Financial Times

The Financial Times – London Theatre Reviews

London theatre reviews from the UK newspaper The Financial Times.

A round-up of West End theatre reviews from the FT newspaper.

The Arts Editor of the Financial Times is Jan Dalley, and the FT’s chief theatre critic is Sarah Hemming.

Alice Saville also writes reviews for the FT.

See below for a selection of star ratings and theatre reviews about West End shows in London from the Financial Times.


The Merchant of Venice 1936 at the Criterion Theatre / Watford Palace (2024)

★★★★
"Shakespeare confronted and reassessed in The Merchant of Venice 1936" (Watford Palace Theatre) "... it’s sometimes in the new plays…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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An Enemy of the People at the Duke of York's Theatre (2024)

★★★★
"Matt Smith is terrific in a blistering production of An Enemy of the People" "Contemporary resonances run through Thomas Ostermeier’s…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Dear Octopus at the National Theatre (2024)

★★★★
"Lindsay Duncan is a joy in Dear Octopus at the National Theatre" "Revival of Dodie Smith’s 1938 family drama weaves…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (2024)

★★★★★
"Succession’s Sarah Snook gives a virtuoso performance in The Picture of Dorian Gray" "Oscar Wilde’s novel is adapted for our…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Just For One Day at the The Old Vic theatre (2024)

★★★
"Live Aid musical hits the stage with fresh look at epic concert" "The songs from the 1985 gig put together…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Hills of California at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2024)

★★★★★
"Five stars for The Hills of California, a magnificent new play from Jez Butterworth" "Past and present, trauma and music…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Plaza Suite at the Savoy Theatre (2024)

★★★
"Sarah Jessica Parker is a joy in Plaza Suite at the Savoy Theatre" "She stars with Matthew Broderick in this…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Motive and the Cue at the National Theatre & Noel Coward Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Richard Burton and John Gielgud’s dramatic encounter brilliantly portrayed in The Motive and the Cue" (National Theatre) "There are fireworks…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Macbeth at the Donmar Warehouse (2023)

★★★★★
"David Tennant and Cush Jumbo are haunting in Macbeth" "Clever use of binaural technology brings the horrors of war right…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Stranger Things: The First Shadow at the Phoenix Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Sinister and thrilling trip to the Upside Down" "The Netflix hit’s theatrical spin-off balances horror and humour to great effect"…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Ulster American at the Riverside Studios (2023)

★★★
"Woody Harrelson excels in blood-spattered satire" "Andy Serkis and Louisa Harland co-star in a play about a play about the…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Cold War at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Cold War combines love, politics and art in a stirring drama" "... Rupert Goold’s beautiful production of Cold War." "They…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Homecoming at the The Young Vic (2023)

★★★★
"Matthew Dunster’s bleakly good staging accentuates the latent horror: before the play starts, Moi Tran’s living room set is bathed…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Pacific Overtures at the Menier Chocolate Factory (2023)

★★★★
"White’s production balances real feeling with stylisation and also with snappy satire. “Please Hello” is deliciously staged, with representatives from…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Macbeth The Show at the The Depot, Liverpool (2023)

★★★★
"Ralph Fiennes is a savage, serpentine Macbeth" "Liverpool’s Depot is turned into a theatre of war for a bloody production…
Matt Barton, The Financial Times
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The House of Bernarda Alba at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Stifling new staging of The House of Bernarda Alba stars a magnificent Harriet Walter" "... in Frecknall’s staging, the family…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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She Stoops To Conquer at the Orange Tree Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Director Tom Littler pitches Goldsmith’s 1773 comedy into the 1930s with sparkling results." "This is a warm, affectionate affair, delivered…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Ghosts at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (2023)

★★★
"The audience are trapped with the characters in the unravelling nightmare of a toxic secret." "In Joe Hill-Gibbins’ production, the…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Witches at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"A mischievous musical take on Roald Dahl" "Like many fairy tales it deals with deep fears — death, abandonment, betrayal.…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Mongol Khan at the London Coliseum (2023)

★★
"This epic piece of Mongolian theatre takes possession of the London Coliseum like a thunderstorm." "The scale and sweep of…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) at the Kiln Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"More seasonal sass in Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York), which aptly, given its title, insists on having…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Backstairs Billy at the Duke of York's Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Backstairs Billy is a droll portrait of a curious royal relationship" "This stuffy Clarence House interior, with its stifling decor…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Nutcracker - Tuff Nutt Jazz Club at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club (Southbank Centre) (2023)

★★★★
"Drew McOnie’s fun-size Nutcracker is a treat" "The choreographer rethinks the classic ballet at London’s Southbank Centre with a handful…
Louise Levene, The Financial Times
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The Time Traveller’s Wife at the Apollo Theatre (2023)

★★
"That’s one of the problems with this musical (written by Lauren Gunderson with songs by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart)…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Clyde's at the Donmar Warehouse (2023)

★★★★
"Lynn Nottage’s warm-hearted ‘Clyde’s’" "Lynette Linton’s joyous staging keeps us on that knife-edge, sprinkling surreal moments into the action. Metaphors…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Dear England at the Prince Edward Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"James Graham scores a winner with exhilarating football play" (National Theatre London) "James Graham’s epic new play" "This glorious, generous,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Moving stage adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s novel about Shakespeare’s son" (Garrick Theatre London) "Lolita Chakrabarti’s rich drama for the RSC…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Tender take on Maggie O’Farrell’s novel" (Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon) "The relationship and tragic parenthood of Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway reaches…
Suzi Feay, The Financial Times
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Portia Coughlan at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Carr’s play has taken on contemporary classic status. A no-holds-barred depiction of despair and a brutal takedown of small-town Ireland,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Nicole Scherzinger is magnetic in a stunning new Sunset Boulevard" "Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is reimagined for our image-obsessed age…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Boys From The Blackstuff at the Royal Court Liverpool (2023)

★★★★
"Blistering Liverpool stage adaptation of the landmark TV series" "It begins in free fall. Human and economic. A man tumbles…
Matt Barton, The Financial Times
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Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Old Friends is a five-star celebration of Stephen Sondheim" "Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga lead a stellar cast through the…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The White Factory at the Marylebone Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"... Dmitry Glukhovsky’s wrenchingly powerful The White Factory examines what happens when we deny that humanity." "It’s an epic, galvanising…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Frank and Percy at the The Other Palace (2023)

★★★
(Theatre Royal Windsor) "There’s plenty of comedy here... But there’s also a delicate exploration of the challenge of risking your…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play at the Young Vic theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Dynamite show blowing up Asian stereotypes" (Royal Exchange Manchester) "Mei Mac takes on cliché portrayals from ‘Madama Butterfly’ to ‘M*A*S*H’…
Matt Barton, The Financial Times
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Mlima’s Tale at the Kiln Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Nottage’s 2018 play is a sobering reminder of how loudly money talks, and how ready consumers are to turn a…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Vanya at the Duke of York's Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Five stars for Andrew Scott in a stunning solo Vanya" "Andrew Scott plays eight characters in this stunning solo version…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Pygmalion at the The Old Vic Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Shaw’s drama is still relevant but the staging is problematic" "The pipes and moustaches of Bernard Shaw’s Edwardian England may…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Little Big Things at the @sohoplace Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Based on Henry Fraser’s best-selling memoir, this is a true story, transformed by Nick Butcher (music and lyrics), Tom Ling…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Red Pitch is a model of brilliant new writing" "... Williams draws a funny, affectionate and tender portrait of young…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Effect at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Lucy Prebble’s drug trial drama benefits from new treatment" "New version of 2012 play comes to National Theatre with all-black…
Suzi Feay, The Financial Times
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Cuckoo at the Royal Court Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Cuckoo brings the kitchen sink drama into the age of mobile phones" "Michael Wynne’s new play, Cuckoo, mischievously evokes domestic…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Dr Semmelweis at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"The flashback structure can feel unwieldy, but Morris skilfully pulls against that, finding the moments of comedy while drawing you…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Beneatha’s Place at the The Young Vic (2023)

★★★
"Like Hansberry, Kwei-Armah keeps the action in a domestic setting, raising questions about home, belonging and power. " "It’s a…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Crazy For You at the Gillian Lynne Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Five stars for Crazy for You — a daft, dizzying musical that revels in the joy of theatre" "... at…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Song From Far Away at the Hampstead Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Gentle, truthful, immensely touching" (Hampstead Theatre) "In this compassionate, subtly composed monologue, we meet Willem (Will Young), another man suspended…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Playlist For The Revolution at the Bush Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Huge political themes roll through A Playlist for the Revolution too, another new play with a tight personal focus and…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Strange Loop at the Barbican Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"A Strange Loop is a dazzlingly clever multi-layered musical" "A Strange Loop, which takes its title in part from a…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Mrs Doubtfire The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Another eccentric 1993 movie also finds musical voice in the shape of Mrs Doubtfire, adapted by John O’Farrell and Wayne…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Pillowman at the Duke of York's Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Making Katurian a woman in Matthew Dunster’s production subtly changes the dynamic. Allen is the only female character in a…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Third Man - A Musical Thriller at the Menier Chocolate Factory (2023)

★★
"We hear a snippet of Anton Karas’s Harry Lime theme just once in Trevor Nunn’s new staging of the seminal…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Romeo and Juliet at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Frecknall’s staging, driven by dance, seethes with the restless energy of youth. It’s the friction between vitality and the ever-present…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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42nd Street at the Sadler's Wells Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Joyous 42nd Street rides a wave of dazzling hoofing" "... Jonathan Church’s joyous production makes sure you barely care. This…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Shakespeare's Globe (2023)

★★★
"The shadows have become deeper and the questions more piercing in Elle While’s staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Again,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Comedy of Errors at the Shakespeare's Globe (2023)

★★★★
"Daft farce haunted by shadows" "The Globe takes on a nautical flair for Sean Holmes’s highly enjoyable staging of The…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Brokeback Mountain at the Soho Place Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Ashley Robinson’s intimate adaptation of Brokeback Mountain" "... it was a short story by Annie Proulx. It’s that story that…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Once On This Island at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Once On This Island... gets an exuberant, witty staging at the hands of talented director Ola Ince and her wonderful…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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August in England at the Bush Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Lenny Henry shines in the wonderful, shocking Windrush drama August in England" "Henry, delivering his script with the twin weapons…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Retrograde at the Kiln Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Sidney Poitier is embroiled in blacklisting and betrayal in Retrograde" "The dramatist, who wrote the beautiful, poetic For Black Boys...,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Blue at the London Coliseum (2023)

★★★★
"Grief, race and police brutality" "ENO’s production of Jeanine Tesori’s new opera tells of a father-son conflict which ends in…
Alastair Macaulay, The Financial Times
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Ain't Too Proud - The Life And Times Of The Temptations at the Prince Edward Theatre (2023)

★★★
"The Temptations are the latest pop legends to get the jukebox treatment in Ain’t Too Proud, a show bubbling with…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Secret Life of Bees at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Whitney White’s eloquent staging, often bathed in honey-coloured light by Neil Austin, is marked by radiant performances — particularly from…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Dancing at Lughnasa at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"A beautiful new staging of Brian Friel’s play at the National Theatre" "The National Theatre’s beautiful new staging of Dancing…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Harrowing performance in a troubling drama" "There’s been a lot of talk about Norton’s onstage nudity, but it’s his naked…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Accidental Death of an Anarchist at the Lyric Hammersmith (2023)

★★★★
"Fury-edged comedy" "Tom Basden’s riotous new version brings the satire right up to date and could not be more topical:…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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For Black Boys Who Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy at the Apollo Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Ryan Calais Cameron’s beautiful meditation on black masculinity" "It takes the rough guise of a support meeting, with six black…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Further than the Furthest Thing at the Young Vic Theatre (2023)

★★★
"A volcanic contemporary classic" "... this elusive and intriguing piece quickly acquired the status of contemporary classic and it arrives…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Five stars for a high-energy, finger-snapping Guys & Dolls" "... Nicholas Hytner’s sensational revival of Guys & Dolls. This is…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Shirley Valentine at the Duke of York's Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Sheridan Smith is a transcendent one-woman Shirley Valentine" "... it’s Willy Russell’s original 1986 one-woman play we’re dealing with here,…
Alice Saville, The Financial Times
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Women, Beware The Devil at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★
"A drama of witchcraft and desire in ‘Women, Beware the Devil’" "The drama that ensues is an unclassifiable one: part…
Alice Saville, The Financial Times
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Romeo and Julie at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"A radical, funny modern tragedy at the National Theatre" "Owen sets the story of two teenage lovers in contemporary Cardiff,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Standing at the Sky's Edge at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Five stars for Standing at the Sky’s Edge, an exhilarating, big-hearted musical" "... Chris Bush’s Standing at the Sky’s Edge…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Phaedra at the National Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"This is Phaedra in a blistering new version of Seneca’s tragedy by writer and director Simon Stone." "This world of…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Lehman Trilogy at the Gillian Lynne Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Sam Mendes’s magnificent 2018 staging of The Lehman Trilogy returns to London’s West End with a terrific new cast as…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Linck & Mülhahn at the Hampstead Theatre (2023)

★★★
"A true story of gender noncomforming makes rich, playful drama" "... Thomas has crafted a drama that’s rich and witty…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Carmen at the London Coliseum (2023)

★★★★
"Red-hot revival with fiery singing" "Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen first graced ENO’s stage more than a decade ago and…
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
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2:22 A Ghost Story at the Lyric Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Now it is former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl’s turn to get spooked. She does a good job: she’s convincingly scared…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Unfriend at the Criterion Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Social awkwardness is a staple of British comedy and there is much about The Unfriend that is very amusing, although…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Alex Edelman: Just for Us at the Menier Chocolate Factory (2023)

★★★★
"... as a Jewish New York comedian, he once spent an evening at a meeting of white supremacists. The specifics…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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George Takei's Allegiance at the Charing Cross Theatre (2023)

★★★
"A gripping musical about Japanese internment — review" "It is a joy to see the Star Trek icon George Takei…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Paul Mescal is brilliantly brutal in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre" "Led by three outstanding performances —…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Watch on the Rhine at the Donmar Warehouse (2023)

★★★★
"This 1941 drama might feel creakily of its period in places, but the frustration that drives it comes spilling off…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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As You Like It at the @sohoplace (2022)

★★★★
"Wintry enchantment with besotted lovers" "... a gorgeous staging of As You Like It at the Soho Place theatre" "Josie…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre (2022)

★★★
"It is, unsurprisingly, the songs that drive the story, many of which are gorgeous." "This is not a version that…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Mother Goose at the Duke of York's Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Irresistible" "Harvey’s script is wreathed with the obligatory double-entendres and political jokes" "At the centre of it all is the…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Mandela at the The Young Vic (2022)

★★★
"Mandela at the Young Vic has exhilarating choreography but insufficient depth" "... it’s a musical with huge political import and…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Disney's Newsies at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Paperboy walkout makes for a striking musical in Newsies " "... its depiction of what is essentially an exploitative gig…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Hex at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Complicated and macabre fairytale ‘Hex’ at the Olivier" "Fairy tales are often macabre, testing out our deepest fears, and this…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Orlando at the Garrick Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Emma Corrin is luminous in gender-switching fantasy Orlando" "Bartlett’s affectionate, witty stage adaptation of Woolf’s groundbreaking 1928 novel is in…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Othello at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"A searing staging of ‘Othello’ at the Lyttelton" "Giles Terera’s Othello is the only black actor in a white cast,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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It's A Wonderful Life at the London Coliseum (2022)

★★★★
"an enchanting Christmas show" "Jake Heggie’s opera takes the beloved film and lightens some of its darker moments" "Whether the…
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
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Best of Enemies at the Noel Coward Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"Five stars for Best of Enemies, a scintillating, perfectly-timed play" "James Graham’s show is a hit" "James Graham’s brilliant play…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Henry V at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (2022)

★★★★
"More national soul-searching is on the agenda for Holly Race Roughan’s intense, stripped-down version of Henry V. Productions of Shakespeare’s…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Sex Party at the Menier Chocolate Factory (2022)

★★
"‘The Sex Party’ disappoints" "A sex party, it turns out, is just like any other party in that no matter…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Blackout Songs at the Hampstead Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Witty and toxic show at Hampstead Theatre" "... this drama about addiction is witty, warm and unpredictable, combining classic romcom…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Elephant at the Bush Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"This clever, subtle piece draws on Lucas’s own experience as a young female musician of mixed heritage: endlessly told to…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Tammy Faye – A New Musical at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Elton John’s delirious glitz-bomb of a musical" "With book by James Graham and lyrics from Jake Shears, the show about…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Single Man at the Park Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Reade’s adaptation, directed by Philip Wilson, skilfully catches the strange dislocation of grief" "Fraser Steele’s excellent, angular, awkward performance precisely…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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@sohoplace at the @sohoplace (2022)

"Risk pays off as new West End theatre opens" "[Marvellous] is a perfect fit for @sohoplace’s softly lit auditorium, an…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Marvellous at the @sohoplace (2022)

★★★★
"Risk pays off as new West End theatre opens" "To name a play Marvellous might seem like a risk. To…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"Magical staging of a much-loved film at the Barbican" "The stage responds with its number-one asset: the audience’s imagination. The…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Good at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"David Tennant grips in 1930s-set ethical drama Good" "'We probably are good,' says David Tennant’s Halder, meditatively, towards the end…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Doctor at the Duke of York's Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"Easy answers come under scrutiny again in Robert Icke’s The Doctor. The pandemic delayed its transfer to the West End…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Band's Visit at the Donmar Warehouse (2022)

★★★
"“Welcome to nowhere,” sing the locals, as they warn their unexpected visitors that this is a place where nothing happens.…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Boy with Two Hearts at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Amit Sharma’s production has a fable-like quality, with the cast of five narrating the tale and acting out all the…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Tosca at the London Coliseum (2022)

★★★★
"English National Opera’s Tosca has scale and passion" "There is powerful singing in this upbeat, confident staging of Puccini" "Anybody…
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
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Blues For An Alabama Sky at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"A wonderful, bittersweet staging at the National Theatre" "The skill of Cleage’s writing and of Linton’s warm, beautifully paced production…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Iphigenia in Splott at the Lyric Hammersmith (2022)

★★★★
"This revival arrives amid a political storm about possible cuts in public spending by Liz Truss’s government. That the play…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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John Gabriel Borkman at the Bridge Theatre (2022)

★★★
"This is kind of distilled Ibsen: a combination of bitter black humour, detailed psychological acuity and wild symbolism. Rather than…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Crucible at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"A curtain of rain teems down around three sides of the stage, creating a shimmering blue veil between the residents…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Eureka Day at the The Old Vic (2022)

★★★
"Culture wars go ballistic in Eureka Day at the Old Vic" "With Eureka Day, Spector is wading into the hornets’…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Handbagged at the Kiln Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Comedy about the Queen and Thatcher has new layer of poignancy" "Some plays have topicality thrust upon them." "... while…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Snail House at the Hampstead Theatre (2022)

★★
"Richard Eyre’s debut falls flat" "As a bruising summary of the many problems besetting current Britain and of polarised public…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Clinic at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Racism tears apart a family in ‘The Clinic’" "You’re expecting a drama about racial inequalities in healthcare — and we…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Gabriel Byrne: Walking with Ghosts at the Apollo Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Gabriel Byrne is captivating in one-man show Walking with Ghosts" "The actor returns to the Dublin stage with stories from…
Max McGuinness, The Financial Times
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Antigone at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (2022)

★★★
" Love fights the law" "The script bristles with topical references and running through it is a plea for nuance…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Silence at the Donmar Warehouse (2022)

★★★
"A powerful play about partition" "As testimony, it is a moving and immensely powerful piece of theatre. As drama, however,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Who Killed My Father at the The Young Vic (2022)

★★★★
"Grief and poverty furiously warp a father-son relationship" "... it’s a one-man show. But in Hans Kesting’s superb performance, there…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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I, Joan at the Shakespeare's Globe (2022)

★★★
"This is clearly not the definitive Joan — it is a Joan: a dramatic character, a version, an exploration. It’s…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Narcissist at the Chichester Festival Theatre (2022)

★★★
"It’s that splintered and toxic public arena that Shinn seeks to portray, and this gripping, if fitful, play is at…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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All of Us at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★
"All of Us is a state-of-the-nation play: a frank, often funny, often shocking drama about what it is to be…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Tempest at the Shakespeare's Glob (2022)

★★★
"The Tempest at the Globe is gaudy, playful and smart" "This is a vibrant production and the ensemble achieve great…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Chasing Hares at the Young Vic (2022)

★★★
"Sonali Bhattacharyya’s new play asks searching questions about the gig economy, workers’ rights and the effectiveness of theatre in addressing…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Sister Act at the Eventim Apollo (2022)

★★★
"At the helm now is Beverley Knight as Deloris and what a fabulous job she does, blasting the heavens with…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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101 Dalmatians at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (2022)

★★★
"It doesn’t match up to some of this venue’s outstanding musical revivals, but this big-hearted family show is as benign…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Jack Absolute Flies Again at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★
"A cheerful farce at the National Theatre" "New knockabout comedy updates Sheridan’s The Rivals to a second world war setting"…
Alice Saville, The Financial Times
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Much Ado About Nothing at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"A bittersweet summer cocktail with some peachy parts and laugh-out-loud slapstick scenes." "Godwin’s production is sweet, sparky, sexy, sombre and,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Crazy For You at the Chichester Festival Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"Deliriously daft musical is revived in Chichester" "This deliriously daft George and Ira Gershwin musical is just the latest gem…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Patriots at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Putin and Berezovsky play chilling power games in Patriots at the Almeida Theatre" "Tom Hollander and Will Keen excel in…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Richard III reviews - RSC Stratford at the Stratford Upon Avon (2022)

★★★★
"The RSC’s Richard III is a powerful portrait of savagery" "The production features a magnetic central performance from Arthur Hughes."
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Jitney at the Old Vic Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Theatre review — a superbly acted revival of August Wilson’s Jitney at the Old Vic"
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] at the Park Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Tony! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera) — a premier painted in broad strokes" "his lively show at the Park Theatre,…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York's Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Amy Adams stars in a sensitive staging of The Glass Menagerie" "This is a staging that eschews melodrama — but…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The House of Shades at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Anne-Marie Duff is magnificent" "Steel’s play pulses with care and fury for the people left behind by global economic shifts…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Oklahoma! at the Young Vic Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"Oklahoma! is stunningly reimagined at the Young Vic — plus more London theatre reviews" "Ending with a rousing, determined delivery…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre (2022)

★★★★★
"Mark Rylance’s Rooster makes a stunning return in Jerusalem" "Jez Butterworth’s drama is exhilarating, dazzling and darker than ever in…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Prima Facie at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Jodie Comer is a tour de force in Prima Facie at the Harold Pinter Theatre"
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Punchdrunk: The Burnt City at the One Cartridge Place (2022)

★★★★
"Punchdrunk’s The Burnt City is a stunning immersion in the fall of Troy" "... at the core is a moving…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Scandaltown at the Lyric Hammersmith (2022)

★★★
"Restoration comedy romps into the 21st century in Scandaltown" "Leading the fray is Stirling, who is a joy as Lady…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The 47th at the The Old Vic (2022)

★★★★
"Bertie Carvel is a jaw-droppingly good Donald Trump in The 47th at the Old Vic" "Mike Bartlett’s bold new drama…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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To Kill A Mockingbird at the Gielgud Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"To Kill a Mockingbird — stirring drama celebrates and scrutinises Harper Lee’s novel" "It’s in his exchanges with Calpurnia that…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Human Voice at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Ruth Wilson shines in a beautiful, flawed revival of The Human Voice" "You start to long for a script that…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Moulin Rouge! — jukebox musical is thin on plot but rich in spectacle" "Peppered with good performances (Pennycooke’s Toulouse-Lautrec particularly…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre) (2021)

★★★★★
"Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley thrill and chill in sensational Cabaret" "Finally, the party gives way to the Party and…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Best of Enemies at the The Young Vic (2021)

★★★★★
"Best of Enemies — James Graham’s gripping culture-war drama" "It dramatises the 1968 televised debates between William F Buckley Jr…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the Duke of York's Theatre (2021)

★★★★
"The Ocean at the End of the Lane — love, loss and monsters at the Duke of York’s" "The stage…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Frozen The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (2021)

★★★★
"Frozen stage musical combines icy spectacle with human warmth" "Drawbacks aside, this is a joyously delivered story of the transformative…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre (2021)

★★★★
"Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella is a gorgeous glitterball of a show" "The songs are memorable and writer Emerald Fennell brings…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre (2021)

★★★★★
"Anything Goes offers the delirious delight of a musical in full sail" "Kathleen Marshall’s production of Cole Porter’s effervescent 1934…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Vassa at the Almeida Theatre (2019)

★★
"It somehow falls flat" "Everyone is so grotesque and larger-than-life right from the beginning that it grows wearisome." "There are…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg at the Trafalgar Theatre (2019)

"Startling in its frankness" "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg...is still, in Simon Evans’ revival, startling in its…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Solaris at the Lyric Hammersmith (2019)

★★★★
"David Greig’s fascinating, funny and moving stage version of Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 sci-fi novel" “Starts slowly, gathers in intensity as…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Sergei Polunin at the London Palladium (2019)

★★
"Alarming portrait of a talent in meltdown" "The Ukrainian star’s recent projects have been a painful reminder that performers are…
Louise Levene, The Financial Times
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Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre, (2019)

★★★★
"A satisfying mix of whimsy, warmth and sadness" "It’s an admittedly lightweight story of a woman trapped by her circumstances,…
Henry Hitchings, The Financial Times
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Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre, (2019)

★★★★
"Bareilles’ tunes are for the most part bouncy and propulsive. The musical idiom doesn’t incline in any particular direction: an…
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times
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Fiddler On The Roof at the Meniere Chocolate Factory (2018)

★★★★
"Trevor Nunn’s production bursts from the stage — but there’s a chill wind blowing, too" ‘Yes, there is whimsy here…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Billionaire Boy at the NST City, Southampton (2018)

★★★★
"David Walliams’s Billionaire Boy is a warm, witty musical" “This isn’t a glittering blockbuster, it’s a holiday-time cavort. And, as…
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times
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Hadestown at the National Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"An enjoyable, engaging Hadestown at the National’s Olivier Theatre" "The journey of the story is both enjoyable and engaging . . . which,…
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times
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Translations at the National Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"Brian Friel’s play is a masterpiece, though its delicacies are not well suited to this theatre." "Overall, nowhere else does…
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times
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Tina - The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre (2018)

★★★
"Adrienne Warren piles energy and commitment into the role of Tina" "Her singing voice is likewise fiery, and strongly similar…
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times
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Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre (2017)

★★★★★
"A playful and dazzling work of art" "Lin-Manuel Miranda’s exhilarating musical holds a mirror up to the world of the…
Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre (2009)

"The book for this stage version (credited to Elliott and Allan Scott) almost seems intent on stomping on every brain…
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times
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📷 Main photo: Financial Times

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