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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  • Death shadows every moment of The House of Shades, the ambitious new play by Beth Steel that promises an intergenerational epic of O’Neill-like proportions only to seriously lose its way. A top-flight cast can’t make something coherent of writing that wants to conjoin the personal and the political, the realistic and the fantastical, but as often as not settles for bald-faced pronouncements along the lines of “we’re all living through change; it isn’t easy.” Or, later, “we are all moving toward...

    Almeida Theatre
  • This seems to be the summer of reinvented classic musicals, from the moody Oklahoma! at the Young Vic to a revamped Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air. In that vein, Nikolai Foster dishes up his “gritty” Grease, which began Leicester Curve, toured the UK and is now playing in the West End. But is this the one that audiences want? Yes and no. Foster has gone back to Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s original stage musical version, rather than the John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 50s...

    Dominion Theatre
  • Content warning: This review discusses suicide and mental health. When this intimate and innovative revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic premiered in New York, many, including the cast, dubbed the show “Sexy Oklahoma.” The hashtag #thisoklahomafucks permeated social media, as director Daniel Fish’s production showcases the darker, seductive elements of the story about the divisions in a local community on the brink of the titular territory’s statehood. Well, as someone who saw that...

    Wyndham's Theatre
  • In 2017, David Eldridge premiered his heartfelt two-hander Beginning at the National Theatre: a real-time, 100-minute play following a man and woman in their thirties who are negotiating a possible hook-up – and perhaps something more. Now, he’s back with the second instalment of this trilogy, Middle, featuring a new pair who are 10 years older and facing a different sort of life and relationship crisis. Once again, Polly Findlay takes on the directorial challenge of a sustained 100-minute...

    Dorfman Theatre
  • If you think too hard about Much Ado About Nothing, things don’t stand up to too much scrutiny — like the title suggests. Why, exactly, does everyone need to keep tricking one another into doing things? What are the villain’s motivations again? Lucy Bailey’s new production for Shakespeare’s Globe introduces some additional questions: if this is the 1940s, and the war that begins the play is thus implied to be World War 2, which side are our wacky, very Italian heroes on? Is everyone drunk, and...

    Globe Theatre
  • Jez Butterworth’s 2009 tragicomedy Jerusalem, starring Mark Rylance as Johnny “Rooster” Byron, has long been heralded as among the greatest plays of the decade, if not century. So, does this feverishly anticipated revival – once again led by Rylance and Mackenzie Crook as sidekick Ginger, and directed by Ian Rickson – cement its place in theatre history? In short: hell yes. Like all great state-of-the-nation epics, it feels different, but just as potent, in this new context. It can certainly be...

    Apollo Theatre
  • She shot to fame playing psychopathic assassin Villanelle in Killing Eve, but Jodie Comer’s West End debut in Suzie Miller’s one-woman show Prima Facie is closer to her recent turn as a care home worker in Help. Once again she embodies an urgent real-life issue, this time an indefensibly broken legal system, and, in an astonishing tour-de-force performance, Comer commits, body and soul, to laying bare the human cost. When we first meet her character Tessa Ensler, she’s a hotshot barrister, a...

    Harold Pinter Theatre
  • Top marks for Dominic Cooke, who gives a veritable masterclass in how to imaginatively revive a play that has fallen out of fashion. His thoughtful revamp of Emlyn Williams’s semi-autobiographical 1938 work The Corn is Green, about the schoolteacher who changed his destiny, throbs with new life and features a powerhouse turn from Nicola Walker. She stars as Miss Moffat (based on the real-life Miss Sarah Grace Cooke), the indomitable English spinster on a mission to educate children in a rural...

    Lyttelton Theatre
  • There is your standard bio-drama, and then there is Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Marys Seacole. This time-travelling, shape-shifting, intermittently dazzling tribute to the 19th-century British-Jamaican nurse also crashes into the present day, closing the gap between different wars in Ukraine, between the experience of carers, of working mothers, and of Black women. British audiences were first introduced to the experimental American playwright when her Pulitzer Prize-winning Fairview ran at the...

    Donmar Warehouse
  • A 2011 Broadway flop is getting a second shot in London, following on from a concert performance that brought original New York leading man Jeremy Jordan to London in January, opposite his current Bonnie, the excellent Frances Mayli McCann. As it happens the show’s distaff headliner, McCann, turns out to be the biggest reason for director-choreographer Nick Winston’s strenuous production of a relentless musical that seems to want to position the killers of the title as equivalents of sorts to...

    Arts Theatre

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