West end

Slow-moving tale with a strong echo of Brideshead: Alys, Always at the Bridge reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Nicholas Hytner’s new show, Alys, Always, is based on a Harriet Lane novel that carries a strong echo of Brideshead.…

Joanna Murray-Smith as Patricia Highsmith in Switzerland at the Ambassadors Theatre. Photo: Robbie Jack/ Corbis via Getty Images

Intelligent, unfussy, literate – the West End needs more plays like this: Switzerland reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

I know nothing about Patricia Highsmith. The acclaimed American author wrote the kind of Sunday-night crime thrillers that put me…

Flouncy, tasteless and unsubtle – I loved it: Ruthless! The Musical reviewed

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Ruthless! The Musical is a camp extravaganza about ambitious actors stranded in small-town America. Sylvia St Croix, a pushy agent,…

Rarely has the West End seen such a draining and nasty experience: The Exorcist reviewed

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The Exorcist opened in 1973 accompanied by much hoo-ha in the press. Scenes of panic, nausea and fainting were recorded…

Talk of the Devil: Kit Harington in ‘Doctor Faustus’

A literary lap dance: Doctor Faustus reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Great excitement for play-goers as a rare version of a theological masterpiece arrives in the West End. Doctor Faustus stars…

World-weary rather than carefree: Peter Coleman-Wright as Papageno

Life-enhancing achievement: ENO's Magic Flute reviewed

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Centre stage, there’s an industrial-looking black platform, secured by cables. The Three Ladies snap the unconscious Tamino on a mobile…

Smith & Wollensky doesn’t even serve the best steaks in Covent Garden

3 October 2015 8:00 am

Smith & Wollensky is a restaurant from The Shining: a terrifying American steak joint by the Thames, four months old,…

The Heckler: the disingenuous custom of the ‘press night’ should be scrapped

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Sam Mendes once said there is no such thing as the history of British theatre, only the history of British…

Fringe rubbish: Company Non Nova’s ‘L’Apres-Midi d’un Foehn’, a highlight of 2013

‘I’m about to lose a lot of money’: our theatre critic prepares for his Edinburgh Fringe debut

1 August 2015 9:00 am

Like everyone performing at the Edinburgh Fringe I’m about to make a lot of mistakes. I’m about to lose a…

She makes Medusa look like a dinner lady: Kate Fleetwood as Tracy Lord in ‘High Society’

Fine production of a painful play: Death of a Salesman at the Noel Coward reviewed

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Here come the Yanks. As the summer jumbos disgorge their cargoes of wealthy, courteous, culture-hungry Americans, the West End prepares…

Jane Horrocks as the slovenly matriarch still fond of her bullying husband George (‘East is East’ playwright Ayub Khan Din, left)

Is London's West End Jewish enough for David Baddiel’s musical The Infidel?

25 October 2014 9:00 am

David Baddiel has turned his movie, The Infidel, into a musical. The set-up is so contrived and clumsy that it…

The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Alastair Muir

If you have teenage boys who loathe the very idea of theatre, send them to The Play That Goes Wrong

20 September 2014 9:00 am

It’s taken a while but here it is. The Play That Goes Wrong is like Noises Off, but simpler. Michael…

Indiscretions from two veteran producers

12 July 2014 9:00 am

Stars, playwrights and even set designers are constantly being lionised in the papers. But why not producers? They, after all,…

Tim Rice’s diary: From Eternity to here

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Last October, in these very pages, I wrote with what is now annoying prescience, ‘Like almost everyone else in the…