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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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  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears

    The annual Royal Variety Performance has just seen its 91st show presented, 43 of them at the London Palladium, so it is by far its most established home. And the night after this year's show - filmed in the presence of Prince William - was broadcast on TV, another equally star-studded and outrageously impressive variety show took to the same stage for the fourth consecutive year: the now annual pantomime, which this year is (very loosely) based on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.But...

  • A Taste of Honey

    While previous National Theatre hits like An Inspector Calls, One Man Two Guvnors, War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have had repeated returns to the West End and other stages around the country, director Bijan Sheibani has accomplished something different and even more striking in revisiting his 2014 production five years on for a UK tour and now a deserved West End transfer. He has not only completely re-cast it, but also newly underpins it with a live onstage...

  • Cyrano de Bergerac

    Here is Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand's famous French verse drama originally premiered in Paris in 1867, but not as you nose it. The hero, who probably has the most famous proboscis in all of literature after Pinocchio, is denied an outsize snout in a new production that launches a new residency for the Jamie Lloyd Company at the Playhouse Theatre; instead, as played by the buff and matinee-idol handsome film star James McAvoy with no change to his face at all, it could strain credulity...

  • Amelie

    I saw the original short-lived production of Amélie, a musical version of the 2001 French film, when it premiered on Broadway in 2017 - and ran for just seven weeks. The review I wrote at the time described it as telling "a tenderly-drawn, small story, but it feels out of place amid the bombard and bigger effects that Broadway usually trades in"; it was "sweet and full of charm but it makes no lasting impression."But transplanted across the Atlantic now in a beautiful, tenderly aching and...

  • London's Menier Chocolate Factory has an enviable track record with its Christmas musicals, many of which have subsequently transferred to the West End, including Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity, Merrily We Roll Along, Funny Girl and last year's entry Fiddler on the Roof (which has just ended its run at the Playhouse), and some that have moved to both the West End and then Broadway, including Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music and Sweet Charity. And while every one of...

  • The Boy in the Dress

    Lightning rarely strikes twice, especially when it comes to new musicals. The RSC have sought to re-create the success of their hit version of Roald Dahl's Matilda, which premiered at Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010, with this mildly recycled and lavishly re-heated adaptation of a title by another favourite children's author David Walliams - his debut novel The Boy in the Dress, originally published in 2008. He has so far since published 11 more, several of which have had earlier stage...

  • My Brilliant Friend

    While binge television watching has not only been facilitated by the rise of Netflix but actively encouraged by them - the entirety of the third series of The Crown was released on the same day - theatre has been playing catch-up with its own version: asking theatregoers to commit to spending extended stretches in the theatre watching the same story evolve. But whereas Harry Potter and the Cursed Child creates a brand-new story, told in two parts, that extends a franchise that is already...

  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

    It's tempting sometimes today to think many of us have taken the metaphorical step through the wardrobe of C.S.Lewis's imagination and entered the parallel totalitarian universe of Narnia that he created in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, "where it is always winter and never Christmas".As we've become pawns in the great societal shifts that are occurring around us every day, whether it's living in the alternative realities of Trump or Brexit-fuelled grievance and politics, winter seems to...

  • If there's a sense of deja vu to seeing White Christmas - the ultimate seasonal musical filler - at the Dominion Theatre, that's only because we have actually been here before. After previously touring the UK over earlier Christmas seasons between 2006 and 2011, that augmented stage version of the 1954 film classic first came to the Dominion in 2014 in a production starring Aled Jones and Tom Chambers that was based on a new version led by an American creative team that had also toured the US...

  • Henry VI

    Netflix has just released the third series of The Crown for streaming, chronicling the reign of our current monarch Elizabeth II. But Shakespeare's own version of the box set of royal history - and those who seized the regal reigns from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries - is a series of ten plays. Shakespeare's Globe now conclude their abbreviated journey through some of these plays by opening their 2019/20 season with new productions of Henry VI (an artfully condensed version of the two...

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