Critics - David Benedict

David Benedict – London Theatre Critic

Selected reviews by David Benedict, Chief London Theatre Critic for Variety.

David Benedict is a writer and broadcaster, and the chief London critic for US entertainment publication Variety.

He is also a contributor to The Stage, and has written for or been theatre editor of many major UK publications including the Independent and the Observer. He is also a regular guest on the BBC, and is currently writing the authorised biography of Stephen Sondheim.

More about David Benedict:

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Carmen at the London Coliseum (2023)

★★★★★
"Grab tickets while you still can" "Shimmering production is a stunning testament to this company’s strengths" "It is a male…
The Stage
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A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

"Paul Mescal Is Explosive in Rebecca Frecknall’s Staggering Revival" "Williams’s carefully detailed, literal two-room apartment is never shown. Instead, heralding…
Variety
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Mandela at the The Young Vic (2022)

"New Musical Biography Drowns in Good Intentions" "Delivering songs demanding freedom not only for the characters but the whole country…
Variety
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Orlando at the Garrick Theatre (2022)

"Emma Corrin Lights Up an Outstandingly Imaginative Look at Gender and Identity" "The entirely beguiling lightness of touch is remarkable.…
Variety
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It's A Wonderful Life at the London Coliseum (2022)

★★★
"Vigorously heartwarming" "Passionate performances drive the drama in a new work of rich orchestral colour" "Jake Heggie’s operas include the…
The Stage
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Tammy Faye – A New Musical at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

"New Elton John Score Doesn’t Yet Live Up to a Terrifically Entertaining Production" "... composer Elton John, lyricist Jake Shears…
Variety
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Local Hero at the Chichester Festival Theatre (2022)

"A Sweetly Delightful New Musical, Despite Lackluster Songs" "Charm, a sadly rare theatrical quality, is scarcely a fashionable theatrical virtue,…
Variety
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My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican Theatre (2022)

"Inventive, Visually Thrilling Adaptation of the Studio Ghibli Favorite" "... adapting so revered an anime title posed a huge risk.…
Variety
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The Doctor at the Duke of York's Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Vital" "Juliet Stevenson is all ice and fire in an immensely timely study of identity politics" "It’s all in the…
The Stage
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Eureka Day at the The Old Vic (2022)

"Timing Is Almost Everything for This Vaccine Comedy Starring Helen Hunt in London" "... in its sharp U.K. premiere starring…
Variety
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Jack Absolute Flies Again at the National Theatre (2022)

"A Knockout New Comedy by the Writer of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’" "As his stakes rise, so does the already…
Variety
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Patriots at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

"Tom Hollander, Will Keen Crackle in Story of Russian Oligarch Who Tangled With Putin" "Revelling in his authority, Hollander has…
Variety
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The Seagull at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

"Emilia Clarke, Indira Varma Shine in a Production That Doesn’t Fly" "an uneven production more willful than wonderful." "On the…
Variety
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Mad House at the The Ambassadors Theatre (2022)

"David Harbour, Bill Pullman Make Theresa Rebeck’s Chaotic Melodrama Seem Better Than It Is" "You can see why actors of…
Variety
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The Southbury Child at the Chichester Festival Theatre (2022)

"‘Well-Meaning Production Can’t Cover a Schematic Script" "Beresford is attempting to put new wine into old bottles. Nicholas Hytner’s deft…
Variety
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The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York's Theatre (2022)

"Underpowered Amy Adams Leads a Slow-Burn Rethink of Tennessee Williams’ Classic" "Director Jeremy Herrin is faithful to multiple elements of…
Variety
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My Fair Lady  (2022)

★★★
"Lead performances outshine the production" "The musical’s biggest switch is Eliza’s from flower girl to lady, a transition made convincing…
The Stage
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The 47th at the The Old Vic (2022)

" Bertie Carvel’s Transformation Into Shakespearean Trump Is Hypnotic" "Bartlett’s audacity — plus the fact that Tunie, Wilson and especially…
Variety
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Straight Line Crazy at the Bridge Theatre (2022)

"‘Ralph Fiennes Plays Robert Moses in David Hare’s Talky New Play" "Everything is elegantly staged by Hytner on Crowley’s expansive…
Variety
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Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre (2022)

"Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey Lead a Blistering West End Production" "Without dropping a moment of the play’s seriousness, laughter is…
Variety
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The Collaboration at the The Young Vic (2022)

"‘Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope Can’t Make Drama Out of This Bio" "From “The Theory of Everything” to “The Two…
Variety
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Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre) (2021)

"Eddie Redmayne Dazzles in Triumphant West End Revival" "This is no directorial flourish. It’s typical of the production’s immense authority…
Variety
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Best of Enemies at the The Young Vic (2021)

"Behind the Scenes of 1968’s Revolutionary TV Debates" "For so sophisticated a writer, there are surprising lapses in subtlety. He…
Variety
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The Book of Dust at the Bridge Theatre (2021)

"‘His Dark Materials’ Prequel Is a Triumph of Theatrical Storytelling" "For such an episodic story, the surprise of the night…
Variety
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Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre (2021)

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That, largely speaking, appears to be the mantra behind the London production of…
Variety
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Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) at the Criterion Theatre (2021)

"A Smashingly Smart Austen Adaptation" "Adding karaoke to the 19th century’s blueprint rom-com may sound like a translation too far…
Variety
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Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre (2021)

"West End Musical Is Lots of Fun Despite Flaws" "The pastiche songs work best, as when Lorraine falls for “Calvin”…
Variety
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& Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre (2019)

"Knockout vocals drive a camp revamp of “Romeo and Juliet," featuring the songs of Max Martin" "Silly and serious, “&…
Variety
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Sister Act The Musical at the London Palladium (2009)

"Is "Sister Act" great theatrical art? No. Is it hit entertainment? Oh, yes"
Variety
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Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre (2009)

"There's competition in London's current hit revival of another grand-scale, truly gay musical, "La Cage aux Folles." But judging by…
Variety
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