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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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  • Amour

    I'm going out on a limb here with my five-star rating for the UK premiere of Michel Legrand and Jeremy Sams's wistful, witty Amour (all-too-briefly seen on Broadway in 2002), as I'm certain that for others it will be a show they can't bear. It's likely to be a Marmite show - not a show for all tastes. Nor for all markets: in a programme note, Sams writes of the challenges of adapting (and expanding) its original French source material -a bonne mouche, as he calls it - that had originally been...

  • Rosmersholm

    The National will soon be reviving Henrik Ibsen's sprawling epic Peer Gynt, but in one of producer Sonia Friedman's possibly boldest (or most reckless?) moves yet, she's giving commercial life to the Norwegian misery merchant's (very) rarely-seen 1886 play Rosmersholm; even the title is off-putting and hardly trips off the tongue.The bigger wonder is that this isn't a transfer on the back of a sold out, already acclaimed run in a subsided theatre, as happened when Friedman transferred Ibsen's...

  • UPDATE: This review is for a previous production of Small Island at the National Theatre. Small Island is at the National Theatre in 2022. Book Small Island tickets on London Theatre. The latest chapter in the ongoing scandal around the treatment of the Windrush generation - immigrants who arrived in the "mother country" from the West Indies in the late 40s and early 50s - is still being written, with a group of over 80 MPs referring the Home Office to the Equality and Human Rights Commission...

  • Man of La Mancha

    With its earworm of a song in "The Impossible Dream", the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha lives in the shadow of its declaration: "To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go."ENO and their annual commercial musical partners Michael Linnit and Michael Grade (who previously partnered on productions of Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, Carousel and Chess here) now run where the brave have not dared since it...

  • Ain't Misbehavin'

    It is clear looking at director Tyrone Huntley's impressive acting CV where he has found inspiration for this glittering production. He has performed in some of the best-loved shows on stage including Dreamgirls and Hairspray, but Ain't Misbehavin' is his first time in the director's chair. Even so, there is nothing amateurish about this production.Pitched as "The Fats Waller Musical", this is not so much a musical as a celebration of the songs of the iconic jazz musician. Rather like ABBA's...

  • All My Sons

    In the latest flurry of classic American plays being revived in London, Jeremy Herrin's production of All My Sons opens the night after the play also opened on Broadway. It could be a mere coincidence, but at a time where fact is meaningless and people tell themselves what they want to believe, it demonstrates the consequences of pulling the wool over your eyes. A lesson fitting on both sides of the Atlantic, and here, Sally Field and Bill Pullman deliver it captivatingly.It centres on the...

  • Hot off their Olivier wins for their revelatory reclamation of Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke, director Rebecca Frecknall and actor Patsy Ferran reunite now at the same Almeida Theatre for the more familiar Chekhov play, Three Sisters. But this time an endlessly wintry play succumbs, in this version, to directorial smoke and mirrors.Instead of a bank of pianos that dominated Summer and Smoke, this time the stage is set with a single piano, but a whole lot of chairs that will be constantly...

  • Sweet Charity

    As she bows out as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, Josie Rourke is leaving her mark on the classic musical Sweet Charity. She's got the great Anne-Marie Duff making her musical theatre debut in the title role, a stellar roster of talent, and some of the biggest numbers in musical theatre. But, just like Charity, this production never really seems to find its feet as it flits between trying to create a super hip vibe, while keeping its traditional appeal.Right from the outset, it's...

  • An elderly woman sitting in a chair, sharing her memories for 1 hour and 40 minutes without an interval, doesn't sound very theatrical. But since that woman is played by Maggie Smith, returning to the stage for the first time since the short-lived The Lady from Dubuque at the Haymarket in 2007, it has inevitably become a major event, selling out its entire run before it even opened.The bad news is that it's therefore impossible to get a ticket. But for those that have already got them, this is...

  • Ghost Stories

    It's difficult to satisfy every audience; not everyone has the same sense of humour or taste in music. Rarely do you leave a theatre with a feeling like you get after Ghost Stories: a communal sense of disbelief and palpable relief.Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's thriller blends stagecraft and scares to cast a spell over its audience. Having sent shivers through the West End and on international tours, it returns to the theatre where it all began as it forms part of outgoing Lyric Hammersmith...

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