenge to care about any of them. For the first time in a long while at the Almeida, I’m groping for positives."

The Telegraph
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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2019)

★★★★

"It’s a boon to see Smith treading West End boards again"

"No one can argue that Joseph – which owes as much to Butlins, you feel, as the Bible – possesses immense sophistication. Or that it had the subversion as Hair, which came to London the same year as that first try-out (1968). Yet, free from the shackles of deference, and boldly making use of a through-sung format, it marched to the same anything-goes counter-cultural tune of the time."

"It’s a boon to see Smith treading West End boards again: her Narrator, very girl-next-door in simple top and joggers, has a silky-rich voice and a sunbeamy smile so bright you may need to apply factor 50."

"You think Yarrow has walked off with the show, then up rises Donovan's Pharoah amid MGM-levels of gilded pomp and milks every over-extended moment of his Elvisy rock number, hip-thrusting with a machismo that belies his feline Egyptian eye-shadow."

The Telegraph
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Wife (2019)

★★★★

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House renovated and extended to inspiring effect. In Wife, Samuel Adamson ingeniously revisits the play, and springboards from reprised versions of that scene to explore shifting theatrical approaches and evolving societal norms about marriage and personal relations

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The Starry Messenger  (2019)

★★★

"A play that wistfully acknowledges the passage of time and onset of middle-age"

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Betrayal (2019)

★★★★

"Tom Hiddleston displays a hypnotic sensitivity in this modern masterpiece"

"In common with all his best work – including, yes, that glinting study in volatile vengefulness, the maverick Marvel baddie Loki – he displays a hypnotic sensitivity. Such is his physical and vocal control, that no matter how light the look or line, or indeed how loaded, everything registers. I had worried that the actor, 38, might come across as too well-spoken, too restrained but he doesn’t merely suggest the noxious, torturing impact of that title word, Betrayal, he seems to carry it in his blood-stream."

"Striking, ardent, confident, Ashton’s Emma could do with more enigma and less underlined brittleness but catches the character’s ache and discontent well, while Cox acquits himself superbly as the down to earth best-mate who behaves like a rotter, with cat that got the cream smiles and an awful sheepishness as it dawns on him that the others have played him for a fool."

The Telegraph
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Waitress (2019)

★★★★

"A meaty musical packed with delicious filling"

"I have to confess to craving a slice of humble-pie after watching Waitress...a meaty musical packed with delicious filling"

"To be honest, I went in expecting the whole thing to get completely up my nostrils."

"Yet after two hours of more-ish, tuneful entertainment (snappy folky-rocky-poppy music and lyrics from Sara Bareilles, book by Jessie Nelson) my carapace – crust, if you will – of scepticism had been breached, leaving warm appreciation oozing out. And if you’re averse to tongue-in-cheek, culinary-related metaphors, then do stand warned – from the opening, lullaby-like line “Sugar, butter, flour”, this is a show that takes joyous relish in whisking together the staple references of its workplace milieu with all the confused emotions that attend its principals’ appetite for love and companionship."

The Telegraph
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Come From Away (2019)

★★★

"Glossing over the trauma of 9/11"

"Their musical phenomenon - which opened on Broadway in 2017 to ecstatic reviews - has now landed in London with a British cast"

The Telegraph
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9 to 5 The Musical (2019)

★★★

"Bonnie Langford is employee of the month in this feelgood but flimsy musical"

"For power-jacketed professionalism, you can’t fault Caroline Sheen (stepping in for an injured Louise Redknapp to play multi-tasking, lovelorn Violet), Amber Davies (the 2017 Love Island winner) as the gradually empowered Judy and Natalie McQueen as the drawling Doralee, bewailing the bimbo status that she has been saddled with."

"Employee of the month’ award however should go to Bonnie Langford"

The Telegraph
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All About Eve (2019)

★★★

"Lily James lacks peculiarity in uninspired screen-to-stage affair"

"Van Hove loves to strip things back, so we get minimal Broadway glamour and bustle – but less eye-catching experimentalism than you might expect. Period trappings are out even if the implicit social landscape of the original remains."

"Anderson, svelte and glowering, exudes first boredom then fear, communicates wariness well with just a poisonous glance."

"there’s a stand-out supporting performance from Monica Dolan as Margo’s turncoat confidant Karen"

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True West (2018)

"Kit Harington proves his mettle in Sam Shepard's bleak battle of wills"

"The late Sam Shepard’s True West is a remarkably delicate flower. Set it down in the wrong place, fail to moisten it with sufficient droplets of subtle directorial care, and a dark comedy of wild pungency can wilt into something oddly odourless."

"If the evening needs to look more rock n roll, less like a roughed-up version of The Odd Couple, there’s still enough to savour for the initiated and uninitiated alike. Having been as wooden as a Westeros draw-bridge in a dire Faustus two years ago, a heavily moustachioed Harington proves his mettle in this latest stage outing."

The Telegraph
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Fiddler On The Roof (2018)

★★★★

The tears ring true in Trevor Nunn's exuberant revival.

'Despite its rather rudimentary story-line, the show remains as fresh as ever. Folk songs that were the product of affectionate pastiche – the creative trio’s homage to ‘where poppa came from’ – have such a core veracity, it’s almost as if they were actually sung back in the day.'

'Nyman doesn’t always sound the part, he looks it: a little youthful, granted, but with his big beard, labourer’s fore-arms and stout physique, he plausibly incarnates the fretful patriarch.'

The Telegraph
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Hadestown (2018)

★★★

"Enjoyable winter-warmer that's a near myth"

"Those seeking “value for money” can’t complain given that they’re treated, over more than two hours, to song after well-sung, well-crafted song, a bumper-pack of bluesy, folksy, jazzy material that does the soul good to hear it. Or can they?"

"Mitchell’s through-sung approach squeezes out opportunities for richly character-defining dialogue. Her lyrics often come not from psychologically detailed personae but from the show’s collective spirit of story-telling"

The Telegraph
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Company (2018)

★★★★★

"Sublime"

"Gender-switched Sondheim proves a sublime down-the-rabbit-hole cocktail of entertainment.

"This is astonishing in so many ways it feels as if you’re hemmed in by reasons to cheer. Marianne Elliott’s re-imagining of Stephen Sondheim’s landmark experimental 1970 musical (with skittish book by George Furth) reboots a modern classic for the Tinder age. It’s sensational. But it might not have worked."

"Yes, Sondheim is a known genius, Elliott one of our finest directors. And, sure, there’s something inevitable – given our identity-fluid times – about taking the pivotal role of Bobby, a sexy, unattached New Yorker contemplating the hazards (and rewards) of coupledom as he hits 35, and – hey presto – gender-switching it."

The Telegraph
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Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (2018)

★★★★★

"Beautifully designed and roof-raisingly well-sung"

"Born in the USA, made in England. That’s the thesis of this slickly choreographed, beautifully designed and roof-raisingly well-sung bio-musical about Tina Turner."

"It combines the aesthetic finesse of British director Phyllida Lloyd with the political instincts of Memphis-born, Olivier nominated playwright Katori Hall - and boasts a tour de force performance by American actress Adrienne Warren."

The Telegraph
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