Reviews

Hymn review: Chakrabarti’s sermon on unity, separation and the connection we crave

★★★★☆ 18th February 2021 • Almeida Theatre Adrian Lester (Gil) and Danny Sapani (Benny). Photo: Marc Brenner Parallels have often been drawn between theatre and church. In front of an audience, characters often give confessionals, sometimes trying to purge themselves of guilt, while reconciling grand existential dilemmas. In Lolita Chakrabarti's new play – now live-streamed … Continue reading Hymn review: Chakrabarti’s sermon on unity, separation and the connection we crave

Crave review: a fierce and tender emotional reckoning

★★★★☆ 2nd November 2020 • Chichester Festival Theatre Alfred Enoch (B), Erin Doherty (C), Wendy Kweh (M) and Jonathan Slinger (A). Photo: Marc Brenner With so much unrelenting grim struggle and hardship, it might seem like staging Sarah Kane's unwieldy cry of despair at the world is the last thing anyone might want right now. … Continue reading Crave review: a fierce and tender emotional reckoning

Albion review: astonishingly powerful search for identity in the garden of England

★★★★★ 5th February 2020 • Almeida, London In a stroke of astute programming, the Almeida's artistic director Rupert Goold has revived his 2017 production of Mike Bartlett's Albion, which premiered early in the Brexit process, to reflect on the present state of the nation. The title's atavistic resonances seem especially attuned to the conflicts which … Continue reading Albion review: astonishingly powerful search for identity in the garden of England

Uncle Vanya review: Ian Rickson consummately captures Chekhov’s fractured family

★★★★☆ 30th January 2020 • Harold Pinter Theatre, London Though written over 100 years ago, Anton Chekhov's classic play about the external destruction of the environment paralleled alongside the internal collapse of a family could hardly feel more relevant today. In this modernised but faithful version, Conor McPherson's lucidly accessible script and Ian Rickson's supremely … Continue reading Uncle Vanya review: Ian Rickson consummately captures Chekhov’s fractured family

The Duchess of Malfi review: Wilson provides regal radiance in a less sharply cut revival

★★★☆☆ 10th December 2019 • Almeida, London Though it must be as far from festive as possible, the Almeida has revived John Webster's gruesome revenge tragedy for the Christmas period. Director Rebecca Frecknall's slickly modern production accentuates the play's presentation of women as objects which haunt the toxic gaze of possessive male desire. However, the … Continue reading The Duchess of Malfi review: Wilson provides regal radiance in a less sharply cut revival

Vassa review: rambles in pre-revolutionary Russia miss the pass mark

★★☆☆☆ 22nd October 2019 • Almeida, London Less than a month ago, Samantha Bond was due to play the title role in Mike Bartlett's adaptation of Maxim Gorky's play. When she suffered a back injury, Siobhan Redmond took on the unenviable task of filling her shoes. Unfortunately, this admirable effort is somewhat wasted in a … Continue reading Vassa review: rambles in pre-revolutionary Russia miss the pass mark

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. review: four fragmentary fables of fear

★★★☆☆ 8th October 2019 • Royal Court, London Reduced to its essence, theatre is an act of storytelling. Here, Caryl Churchill, one of Britain's most revered playwrights, presents four new stories across one intriguing evening. Each reenacts folkloric fantasy within the everyday, the cast guiding us through with the dexterity to inhabit several boldly-drawn characters, … Continue reading Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. review: four fragmentary fables of fear

The Doctor review: needs a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down

★★★☆☆ 20th August 2019 • Almeida, London After six years as Associate Director at the Almeida, "the great hope of British theatre" Robert Icke bows out with his new adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's Professor Bernhardi. He collaborates once again with Juliet Stevenson — the glowing furnace who ignites this production — but it lacks the ambitious vision … Continue reading The Doctor review: needs a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down

Henry V review: mixed Henry trilogy concludes with firm finale

★★★☆☆ 20th July 2019 • Shakespeare's Globe, London At times, the Globe's summer performances of Shakespeare's histories about the conflict of Henry IV's reign leading into Henry V's, have felt like gruelling battles themselves. Though the last of the three - the more well-known Henry V - finds its footing better than Henry IV and is more wholly … Continue reading Henry V review: mixed Henry trilogy concludes with firm finale

Venice Preserved review: revolutionary turmoil rendered with reserved results

★★☆☆☆ 19th July 2019 • Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon The RSC's revival of Restoration plays continues with Thomas Otway's 1680s revenge tragedy about the cost of revolution in the war between state and subject. Director Prasanna Puwanarajah, however, is more interested in its potential as a flashy thriller with a superficial glaze of decadence and moral … Continue reading Venice Preserved review: revolutionary turmoil rendered with reserved results