Theatre

The jackboot zealotry of ushers is ruining theatre

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Southwark Playhouse has revived an American show, The Last Five Years, whose run was cancelled in March. In advance, I…

A night of angry pipsqueaks: Young Vic's 50th birthday gala reviewed

10 October 2020 9:00 am

When Kwame Kwei-Armah took over the Young Vic he strapped a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign over the front of the…

Enjoyable but hardly classic Alan Bennett: The Outside Dog & The Hand of God reviewed

3 October 2020 9:00 am

The season of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads continues at the Bridge. In The Hand of God we meet Celia, a…

Brilliantly performed twaddle: Old Vic’s Faith Healer reviewed

26 September 2020 9:00 am

The Old Vic refuses to reopen. Director Matthew Warchus says the social distancing rules make it impossible for him to…

Does Rada seriously believe George Bernard Shaw was an Irish Mengele?

26 September 2020 9:00 am

What has happened to Rada? The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is the latest arts establishment to have gone mad.…

Covid marshals are killing theatre: The Shrine & Bed Among the Lentils reviewed

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Covid marshals have invaded theatreland. Arriving for a weekday matinee at the Bridge, I was greeted by stewards holding up…

An investor should snap up this weepy musical: Sleepless reviewed

12 September 2020 9:00 am

It has roughly the same proportions as Shakespeare’s Globe. The Roman Theatre in Verulamium (St Albans) is an atmospheric ruin…

Edinburgh Festival is in ruins – but there's one gem amid the rubble

29 August 2020 9:00 am

The virus has broken Edinburgh. The shattered remnants of the festival are visible on the internet. Here’s what happened. The…

Unique and disturbing: Donmar Warehouse's Blindness reviewed

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Okay, I admit it. I have a girl crush on Juliet Stevenson. Ever since I first saw her in the…

The New Normal Festival shows how theatre could return

15 August 2020 9:00 am

So the madness continues. Planes full of passengers are going everywhere. Theatres full of ghosts are going bust. My first…

From riveting Hitchockian melodrama to bigoted drivel: BBC’s Unprecedented reviewed

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Back to the West End at last. After a four- month lay-off, I grabbed the first available chance to catch…

Theatres can now reopen – but they will resemble prison camps

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Auditoriums can now reopen — but they will resemble prison camps, says Lloyd Evans

RSC’s Merchant of Venice is full of puzzling ornaments and accents

25 July 2020 9:00 am

The BBC announces Merchant of Venice as if it were a Hollywood blockbuster. ‘In the melting pot of Venice, trade…

James Graham's small new drama is exquisite: BBC Four's Unprecedented reviewed

18 July 2020 9:00 am

Let’s face it. Theatre via the internet is barely theatre. It takes a huge amount of creativity and inventiveness to…

Not even a genius could make Much Ado About Nothing funny

11 July 2020 9:00 am

The RSC’s 2014 version of Much Ado is breathtaking to look at. Sets, lighting and costumes are exquisitely done, even…

Chaotic, if good-natured, muddle: Hytner’s Midsummer Night’s Dream reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Nicholas Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens in a world of puritanical austerity. The cast wear sombre black costumes and…

Paapa Essiedu is a dazzling, all-encompassing prince: RSC’s Hamlet reviewed

27 June 2020 9:00 am

The Beeb has released Simon Godwin’s Hamlet staged by the RSC in 2016. The director makes one major change and…

The Madness of George III is much easier to like than King Lear

20 June 2020 9:00 am

The longest interval in theatre history continues. Last week the National Theatre livestreamed a 2018 version of The Madness of…

As a lyricist, Ian Dury had few equals in the 20th century

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The National Theatre’s programme of livestreamed shows continues with the Donmar’s 2014 production of Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston. The play…

So good and so raw that avoiding it might be the wisest course: Sea Wall reviewed

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Sea Wall, by Simon Stephens, is a half-hour monologue about grief performed by Andrew Scott. The YouTube clip has been…

Like a project the BBC might have considered 30 years ago and turned down: The Understudy reviewed

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Hats off to the Lawrence Batley Theatre for producing a brand-new full-length show on-line. Stephen Fry, with avuncular fruitiness, narrates…

The best Macbeths to watch online

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The world’s greatest playwright ought to be dynamite at the movies. But it’s notoriously hard to turn a profit from…

The National Theatre’s live-streaming policy is bizarre

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The National’s bizarre livestreaming service continues. On 7 May, for one week only, it released a modern-dress version of Antony…

How Tom Stoppard foretold what we’re living through

9 May 2020 9:00 am

A TV play by Tom Stoppard, A Separate Peace, was broadcast live on Zoom last Saturday. I watched as my…

Worth watching for the comments thread alone: NT's Twelfth Night livestream reviewed

2 May 2020 9:00 am

‘Enjoy world-class theatre online for free,’ announces the National Theatre. Every Thursday at 7 p.m. a play from the archive…