At the heart of Stop Kiss is a traditionally formed love story where Sarah (Kara Taylor Alberts) and Callie (Suzanne Boreel) meet through friends when Callie agrees that Caesar the cat can lodge with her while Sarah settles into New York before she finds somewhere to live where a cat is welcome too. The friendship between the couple is tinted favourably from 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.
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 Lady Vanishes is a classic thriller which follows an English tourist travelling by train to Europe when her travelling ally vanishes without a trace and the rest of the carriage denies ever witnessing her existence. This classic story was originally based on the novel 'The Wheel Spins' by Ethel Lina White and was later adapted for film by the notorious Alfred … [Read more...]
A writer’s note in the programme of this production of Frankenstein reminded me of a comedy I once saw during which I barely raised a smile all evening, Here, the aim is evidently different - the objective is to make the audience frightened: “I hope this play terrifies you. That’s its job.” If that is its only function, then frankly, I ought to end this review at this … [Read more...]
Stray Dogs is a new three-handed full-length play by first-time playwright Olivia Olsen, and as such is a very creditable piece of writing, for a ‘student’ work. It concerns the relationship that the Ukrainian poet Anna Akhmatova supposedly had both with the Russian British philosopher Isaiah Berlin and with Joseph Stalin, and, according to the production flyer, … [Read more...]
Neal Pike, by his own admission, has a stutter. He’s even been told he shouldn’t be on stage because of it. But as he’s telling his own story, having natural hesitations in this monologue couldn’t fit the character better - because (at the risk of sounding pedantic) the character is the man, and the man is the character. Five Years chooses as its timeline a period in … [Read more...]
Thanks to its franchise value and comely and committed cast, it’s hard to see how Touching the Void won’t be a hit; yet this two-act dramatisation of Joe Simpson’s best-selling account of extreme man-versus-the-elements-struggle-to-survive is entirely unremarkable as drama. Despite grand and versatile production design (kudos to set and costume designer Ti Green) and … [Read more...]
This production of Measure for Measure is, as the show’s programme would have it, set in ‘Freud’s Vienna’ of the 1900s, where strict moral codes were given plenty of lip service but privately, all sorts of things went on under the bedsheets. This does beg the question: why set the production in an era so comparable to what things were like in Shakespeare’s day? It … [Read more...]
The thing about jokers like Vincent (Joe Thomas) is that once they’ve revealed a grave life event to have been an untruth, one is never quite sure whether anything at all they say is a distortion of facts, or even a complete fabrication. Elements in the script of What’s In A Name? have the vibe of a play translated from French (it’s an adaptation of the French movie … [Read more...]
Such has been the number of adaptations and revised versions of August Strindberg’s (1849-1912) Miss Julie that have been staged in recent years (for instance, the 2018 National Theatre’s Julie, by Polly Stenham) that it is rather refreshing to come across a more faithful production, presented here by the Acting Gymnasium. In the title character, Sarah Collins … [Read more...]