Harold Pinter only ever wrote one novel. And, let's be honest, he didn’t rush into this literary endeavour. He started it in 1950 and the book was finally published in 1992. During its extended gestation period, Pinter adapted the story into a radio play for the BBC and this was first performed in the Arts theatre in 1963. In 2002 director Christopher Morahan and the author Kerry Lee Crabbe asked Pinter for permission to work on the novel and the new version of the play was performed at the … [Read more...]
Reviews of Plays in London West End and Off West End
If you are planning to visit London to see a play at one of the West End theatres, or a play in one of the many Off West End or Fringe venues, then maybe our reviews section can be of help? Read one of the latest reviews or use the search button to find and view one of our previous reviews. We use a star rating system on our site.
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Small Island adapted by Helen Edmundson at the Olivier Theatre
After the recent Windrush Generation government scandal, this National Theatre production of Small Island couldn’t have come at a better time. Based on Andrea Levy’s 2004 novel and adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson, it tells the stories of two families, one white and one black leading up to the arrival of immigrant workers from the Caribbean on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Read the full review...
The audience is kept engaged in this production of To Kill A Mockingbird, which has three narrators, Scout Finch (Gwyneth Keyworth), her older brother Jim (Harry Redding) and their friend Dill Harris (David Moorst). At times it feels as though there is as much exposition as there is dramatization, and the regular direct addresses to the audience gives the show a Jersey Boys sort of feel. The youngsters tell us the salient parts of the storyline in order to focus on certain other parts. At face … [Read more...]
One of those productions that I didn’t get around to (because, y’know, how many versions of Henry V does one need to see in one’s lifetime?), the Barn Theatre has made available its 2019 production of the iconic Shakespeare play to audience on online platforms. The camera work is, I must say, somewhat jarring at times - deliberately so, for maximum dramatic effect, when, for instance, the music cranks up to the sort of decibel level usually reserved for nightclubs. For this is the kind of man … [Read more...]
John Mortimer’s two-hander is a classic of the genre - the genre being plays set within a legal framework: Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose (1964) comes to mind as does Terrance Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy (1946), as well as David Hare’s Murmuring Judges (1991). Mortimer was a lawyer by trade but after the success of The Dock Brief - originally a radio play - he went on to pen the popular Rumpole of the Bailey, commissioned by the BBC as a Play For Today before being developed as a series for … [Read more...]
One of the great things about the Vault Festival is the sheer range of productions on offer. Over the course of its run, there will literally be something for everyone. Some productions are a treat to review. They are nice and simple. With a standard narrative of start-middle-end. Others are more difficult and really have to be experienced to fully appreciate them. Two Super Super Hot Men definitely falls into the latter category. Without giving too much away, let’s go. In a foley artist … [Read more...]
A cast of twenty in a production at a studio theatre - just as well Peace In Our Time is set in a busy local pub run by Fred (Patrick Bailey) and Nora Shattock (Virge Gilchrist). Set in the Second World War, Shattock refuses to close his pub, The Shy Gazelle, even when his own daughter Doris (Molly Crookes) suggests a short break wouldn’t hurt. The premise of the play is itself rather intriguing - what would happen if the Luftwaffe won the Battle of Britain (10 July to 31 October 1940) instead … [Read more...]
In the 1987 cult film, Withnail and I, unemployed actor Withnail (Richard E Grant) decries: Bastard asked me to understudy Konstantin in The Seagull. I'm not going to understudy anybody. Especially that pimp. I loathe those Russian plays. Always full of women staring out of windows, whining about ducks going to Moscow. I, too, hate the languorous morbidity of Anton Chekhov's characters and his plays. But I have the utmost respect for Brian Friel, a dramatist whose oeuvre situates language as … [Read more...]