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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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  • Sleepless, A Musical Romance

    You have to admire the energy and chutzpah behind this new musical, based on the much-loved 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle. The project has been kicking around for over a decade, and had an outing, in a different incarnation, at California's Pasadena Playhouse in 2013. A total rewrite by a new creative team followed, and the transformed version was set to premiere in London in March - until pandemic struck, and theatres went dark. Now, with a plethora of Covid protocols in place, it arrives -...

  • On Blueberry Hill

    Sebastian Barry, a feted novelist (who is currently the Laureate for Irish Fiction) and playwright, makes his long overdue West End debut with this London transfer for Irish new writing company Fishamble's production of On Blueberry Hill, a play that they commissioned and originally premiered as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2017. His previous plays have included The Stewart of Christendom, seen in London at the Royal Court, and Our Lady of Sligo at the National; but while fellow Irish...

  • Jennifer Saunders in Blithe Spirit

    In 2013, Richard Eyre directed the great Lesley Manville in a harrowing production of Ibsen's Ghosts at the Almeida that subsequently transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studios. The ghosts in that play are metaphorical, summonsing the parental legacies of a dead father on his son.Now, Eyre tussles again with the spirits of the dead in Noel Coward's 1941 comedy Blithe Spirit, but this time they take physical form when the late wife, and subsequently (mild spoiler alert) the current wife of a...

  • Katherine Parkinson in Shoe Lady at the Royal Court

    The Observer's Susannah Clapp described E.V. Crowe's last play at the Royal Court, The Sewing Group in 2016, as being a "Caryl Churchill-influenced play." Now, in her fourth play for the theatre (but the first to be seen in the main house), Crowe seems to be equally indebted to Samuel Beckett, in this earnest study of a woman hobbling through life on one shoe after her other one mysteriously vanishes, which she only realises as she's going down the stairs at the tube and another woman points it...

  • The Last Five Years Southwark Playhouse

    With just a two-person cast, and a set of stunning songs by Jason Robert Brown that provide each of them with thrilling opportunities to shine and therefore can attract the best performers to play them, its no wonder that The Last Five Years has become one of the most regularly revived musicals around. We're never far from a production somewhere, but from the numerous times I've now seen it in the UK - including at its original British premiere at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2006 when...

  • Pretty Woman: The Musical

    There have been plenty of musicals about prostitution on Broadway, like the 60s classic Sweet Charity, set in a dance hall where the hostesses available for hire as dance companions say, "Who dances? We defend ourselves to music" and The Life, a 1997 show that portrayed a gritty, pre-Disneyfied Times Square and the hard realities of street sexual exploitation and its affiliations with drug interests. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, on the other hand, which premiered in 1978 and became a...

  • The Prince of Egypt

    In 2017, a musical premiered on Broadway called Prince of Broadway. It celebrated the life and career of the powerful and prolific Broadway producer and director Harold Prince, whose career spanned nearly seven decades before he died last year, aged 91. That career retrospective turned out to be his final directing credit amongst shows that earned him a record 21 Tony Awards, including eight for directing the original landmark productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies,...

  • La Cage aux Folles at the Park Theatre

    Review - La Cage aux Folles [The Play] at the Park Theatre

    2/5
    Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston

    The Park Theatre scored a deserved hit in 2016 with its tender, heartfelt revival of Mart Crowley's still-groundbreaking 1968 play The Boys in the Band, a play that put 1960s New York gay life on stage with zinging dialogue and painful honesty, but also a gnawing sense of anxiety that propelled its characters' 'otherness' that still resonates today (as it powerfully did again when it was given an all-star, proudly all-gay cast Broadway outing in 2018). La Cage Aux Folles, a Parisian stage hit...

  • Be More Chill review

    After the homegrown Everybody's Talking About Jamie and Broadway import Dear Evan Hansen, Be More Chill is another new musical about the growing pains and everyday terrors of high school students who are misfits and trying to either blend in or stand out from the crowd. (Broadway has also offered Mean Girls and The Prom, also set in high schools, the first of which has become an enduring hit but the second closed last summer).But more than any of those shows, this one is not just a musical but a...

  • A Number

    At 81, Caryl Churchill is still going strong: last year, the Royal Court premiered a quartet of her latest short plays, Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp., while the National revived possibly her most famous play, Top Girls.And now, just a week after the Donmar Warehouse revived her 2000 play Far Away, the Bridge Theatre now revives the play that came immediately afterwards, A Number, in 2002. All of these plays were originally premiered at the Royal Court, and it's fascinating to see all of these...

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