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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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  • Noises Off review

    Michael Frayn's comedy Noises Off returns to the Lyric Hammersmith where it premiered over 30 years ago and while Jeremy Herrin's new production is hectically funny, those who attended on press night saw technical difficulties which saw the play about a play that goes wrong, go wrong.The play opens with a rehearsal for a touring production of the play Nothing On, which introduces us to inept actors including Meera Syal's woeful Dotty and Daniel Rigby's frenetic Garry. Director Lloyd (Lloyd...

  • On Your Feet!

    "Rhythm is gonna get you", promises the famous Gloria Estefan hit, and its not so much a promise as a threat as it blares out - very loudly - from a punchy live onstage rhythm band at the top of On Your Feet!, a Broadway biomusical summer import to the London Coliseum. Just as that song took a year and a half to cross the Atlantic after its original US release in June 1987, finally charting in the UK in January 1989, so this show has taken nearly four years to reach London since its 2015...

  • The Almeida previously struck theatrical gold in 2004 with a stage version of Thomas Vinterberg's 1998 Danish film Festen, chronicling a disturbing story of child abuse in a family, that subsequently transferred to the West End and also (briefly) to Broadway. Now it achieves a similar sense of churning unease with another story of child abuse, adapted by David Farr from another Vinterberg film Jagten, originally released in 2012. But this time the tables of doubt are turned entirely: it is the...

  • Present Laughter

    The West End seems to be full of 'weighty' plays recently; serious plays like Rosmersholm, Bitter Wheat and Sweat, with serious messages, which is great. But the laughter which roared through the stalls at the Old Vic for most the duration of this hilarious Present Laughter is just so welcome. This production stars as a credit to the talent of both Noel Coward and its star Andrew Scott.Okay. Let's deal with this early: a magnetic Scott delivers again. As Garry Essendine, the egotistical actor...

  • No, it's not Mamma Mia!, the ABBA jukebox compilation threaded around an impending Greek island wedding that (as the advertising tagline has it) you already know you're going to love, such is the familiarity of its score full of pop hits. But The Light in the Piazza is a musical that instead, you can grow to love, as I have with all my heart since I first saw its Broadway premiere in 2005.You may not go in knowing all the tunes, but this show - which like Mamma Mia! revolves around a youthful...

  • Bitter Wheat

    From the moment David Mamet's Bitter Wheat, a thinly-disguised portrayal of a Harvey Weinstein-like film producer's fall from grace was first announced as heading to the London stage earlier this year, it aroused controversy and hostility in equal measure. Some prominent critics and commentators took it to task, sight unseen, for offering a male perspective of the #MeToo story that was properly the territory, they said, of female writers only. Perhaps they should have bided their time. The...

  • Hansel and Gretel is always a tricky one to place for an audience. Whilst generally considered a children's fairytale, this originally gruesome tale of cruelty and parental neglect isn't in any way fluffy.The opera, originally devised in German by Adelheid Wette and Engelbert Humperdinck, softens it somewhat by revisiting some of the more unforgiving elements, and paired with Peter McKintosh's colourful set at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, this English adaptation has a broader appeal....

  • Afterglow

    This import of a gay-themed play from Off-Broadway is quite an eyeful, in every sense. The poster and production photography already lead you into an expectation that there will be three buff men in various states of undress; and for once, there's plenty of truth in advertising.And S. Asher Gelman's play isn't coy: it opens with a full-on sex scene as a long-established married gay couple introduce a third party pick-up into their bedroom, and all three actors emerge from underneath the sheets...

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream

    The Bridge is billing its new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as immersive, but in fact it's just old-fashioned promenade for the groundlings in the pit, who mill around or are shunted about a bit as the actors appear on various platforms that rise and descend around them, mostly containing variations of beds, or occasionally take to the air on bungee-like circus trapezes. The rest of the audience is seated in galleries around the full perimeter of the playing space.This is hardly as...

  • Wife

    Despite being called Wife, this new play at the Kiln has nothing in common with The Father, The Mother and The Son, all of which were previously premiered at the same address and the last of which is set to transfer to the West End's Duke of York's this summer. That trilogy of plays was written by the Paris-based French writer Florian Zeller; this play by the Australian-born but London-based Samuel Adamson is actually a sophisticated melding of four separate stories, set in four different time...

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