Independent

The Independent – London Theatre Reviews

West End Theatre reviews from the UK newspaper the Independent.

Here’s a selection of reviews of London shows from the theatre and arts critics at the Independent newspaper.

Theatre critics at the Independent include Arts Editor of The Independent Jessie Thompson, and Alice Saville, Isobel Lewis and Nicole Vassell.

See below for a full run-down of star ratings and theatre opinions about West End shows in London from the Independent.


2:22 A Ghost Story at the Lyric Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Cheryl the actor has arrived – and she’s frightfully good" "The Geordie pop princess makes an impressive West End debut…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2023)

★★★
"Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman squeeze out the juice" "It’s nice that Sam Steiner’s 2015 fringe gem has been plucked…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Paul Mescal’s cruel Stanley leaves Normal People’s gold chain in tatters" "The ‘Aftersun’ actor gives an entrancing performance in Rebecca…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre (2022)

★★
"Tennessee-based Dickens retelling is heavy on the cheese" "Among the small company, George Maguire is a stand-out, as both a…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House (2022)

★★★★
"A Christmas treat on a handsome scale" "Grand and gilded, a Christmas treat on a handsome scale. From its mighty…
Zoe Anderson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The Nutcracker

Orlando at the Garrick Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Emma Corrin is magnificent as Woolf’s punk rock protagonist" "Michael Grandage’s production has an inventiveness and creativity that’s true to…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

Matilda The Musical  (2022)

★★★★
"A frothy, whimsical delight" "The musical of Roald Dahl’s classic book is so intrinsically British it will soon be absorbed…
Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent
Read the review

Tammy Faye – A New Musical at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Camp, cutesy and hard to resist" "Rupert Goold’s production at the Almeida about the televangelist, with music by Elton John,…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

Light of Passage at the Royal Opera House (2022)

★★★★
"Crystal Pite’s new work is haunting and powerful" "Choreographer Crystal Pite can make dancers move like a murmuration of starlings,…
, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Light of Passage

Good at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

★★★
"David Tennant is hypnotic in muddled Nazi drama" "Dominic Cooke’s revival of CP Taylor’s 1982 play, about a liberal professor…
Anya Ryan, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Anya Ryan

The Crucible at the National Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"A clever revival that shows the perils of self-righteousness" "‘The Crown’ star Erin Doherty dispels all memories of Princess Anne…
Alice Saville, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Alice Saville

The Mousetrap  (2022)

★★★
"Playful Agatha Christie romp is as sweet and light as a fondant fancy" "Saoirse Ronan comes out on top in…
Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent
Read the review

I, Joan at the Shakespeare's Globe (2022)

★★★★
"Funny, fierce non-binary Joan of Arc proves sceptics wrong" "The Globe’s much-publicised production of Charlie Josephine’s new play is no…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

101 Dalmatians at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (2022)

★★★
"The influencer economy comes for Pongo and Perdi" "The puppets are cute in this musical adaptation but the social media…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

Patriots at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Tom Hollander gives one of the performances of the year" "If the play sometimes gets heavy – the political and…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

The Seagull at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

★★
"Doesn’t half drag-on" "Indira Varma is excellent, but this self-referential rewrite of Chekhov’s 1895 play feels slow and self-indulgent" "It’s…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

Mad House at the The Ambassadors Theatre (2022)

★★★
"David Harbour is tremendous fun in this old-fashioned comedy" "It’s a fine showcase for the talents of Harbour and Bill…
Alice Saville, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Alice Saville

That Is Not Who I Am at the Royal Court Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"This strange political mystery is a significant work" "Kirkwood’s pseudonym and the play’s fake title – it’s really called Rapture…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

A Dolls House, Part 2 at the Donmar Warehouse (2022)

★★★
"A bit of Ibsen fanfic that’s more of a think piece than a drama" "Is this meta-fiction? Or Ibsen fanfic?…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of A Dolls House, Part 2
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

The Car Man at the Royal Albert Hall (2022)

★★★★
"A deft, intense reinvention, simmering with danger" "Will Bozier and Zizi Strallen give energetic performances as Luca and Lana in…
Zoe Anderson, The Independent
Read the review

The Unfriend at the Chichester Festival Theatre (2022)

★★
"Smug and sitcom-ish" "Shearsmith is given most of the funny lines, while Abbington is the naturalistic straight man doing Proper…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York's Theatre (2022)

★★★
"Amy Adams makes a likeable but underpowered West End debut" " Amy Adams’s interpretation is sympathetic, free of the trappings…
Alice Saville, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Alice Saville

The House of Shades at the Almeida Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Anne-Marie Duff is on spectacular form" "At almost three hours, the play can feel unwieldy. Blanche McIntyre’s direction allows us…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The House of Shades
More reviews by Jessie Thompson

My Fair Lady  (2022)

★★★★
"Amara Okereke shines as Eliza Doolittle in Bartlett Sher’s glossy musical" "Director wrings every last drop of comic potential out…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

Oklahoma! at the Young Vic Theatre (2022)

★★★
"An innovative but unsettling revival of the classic American musical" "Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 romance comedy gets a dark reimagining"…
Nicole Vassell, The Independent
Read the review

Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Mark Rylance returns for a dark, potent revival of Jez Butterworth’s 2009 play" "There’s a real cruelty to the Englishness…
Alice Saville, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Alice Saville

Prima Facie at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"An extraordinary Jodie Comer exposes our broken legal system in a striking if tidy drama" "In her West End debut,…
Ava Wong Davies, The Independent
Read the review

The 47th at the The Old Vic (2022)

★★★★
"Bertie Carvel’s hypnotic Trump is a whirlwind, career-defining performance" "Mike Bartlett’s new play, set in 2024 with Donald Trump gearing…
Anya Ryan, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Anya Ryan

Straight Line Crazy at the Bridge Theatre (2022)

★★
"David Hare’s new historical drama is unsubtle and sluggish" "Ralph Fiennes stars as Robert Moses, the man who once unofficially…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Jonathan Bailey captivates as Taron Egerton’s sexually conflicted lover" "Revival of Mike Bartlett’s 2009 play fizzes with energy" "Our language…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

The Collaboration at the The Young Vic (2022)

★★★★
"Bettany is a neurotic Andy Warhol in this fantastically enjoyable play" "Anthony McCarten’s Young Vic pacy production is an exercise…
Alice Saville, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The Collaboration
More reviews by Alice Saville

Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre (2022)

★★★★
"Ostentatious, absurd and ravishing" "The film is an alchemical delight – romantic and craven, tawdry and glamorous."
Ava Wong Davies, The Independent
Read the review

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre) (2021)

★★★★★
"A vibrant and frightening revival that belongs to Jessie Buckley" "London’s Playhouse Theatre is transformed into the Kit Kat Club…
Alexandra Pollard, The Independent
Read the review

A Chorus Line at the Curve Leicester (2021)

★★★★
"Innovative in unexpected ways" "Flashy production at the Leicester Curve is supremely slick, but hindered by one gimmicky trick"
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of A Chorus Line

The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the Duke of York's Theatre (2021)

★★★★★
"A thunderous, sometimes terrifying adaptation" "Joel Horwood’s thunderous adaptation finds wonder even in the most unremarkable of moments." "While the…
Anya Ryan, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Anya Ryan

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) at the Criterion Theatre (2021)

★★★★
"There’s bite to this fluffy cucumber sandwich of a show" "Austen is a master of understatement and carefully shaded little…
Alice Saville, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews by Alice Saville

Frozen The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (2021)

★★★
"An immaculately executed theme park ride of a musical" "The stage adaptation of Disney’s smash will leave you dazed and…
Ava Wong Davies, The Independent
Read the review

Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre (2021)

★★★
"Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is high-camp fun with a muddled message" "So was Cinderella worth the wait? Well, yes and…
Isobel Lewis, The Independent
Read the review

The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre (2020)

"A new Christmas tradition is being established. The Peacock Theatre is now filled with children whose parents were themselves children…
Zoe Anderson (2004), The Independent
Read the review

Cyrano de Bergerac at the Playhouse Theatre (2019)

★★★★
"Jamie Lloyd goes for broke on the rap front in this characteristically inventive and sometimes piercingly perceptive production" “James McAvoy…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

& Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre (2019)

★★★★
"A gloriously silly, unexpectedly poignant production" "Built around the powerhouse-pop of songwriting savant Max Martin, the jukebox musical imagines a…
, The Independent
Read the review

DEAR EVAN HANSEN at the Noel Coward Theatre (2019)

★★★★★
"A superb, unmissable musical" "Sam Tutty gives a star-making performance in a story of grief, deception and the conscienceless juggernaut…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Vassa at the Almeida Theatre (2019)

★★★★
"A vivid, horribly vital production." "Siobhan Redmond shines in this disgracefully funny adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s 1910 play." "Fly Davis’s…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Vassa

The Starry Messenger at the Wyndham's Theatre (2019)

★★★★
"Some theatregoers may be disappointed, given the momentousness of what’s at issue here, that the dialogue doesn’t vocalise that. So…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Sergei Polunin at the London Palladium (2019)

★★
"None of the splashiness of Polunin’s first ventures" "This mixed bill is a stripped back, underpowered affair, with nods to…
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Sergei Polunin

Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2019)

★★★★★
"Tom Hiddleston excels in searching Pinter revival" "Crowning his superlative six-month Pinter season, Jamie Lloyd directs an exceptionally thoughtful and…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre, (2019)

★★★★
"This show is the real deal" "This is both a romcom set in the workplace and a feminist drama in…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre (2019)

★★★
"Drama thrives on conflict and this musical about 9/11 has very little of that" "It would be impossible to imagine…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

All About Eve at the Noel Coward Theatre (2019)

★★★★
"Gillian Anderson is arresting in emphatically successful update of classic film" "The supporting cast are hit-and-miss, but Anderson and Lily…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

True West at the Vaudeville Theatre (2018)

★★★
"Kit Harington does fine work in engaging dose of visceral elation" "It’s Johnny Flynn whose comic perfection elevates this production…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Company at the Gielgud Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"Broadway legend Patti LuPone gives another stand-out performance as Joanne, the moneyed lush who can’t credit that her husband genuinely…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Translations at the National Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"Magnificent revival" "The depth and richness of this 1980 classic by Brian Friel are sounded beautifully in Ian Rickson’s magnificent…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Translations

My Name Is Lucy Barton at the Bridge Theatre (2018)

"Laura Linney is luminous in this one-woman show." "Laura Linney gives a luminous – unaffected and deeply affecting." "The three-time…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of My Name Is Lucy Barton

Killer Joe at the Trafalgar Studios (2018)

★★★
"Orlando Bloom has full command of the stage – but the play itself is queasily dated." "The explicitness (above and…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Julie at the National Theatre (2018)

★★★
"Vanessa Kirby shines, but the dramatic stakes are lowered in Polly Stenham's update of Strindberg." "The play looks at the…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Julie

Red at the Wyndham's Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"Alfred Molina plays Mark Rothko in a phenomenal production of a flawed play" "Michael Grandage’s superlative staging of the piece…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"Edward and Freddie Fox create a delicious double act" "Oscar Wilde’s comedy gets a shrewd, enjoyable revival from Jonathan Church.…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre (2018)

★★★★
"Edward and Freddie Fox create a delicious double act" "Oscar Wilde’s comedy gets a shrewd, enjoyable revival from Jonathan Church.…
Paul Taylor, The Independent
Read the review

Sister Act The Musical at the London Palladium (2009)

★★★
"It's show time, not musical theatre magic" "There's nothing really refreshingly new here even if you might feel like brushing…
Michael Coveney, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Sister Act The Musical

Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (2009)

"A masterpiece is restored, but not in its fullest glory."
Michael Coveney, The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Oliver!

Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre (2009)

★★★★
"Immensely enjoyable compilation" "It's a shame that Gary Lloyd's production has no theatrical justification whatsoever, but the presentation is so…
Michael Coveney, The Independent
Read the review



📷 Main photo: Independent

Related What's On guides
More >

Latest News
More >

Leave a Review or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *