London Theatre Reviews

Read the latest London theatre reviews on the newest openings across the West End and beyond. Discover more about the latest must-see West End shows, Off-West End productions, and why you need to see shows in London. Scroll through our full theatre reviews listings of London musicals, plays, and live events from our London Theatre critics.

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  • When we grieve, what do we think about? We may reflect on the happy memories spent with one another. We may realise just how much somebody meant to us while they were living. But when we’re faced with anticipatory grief, our reactions are equally individual. Over two hours, Theresa Rebeck’s dark comedy, Mad House, explores the ways in which death affects us all, both for the person dying and those who live. And if you’re going through a personal loss, seeing Mad House is cathartic. At multiple...

    Ambassadors Theatre
  • Rarely is a review one big spoiler but there’s simply no other way to discuss, or assess, That Is Not Who I Am, the disturbing new Royal Court offering that emphatically Is Not What It Says It Is! Stop here if you want to attend the play in, as it were, a pristine state. But whether you read on or not, this is a significant achievement that deserves attention. Trumpeted as a discovery from the pen of an unknown security industry veteran called Dave Davidson, whose authorial skills come endorsed...

    Royal Court
  • It was the door slam heard round the world. In 1879, Henrik Ibsen scandalised society with his climax to A Doll’s House, which saw Nora Helmer leaving her husband and young children – and rejecting conventional marriage. But what happens next? Is Nora truly free, and at what cost? That’s the tantalising premise of Lucas Hnath’s playful, provocative and richly intelligent A Doll’s House, Part 2. We’re back at that door again, this time with Nora knocking and demanding re-entry. It’s 15 years...

    Donmar Warehouse
  • You’ll be mouthing the words “car service” for some while to come following the vivid Old Vic revival of Jitney, the 1982 play by August Wilson that arrives in London as a co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Headlong and that will continue on tour following this monthlong engagement. (This staging was first seen in Leeds last October.) The play’s previous London incarnation – imported from New York – won the Olivier for Best Play 20 years ago, and if this production doesn’t quite have the...

    Old Vic
  • Never mind the summer heatwave – the hottest place in London right now is the Royal Albert Hall. As part of the venue’s 150th anniversary celebrations, Matthew Bourne has retooled his turbo-charged 2000 production The Car Man, which riffs on both the opera Carmen and the film noir classic The Postman Always Rings Twice. This new version is bigger and bolder than ever, with a massive cast of 39, a full orchestra (giving a magnificent account of Terry Davies’ reworking of the Rodion Shchedrin...

    Royal Albert Hall
  • French neoclassical drama sits alongside English Restoration comedy as perhaps the two Western theatrical genres least frequently revived these days, for the simple reason that they require two very particular (if different) skill sets. I last saw Jean Racine’s 1669 play Britannicus in a fine revival from Jonathan Kent in 1998 that starred Toby Stephens and the late Diana Rigg and was played alongside the same writer’s best-known play, Phèdre. This current iteration boasts a robust version of...

    Lyric Hammersmith
  • The big draw of this revival of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie is Hollywood star Amy Adams making her West End debut. In fact, this is only the second professional theatre credit for the six-time Academy Award nominee, who previously played the Baker’s Wife in Sondheim’s Into the Woods at New York’s open-air Delacorte Theater. She takes on the iconic role of Amanda Wingfield, based on Williams’s own formidable, faded Southern Belle mother in the playwright’s semi-autobiographical...

    Rose Theatre Kingston
  • Six the Musical informs every moment of Amy Hodge’s adventurous production for Shakespeare’s Globe of the history play about the onetime monarch who made that sleeper London and Broadway hit possible: the much-married, famously rotund Henry VIII whose treatment at the hands of Shakespeare and his late-career collaborator John Fletcher remains one of the Bard’s least-performed plays. Up till now, I have mostly associated this play with various pageant-heavy productions for the RSC and a 2012...

    Globe Theatre
  • “Is this the face of Harvard Law?” the admission team asks in Legally Blonde. They’ve received a last-minute application from Elle Woods, a blonde Barbie-eseque UCLA grad who doesn’t scream “typical lawyer.” In the space of a few months, she charms her way through the Ivy League school, proving that being yourself never goes out of style. We first fell for the Legally Blonde story two decades ago, when Reese Witherspoon played the spunky, feminist law student in the original film. Sheridan Smith...

    Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
  • "There’s only one New York Yankees, you can’t have another just because it features some ex-players” says Faye Treadwell in The Drifters Girl. The pioneering African-American music manager has the unenviable job of managing The Drifters, a doo-wop band who on hand dominate the music world, but also suffer from an ever-changing lineup and “copycat” rivals who look to steal their identity. But rest assured, while The Drifters Girl storyline shines a light on the band's issues, there's nothing...

    Garrick Theatre

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