Theatre

Our prison culture is more barbaric than it was in 1823: Elizabeth Fry ‘The Angel of Prisons’ reviewed

3 September 2022 9:00 am

The Angel of Prisons dramatises the life of the penal reformer Elizabeth Fry, who lived near Canning Town. She married…

The show works a treat: Globe's The Tempest reviewed

27 August 2022 9:00 am

Southwark Playhouse has a reputation for small musicals with big ambitions. Tasting Notes is set in a wine bar run…

A four-way race between poet, actor, video artist and sound engineer: Edinburgh Festival's Burn reviewed

20 August 2022 9:00 am

In a new hour-long monologue, Burn, Alan Cumming examines the life and work of Robert Burns. The biographical material is…

No, Boris Johnson isn’t ‘missing in action’

20 August 2022 9:00 am

Someone in the Guardian wrote that Boris Johnson had his ‘out of office’ on, and the Chancellor was ‘missing in…

The Dane gets an interpretive dance makeover: Ian McKellan's Hamlet reviewed

13 August 2022 9:00 am

Ian McKellen’s Hamlet is the highlight of Edinburgh’s opening week. In this experimental ballet, Sir Ian speaks roughly 5 per…

Why Merseyside is the natural home for a Shakespearean theatre

6 August 2022 9:00 am

A neglected little town in Merseyside is the natural home for Shakespeare North, says Robert Gore-Langton

What do ‘catcalls’ have to do with cats?

6 August 2022 9:00 am

‘A law against catcalls?’ asked my husband sceptically. ‘What next, criminalising booing and hissing?’ He often gets the wrong end…

Stupendously good: Much Ado About Nothing, at the Lyttelton Theatre, reviewed

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Simon Godwin’s Much Ado About Nothing is set in a steamy Italian holiday resort, the Hotel Messina, in the 1920s.…

An entertaining display, clearly destined for Netflix: Patriots, at Almeida Theatre, reviewed

23 July 2022 9:00 am

Patriots, by Peter Morgan, is a drama documentary about recent Russian history. And though it’s a topical show it’s not…

Hytner hits the bull's eye: The Southbury Child, at the Bridge Theatre, reviewed

16 July 2022 9:00 am

The Southbury Child is a comedy drama set in east Devon featuring a distressed vicar, Fr David, with a complex…

Right play, wrong place: The Fellowship, at Hampstead Theatre, reviewed

9 July 2022 9:00 am

Roy Williams’s new play is a wonky beast. It has two dense and cumbersome storylines that aren’t properly developed. Dawn…

If you see this show you’ll want to see it again – directed properly: The Glass Menagerie, at the Duke of York's Theatre, reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The Glass Menagerie directed by Jeremy Herrin is a bit of an eyeball-scrambler. The action takes place on a huge…

An actor’s recipe for insanity

2 July 2022 9:00 am

I’m on the road, a very proper place for an actor to be. Never mind all those jokes about some…

The ancient Greek art of theatre criticism

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Last week Lloyd Evans was wondering whether it was about time audiences started booing dramatic productions of which they disapproved.…

Bloated waffle: Jitney at the Old Vic reviewed

25 June 2022 9:00 am

The Old Vic’s new show, Jitney, has a mystifying YouTube advert which gives no information about the play or the…

Three cheers for booing in the theatre

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Are modern theatre-goers too polite?

Joyously liberating: Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] reviewed

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Harry Hill’s latest musical traces Tony Blair’s bizarre career from student pacifist to war-mongering plaything of the United States. With…

Newcomers will need to read the play in advance: Julius Caesar, at the Globe, reviewed

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Some things are done well in the Globe’s new Julius Caesar. The assassination is a thrilling spectacle. Ketchup pouches concealed…

Hard to believe this rambling apprentice-piece ever made it to the stage: Almeida's The House of Shades reviewed

28 May 2022 9:00 am

The House of Shades is a state-of-the nation play that covers the past six decades of grinding poverty in Nottingham.…

The playwright seems curiously detached about rape: The Breach, at Hampstead Theatre, reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Hampstead’s latest play is a knotty rape drama by Naomi Wallace set in Kentucky. Four teenagers with weird names meet…

Lviv diary: ballet, bomb shelters – and everyone loves Boris

21 May 2022 9:00 am

It is a glorious spring evening in Lviv and what could be better than a ballet gala at one of…

Two hours of bickering from a couple of doughnut-shaped crybabies: Middle, at the Dorfman Theatre, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

‘I fink I doan luv yew any maw.’ A marital bust-up drama at the National Theatre opens with a whining…

Angry diatribes and amusing pranks: Donmar Warehouse's Marys Seacole reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

The title of the Donmar’s new effort, Marys Seacole, appears to be a misprint and that makes the reader look…

Muddled, tricksy and cheap: The Corn is Green at the Lyttelton Theatre reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

The Corn is Green by Emlyn Williams is a sociology essay written in 1938 about a prickly tyrant, Miss Moffat,…

Boy wonder: The Young Pretender, by Michael Arditti, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

During his brief stage career Master Betty, or the Young Roscius, was no stranger to superlatives: genius, unparalleled, superior, Albion’s…