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London Theatre Reviews

Planning a theatre trip and not sure whether to splurge on the star power and spectacle of a West End musical, experience an intimate drama in a Fringe venue, or check out the latest in new writing at the Royal Court?

See what our reviewers thought about all the latest London theatre offerings with our full theatre reviews listings! From classic dramas to new musicals, our editorial team have written about what they loved and what they didn’t. View our London Theatre Guide reviews below.

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  • Shakespeare’s valedictory, to comply with the received scholarship on this climactic play of his, lands with muted force in Sean Holmes’s curate’s egg of a production – engaging and vital at some moments, flat and curiously lacking in impact at others. The news value is surely that Ferdy Roberts, as Prospero, spends most of the performance wearing nothing but snugly-fitting yellow swimming trunks, which may be fine during these hot summer days but might be less comfortable for the actor as the...

  • What is “normal”? For some, normal could translate as being an able-bodied person who requires no assistance. For others, normal could mean living a day-to-day routine. For Jess, a self-labelled “wobbly” therapist living with cerebral palsy, there’s no such thing as normal, and that should be celebrated. Actor, comic, and CP sufferer Francesca Martinez’s debut play shines a spotlight on what it’s like to live as a disabled person in modern Britain. Developed over the course of two years, and...

  • Put to one side, and it isn’t easy, the gorgeous orchestral swells that usually precede South Pacific and that, in the revelatory Lincoln Center Theater revival of this 1949 musical in New York in 2008, were capable of inducing tears of joy. Daniel Evans’s thoughtful and pointed reappraisal of the same Rodgers and Hammerstein title, seen last year at Chichester and now at Sadler’s Wells for a late-summer run, opens with the sight of Liat (Sera Maehara), the young Tonkinese child of Bloody Mary,...

  • “All humans are good, mostly, deep down,” says Lucy to Mr. Tumnus. She’s introducing herself to her new faun friend in Narnia ane explaining people in the “real” world. With the state of the world today, it’s sometimes difficult to see the good in the current climate. Thankfully, theatre can provide a much-needed respite from reality. And there's no better escape than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. On paper, a winter-themed play in summer shouldn’t work. Snow falling on stage during a...

  • Sister Act brings people together. There were people of all walks in the audience at the Eventim Apollo on Wednesday night for the show’s triumphant return to London. Drag queens. 1970s disco devotees. Celebrities. Nostalgic millennials. All of the above. Everyone loves Sister Act and it’s easy to see why. The musical brings a new lens to the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg as a struggling 1970s nightclub singer who goes undercover as a nun after witnessing a murder. It’s a classic, jubilant...

  • Repeated viewings, not to mention a far-from-ideal cast, haven’t been kind to Bad Jews, the Joshua Harmon play that I first saw, and enjoyed, Off Broadway in 2012 and have now encountered in London, in a separate production, three times since. This current iteration marks a restaging by Jon Pashley of the play’s 2015 London premiere, which was directed by Michael Longhurst and brought to attention the fine American actress Jenna Augen in the play’s defining role of the feisty, damaged Daphna. A...

  • If passion and commitment were everything, the excitingly, if rather cryptically, titled Chasing Hares would leave its competition in the dust. Instead, Sonali Bhattacharyya’s play is ambitious in its conception but only fitfully successful in performance – this notwithstanding a production from the fast-rising director Milli Bhatia that throws all sorts of bells and whistles at the text to keep the playwright’s (metaphorical) call to arms on course. We begin in the modern day in England with...

  • Regent’s Park’s second musical of the summer is the Covid-delayed 101 Dalmatians, a brand-new stage version of Dodie Smith’s beloved children’s book. It’s a particularly apt choice since Smith’s fictional family live in Regent’s Park, and indeed the opening number lovingly celebrates the verdant north London spot. Elsewhere, however, this new adaptation – by Zinnie Harris, with a book from Johnny McKnight and score by actor Douglas Hodge – diverges significantly from the source material, and...

  • It might seem odd for a play called Closer to receive a production keen on distancing the material from the audience. But that’s the perverse effect of this 25th-anniversary remounting of Patrick Marber’s era-defining play, which I saw in its original London and Broadway bows and in revival in 2015 at the Donmar. Directed by Clare Lizzimore, whose close affiliation with the writer Mike Bartlett (Cock, Bull) suggests an affinity for comparably scabrous drama, Marber’s play is here given a...

  • Central London in this scorching weather is a miserable business, so why not escape to the Italian Riviera? In fact, Simon Godwin’s delectable production of Much Ado About Nothing looks, sounds and probably even tastes so good (the latter thanks to a judiciously deployed gelato cart) that you just want to dive in headfirst and never leave. This beautifully detailed updating transports Shakespeare’s play to a seaside hotel in Sicily, the Messina, in a fantasy 1930s. It’s managed by Leonato and...

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