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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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  • Photo credit: Michael Sheen (Photo by Johan Persson)

    Why do we tell stories? Lyndsey Turner's emotive staging of Dylan Thomas's 1953 play for voices proffers some profound ideas: to heal familial bonds, to find lucidity in the murkiness of dementia, and to reach much-needed catharsis after a long period of suffering.Of course, for audiences returning to theatre — albeit with social distancing, meaning the Olivier is still in the round and with restricted capacity — there is joy simply in the process: seeing a world conjured live before us. So, I...

  • Photo credit: Paul Rider and John Sackville (Photo by Phil Gammon)

    Groundbreaking, one assumes, at the time of its 1966 Royal Shakespeare Company premiere, this two-hander from Charles Dyer (who died at the start of this year, age 92) is best seen as a theatrical curiosity. Written a year prior to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England, Dyer's two-hander feels in Tricia Thorns' production like something of a precursor to Vicious, the British sitcom that locked Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen as an elderly couple locked in a cycle of perpetual...

  • Photo credit: Joel MacCormack and Isabel Adomakoh Young as Romeo and Juliet (Photo by Jane Hobson)

    What would Romeo and Juliet be like if it were set in a deserted world ravaged by an earthquake, director Kimberley Sykes seems to ask with her conceptual-yet-concise production of the Bard's classic romance-come-tragedy at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. However, said earthquake — probably a reference to the Nurse's line in Act 1 Scene III "'Tis since the earthquake now 11 years" — seems to have jumbled more than just the Montagues and the Capulets, leaving this production a bit disjointed and...

  • Photo credit: Tia Bannon and Leanne Henlon (Photo by Myah Jeffers)

    TL; DR: OMG, seven methods of killing kylie jenner is the must-see play of the summer. IMO, you should go see this show RN. (Please read, though. You'll want to know more about this achingly powerful show.)Jasmine Lee-Jones's searing social commentary of a play weaves the language of the Internet (see above) with the topical-yet-timeless topics like appropriation, cancel culture, and the monetization of fame. The play is framed and structured as a Twitter thread after the titular Jenner was...

  • Photo credit: Ayesha Antoine, Tom Mothersdale and Esh Alladi in Out West (Photos by Helen Maybanks)

    Three world premieres assembled under a single title, Out West looks set to be one of the most exciting surprises of the year: a portmanteau evening of monologues each of which acknowledges the area of west London where the Lyric Hammersmith itself is set while providing a rich array of performance opportunities that are seized, and then some, by their expert casts.Although strikingly different on the surface, the plays all confront familial and social dynamics to varying degrees. Tanika Gupta's...

  • Photo credit: Lisa Dwan in Happy Days (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

    "Another heavenly day," trills Winnie, the inexhaustibly chatty - not to mention seemingly inexhaustible - heroine of Beckett's Happy Days, which is marking its 60th birthday this year with a heavenly Riverside Studios revival from the director Trevor Nunn. Perhaps it takes the wisdom accrued over a life to bring to this Irishman's seminal two-hander the forcefulness and clarity imparted here by Nunn, who is himself an indefatigable 81. Whatever the reason, this is the most powerful Happy Days...

  • Photo credit: Raya (Photo by Robert Day)

    We never see the title character in Raya, Deborah Bruce's intriguing, beautifully acted new play that continues a strong return for the Hampstead Theatre. Hot on the heels of its vivid reclamation on the mainstage of Alfred Fagon's A Death of a Black Man, dating from 1975 at this address, comes Bruce's world premiere in the intimate Theatre Downstairs. (Socially distanced, a compact space does at least for now allow room for the audience to spread out.) The result, under the careful eye of the...

  • The ensemble of 'After Life' (Photo by Johan Persson)

    What is the one memory you would like to take from your mortal life into the beyond? This is the question that Jack Thorne's latest play After Life poses for its audience and its characters, as the story explores the confines and escapism of memory and reality in death. Adapted from the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, After Life is a co-production between the National Theatre and Headlong, that adventurous company known for inventive works like People, Places, and Things, The Nether, and more. After...

  • Photo credit: The Death of a Black Man (Photo by Marc Brenner)

    The Death of a Black Man is a wild ride of a play. It confronts you with the racial politics of the 1970s as well as the pertinent economic, gender, and class divisions of the time, which at moments do not feel too distant from the climate of the present day. The year is 1973. Shakie (Nickcolia King-N'da), a smooth-talking 18-year-old of West Indian heritage, is the proud owner of a swanky flat in Chelsea where the champagne flows and the music swells. He's paid a surprise visit by his older...

  • Photo credit: Audrey Brisson in Amélie (Photo by Pamela Raith)

    The fear going into Craig Lucas's musical adaptation of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's now-iconic 2001 film is that the whimsicality of the original might calcify into an unbearable, teeth-rotting level of tweeness. On the whole, this is, remarkably, not the case with Michael Fentiman's production, which premiered in 2019 at the Watermill before transferring to The Other Palace and now the Criterion. As a young girl, Amélie Poulain is misdiagnosed with a heart defect and is sequestered away from other...

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