Interminable, monotonous drumming pre-show, some old, tatty furniture, four women in bright red overalls, an oppressive, heavy-handed, jack-booted style State, over-use of badly balanced narrative sound fx and, you’ve guessed it, a play set in the future: i.e. Right To Remain Silent has all the hallmarks of an average A-Level devised piece which, unfortunately, never … [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.
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...
Tom Glover’s new play is not only VERY funny, it is also heart-warming and at times very dark! Beneath the Blue Rinse attempts to explode stereotypes associated with old age and questions how society views and treats the elderly. Unscrupulous salesman Simon Sudgebury, comically played by Kevin Tomlinson, has bullied 44 OAPs into purchasing his burglar alarms and … [Read more...]
None of us can deny that we live in a digital age. Love it, hate it, or anything in between - we all have some kind of presence online and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling occasionally that web life is almost as important as the ‘real world’ flesh and blood one. And, this age of social media, chatrooms and apps has been around for a while now. Some of us - not me … [Read more...]
With the mother of a teenager as the title character, a revival of Harper Regan is well-timed in an era when women’s stories continue to push through and take centre stage. True, the ‘Bechdel test’ isn’t passed, as the opening lines are about a pivotal moment in Harper Regan’s (Emmy Happisburgh) life. The critical incident, unusually, ends up being fairly peripheral … [Read more...]
We live in terrifying times, an age of never-ending wars fuelled by political propaganda, theft of personal information, Big Brother methods of surveillance and a propensity in media to support government wrong-doing in the name of patriotism and the public good. Bryan Oliver's explosive new play, Experiment 150, mirrors this nightmare scenario, one that whittles … [Read more...]
Looking at Philip Ridley’s script for Vincent River, the first page and a half is dispensed with altogether in this production, plunging the audience directly into the dialogue, at quite a fast pace, which only gets faster before a long monologue by Davey (Thomas Mahy). In this monologue, the events of the show’s off-stage critical incident (which happened some weeks … [Read more...]
It’s the sort of narrative that is fascinating but nonetheless difficult to please people like me. Things come to an amicable enough resolution moments before the curtain call, thus tying up some loose ends - and in my view, a little too tidily. But then, if it left matters in a more ambiguous state, I might then argue that the play felt incomplete, or needed a second … [Read more...]
Having fairly recently seen a play about Tony Benn, it was interesting to observe this play about Margaret Thatcher - the other side, as it were, politically speaking. The pre-show for Handbagged had started when I was still in the conveniences, when the Toys R Us Christmas 1989 advert could be heard throughout the theatre’s speakers: “There’s a magical place, we’re … [Read more...]
Venue and play are perfectly matched in Orpheus Descending at the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre. The play is set in a store with confectionery so the ex-Menier Chocolate Factory evokes wonderfully the atmosphere of such an establishment. We feel like Orpheus descending as we make our way down to the auditorium. Its pitch black. Brilliantly the designer Jonathan … [Read more...]