Jessie Thompson – The Independent | London Theatre Critic

Selected reviews by Jessie Thompson, theatre critic of The Independent.

Jessie Thompson is Arts Editor for The Independent, and an accomplished writer, editor and critic, specialising in the arts.

Jessie’s previous roles have included Deputy Arts Editor at the Evening Standard.

More about Jessie Thompson:

The Independent Bio & Articles | Personal Website | Twitter | MuckRack | Instagram


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,…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of People, Places and Things

The Motive and the Cue at the National Theatre & Noel Coward Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Burton/Gielgud luvvie-off will give you goosebumps" (National Theatre) "Mark Gatiss is superb as Sir John Gielgud in Jack Thorne’s affecting…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The Motive and the Cue

Dear England at the Prince Edward Theatre (2023)

★★★
"National Theatre’s Southgate play is a solid team effort but no shots on target" (National Theatre London) "Joseph Fiennes delivers…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Dear England

The Pillowman at the Duke of York's Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Lily Allen is a letdown but this is a modern classic in waiting" "The atmosphere is Kafka-esque, the stories like…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The Pillowman

Brokeback Mountain at the Soho Place Theatre (2023)

★★
"This unsubtle adaptation leaves its stars stranded" "Mike Faist and Lucas Hedges are underserved by a clunky production as Annie…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Brokeback Mountain

The Secret Life of Bees at the Almeida Theatre (2023)

★★★★
"Sweet new musical is a joyful, inclusive crowd-pleaser" "Duncan Sheik’s score is the true pleasure of this adaptation of Sue…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The Secret Life of Bees

Private Lives at the Donmar Warehouse (2023)

★★
"Dark, uptight Coward revival isn’t as revelatory as it thinks" "Rachael Stirling and Stephen Mangan play the sparring ex-lovers in…
i News
Read the review
More reviews of Private Lives

Shirley Valentine at the Duke of York's Theatre (2023)

★★★★★
"Sheridan Smith gives the performance of the year so far" "Willy Russell’s 1986 warm, wistful play about a bored housewife…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Shirley Valentine

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of A Streetcar Named Desire

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Orlando

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,…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Tammy Faye – A New Musical

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of Patriots

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The Seagull

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of That Is Not Who I Am

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?…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of A Dolls House, Part 2

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…
The Independent
Read the review
More reviews of The House of Shades

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

★★★★
"This anarchic Austen reboot will make you happy" "This sweary, anarchic reboot of Pride and Prejudice by Scottish writer Isobel…
The Evening Standard
Read the review
More reviews of Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical at the Lyric Theatre (2021)

★★★★
"Arinzé Kene is a knockout. This is a joyful night out that also feels like an important cultural event" "'My…
The Evening Standard
Read the review
More reviews of Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical


Sign-up for news and booking alerts about these shows and more:

📷 Main photo: Jessie Thompson

Related What's On guides

More >

Latest News

More >

Leave a Review or Comment

Comments and reviews are subject to our participation guidelines policy, which can be viewed here. Our policy is for readers to use their REAL NAMES when commenting.