The Independent 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.


Boys From The Blackstuff at the National Theatre / Royal Court Liverpool (2024)

★★★
"The emotional punch is the same as it was 40 years ago" (National Theatre London) "James Graham is burdened by…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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Romeo & Juliet at the Duke of York's Theatre (2024)

★★
"Tom Holland’s star-cross’d sad boy lover falls flat" "Hot on the heels of his triumphant ‘Sunset Boulevard’ revival, Jamie Lloyd…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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Richard III at the Shakespeare's Globe (2024)

★★★★
"Original and necessary" "Terry takes the starring role in a production directed by Elle While, in which the approach to…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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People, Places and Things at the Trafalgar Theatre (2024)

★★★★★
"Denise Gough’s extraordinary performance has only got better" "Gough’s performance. It’s as extraordinary as when she first delivered it: shocking,…
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
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Spirited Away at the London Coliseum (2024)

★★★★★
"Studio Ghibli adaptation is three hours of relentless spectacle" "Hayao Miyazaki’s inimitable animation is brought to the stage in a…
Louis Chilton, The Independent
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The Buddha of Suburbia at the Swan Theatre (2024)

★★★
"Hanif Kureishi’s sexy debut novel is full of energy on stage" "Emma Rice’s RSC production can’t quite get a handle…
Louis Chilton, The Independent
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Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) at the Criterion Theatre (2024)

★★★★
"Boy-meets-girl musical is a self-referential treat" (Kiln Theatre) "A bumbling English boy and a spiky New York barista collide in…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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The Ballad of Hattie and James at the Kiln Theatre (2024)

★★★★
"A sweeping symphony of sexual identity and music" "Sophie Thompson and Charles Edwards deliver wonderful performances in a story of…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Wyndham's Theatre (2024)

★★★
"Brian Cox’s tyrannical Tyrone is a masterclass in impotent rage" "The ‘Succession’ star returns to his stage stomping ground, and…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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MJ The Musical at the Prince Edward Theatre (2024)

★★★★
"Dark and dazzling production exposes singer’s late career for the haunted circus it was" "Nods to the looming abuse scandal…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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Opening Night: A New Musical at the Gielgud Theatre (2024)

★★★
"Sheridan Smith exquisitely self-destructs in weird meta-West End musical" "Rufus Wainwright’s songs reach new emotional heights, Smith’s performance is radiant…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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Nachtland at the The Young Vic (2024)

★★★★
"A dark, unsettling drama about finding Hitler’s art in the attic" "Jane Horrocks plays an art expert in this unsettling,…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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The Human Body at the Donmar Warehouse (2024)

★★★
"Keeley Hawes dazzles in brimming drama about birth of the NHS" "Hollywood and hopes for a new national health service…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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An Enemy of the People at the Duke of York's Theatre (2024)

★★★
"Matt Smith’s modish Ibsen revival leaves a political fuse unlit" "The ‘Doctor Who’ star makes a daring choice for his…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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Dear Octopus at the National Theatre (2024)

★★★★
"Dodie Smith’s slow burning pre-war family saga will suck you in" "Why is the National Theatre staging this frightfully old…
Tim Bano, The Independent
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Just For One Day at the The Old Vic theatre (2024)

★★★
"This Live Aid musical is Bob Geldof’s tribute to... himself" "The Old Vic’s musical about Bob Geldof’s generation-defining Wembley concert…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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The Hills of California at the Harold Pinter Theatre (2024)

★★★
"A sweet return from Jez Butterworth – but it’s no Jerusalem" "The world of this play is an intriguing and…
Alice Saville, The Independent
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