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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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  • 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...

  • It seems strange to be applying a star rating to a play that is all about stars: meeting a story about the infinite universe with a finite rating. But then that is also what Kenneth Lonergan's tenderly perceptive play about our own tiny part in the universe revolves around: how do we try to understand something that is so far beyond us, and how do we make sense of our own lives?Lonergan makes his lead character a middle-aged astronomy teacher of night classes at New York's Hayden Planetarium,...

  • Rutherford and Son

    "Rarely-seen" is all relative: Githa Sowerby's play, written in 1912, may not exactly be a theatrical standard, but it was last seen in London in 2013 in a transfer for Northern Broadsides' production from Halifax to what is now The Other Palace, when it was directed by the veteran Jonathan Miller. Before that, it had been revived at the National in 1994 by Katie Mitchell, in a production starring the late, great Bob Peck in what is now the Dorfman; now it claims its place once again on the...

  • King Hedley II

    Twenty years after the premiere of August Wilson's play in the USA, it is unsettling to observe how much of its thematic contents still hold true. Particularly with the rise of street violence here in the UK over the past year, this production directed by Nadia Fall remains an important lesson in the futility of violence and the responsibility of the state to abate it.King Hedley has returned to his home in Pittsburgh after serving seven years in jail for the murder of another man. The woman who...

  • The Lehman Trilogy

    In September 2008, the top brokerage firm Lehman Brothers collapsed. It was the largest bankruptcy filing America had ever seen, and sparked the greatest financial devastation since the Great Depression.Adapted from Stefano Massini's play, in this production for the National Theatre, Ben Power and director Sam Mendes tell the story of the men behind the world-famous corporation, from the moment the three brothers from Rimpar, Bavaria - Henry (Simon Russell Beale), Emanuel (Ben Miles) and Mayer...

  • Our Town

    Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be wandering around the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Perusing the enormous site, it's easy to be awestruck by the incredible statues, structures and amphitheatres built over two millennia ago. What you don't get a sense of is the people who called Pompeii home; those who lived (and probably died) in the tiny abandoned plots along the streets are hardly given a second thought.What Thornton Wilder's Our Town does is fill those homes with life. It tells the...

  • Anna at the National Theatre

    It is 1968, and in a Plattenbau apartment in East Berlin, Anna and her husband Hans arehosting a party to celebrate his promotion. Despite the strict regulations of Soviet rule and a culture of mass surveillance, tonight there is laughter, toasting and even chocolate cake. But the sight of Hans' new boss unlocks terrible ghosts from Anna's past, threatening the life she and Hans are trying to build for themselves in an uncertain time.Ella Hickson's script, rich with moral ambiguity and questions...

  • Orpheus Descending

    The ancient Greek mythical character of Orpheus is all the theatrical rage right now - he's currently on Broadway as a character in Hadestown (that originated at the National), and he's also back on the London stage, too, in the play that Tennessee Williams named after him, as an itinerant musician in a snakeskin jacket who arrives in the small Deep South community of Two Rivers County as something of a fugitive. He becomes a seriously disruptive life force for the lonely Lady Torrance, a...

  • Last Temptation of Boris Johnson

    Actor Will Barton makes the ultimate personal sacrifice in this play: he has dyed his natural dark brown hair (as evidenced by a rehearsal photograph in the programme) bright canary yellow to look more like the title character of The Temptation of Boris Johnson. Some might say that the British nation has made an even bigger sacrifice in indulging this shallow, vain man who always seems to put personal ambition before principles, the latter of which he seems to make up on the spot. No, I'm not a...

  • Henry IV

    The Globe project - recreating the conditions in which Shakespeare's plays were originally performed - was originally thought to be about a desire to recreate a kind of historical accuracy; but it has, in fact, emerged as one of our most radical (and popular) of all classical theatres. And now, confronting this great trilogy of national history - of kingship and kinship - the Globe comes into its own in creating an entirely democratic theatre space, equally owned by actors and the audience they...

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