Theatre

Culture is going underground: meet the rebel army

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Leaf Arbuthnot and Igor Toronyi-Lalic on the new cultural rebels

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…

Why haven’t podcasts cracked the recipe for audio drama?

4 July 2020 9:00 am

In Beeb-dominated Britain, the commercial triumph of podcasting — epitomised by Spotify’s recent £100 million deals with Joe Rogan 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…

This crisis could be the catalyst for a golden age of British theatre

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The coronavirus crisis offers theatre a golden opportunity to break free of the structures that have held it back for years, says William Cook

Privatisation is the best option for the South Bank Centre

6 June 2020 9:00 am

I must have written about this subject 100 times in 30 years and I’m still having to restate the bloody…

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…

Our theatres are dark – and in danger

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Car showrooms are open again: some dealerships, with a hint of forgivable hyperbole, report a surge of pent-up demand. And…

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…

Swanky, stale and sullen, the summer music festival has had its day

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The summer music festival has had its day, says Norman Lebrecht

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…

The best theatre of the 21st century

25 April 2020 9:00 am

Not looking great, is it? Until we all get jabbed, theatres may have to stay closed. And even the optimists…

From Middlemarch to Mickey Mouse: a short history of The Spectator’s books and arts pages

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

The Spectator arts and books pages have spent 10,000 issues identifying the dominant cultural phenomena of the day and being difficult about them, says Richard Bratby

Reflections on isolation: the first lockdown dramas reviewed

18 April 2020 9:00 am

High Tide got there first. The East Anglian theatre company has produced a series of lockdown mini-dramas, Love in the…

Absorbing and meticulously researched play about Partition: Drawing the Line reviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Theatres have taken to the internet like never before. Recorded performances are being made available over the web, many for…

The life of Artemisia Gentileschi is made for Netflix, but it’s the art that really excites

11 April 2020 9:00 am

The life of Artemisia Gentileschi is made for Netflix, says Laura Freeman, but it’s her art that really excites

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale

28 March 2020 9:00 am

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale, says Lloyd Evans

A mesmerising piece of theatre: On Blueberry Hill reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

On Blueberry Hill sounds like a musical but it’s a sombre prison drama set in Ireland. Two bunkbeds. Above, an…

‘Irish writers don’t talk to each other unless they’re shouting abuse’: Sebastian Barry interviewed

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Sebastian Barry talks to Robert Jackman about family folklore, the joy of writing playsand why he is not an ‘Irish’ novelist

Unimpressive: The Prince of Egypt reviewed

7 March 2020 9:00 am

The Prince of Egypt is a musical adapted from a 1998 Dreamworks cartoon based on the Book of Exodus. So…

Comedy gold: The Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre reviewed

29 February 2020 9:00 am

A Moorish princess shipwrecked on the English coast disguises herself as a boy to protect her virtue. Arriving in London,…