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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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  • What is art? And what is art’s role in society? Is creative expression derivative? Or is it putting the world in a larger context, commenting on the very thing from which it takes inspiration? These are questions that have always plagued artists, collectors, curators, and enthusiasts, and Anthony McCarten’s new play The Collaboration, about the 1980s partnership between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, dramatises the age-old conundrum. McCarten doesn’t offer anything particularly new in his...

  • Shakespeare’s most vexed “comedy”, so-called because of the commingling of couples at the final curtain, has a new ruthlessness worthy of its venal landscape. Heavily cut and reordered so as to foreground the grievous fate that is meted out to the moneylender Shylock and its effect on his traitorous daughter Jessica, Abigail Graham’s staging of The Merchant of Venice jettisons the often-ludicrous closing act, in the process laying bare a play that on this evidence occupies much the same fearsome...

  • David Mamet’s latest plays, Bitter Wheat in the West End and China Doll on Broadway had their problems. And now comes the first London revival in 21 years of Mamet’s 1977 two-hander, The Woods, to suggest that even early Mamet can make for tough sledding, too. A vehicle back in the day for starry duos — Chris Sarandon and Christine Lahti, Peter Weller and Mamet quasi-regular Patti LuPone — this murky study in what Gwyneth Paltrow might call (and has) “conscious uncoupling” here set on and around...

  • “Is this even legal?” say the True Directions kids as they prepare for a simulated sex exam, the final step in their questionable conversion therapy. The teens are days away from graduating from True Directions, a summer camp which aims to help teenagers find their “true” heterosexual gender roles. While conversion therapy may seem like a wild concept, the act of “turning people straight” is still legal in many countries. So it’s important to bring sociopolitical conversations surrounding...

  • “Once more into the breach, dear friends,” Prince Hal exclaims during the iconic monologue in Shakespeare’s history-come-tragedy about the petulant England royal’s quest for domination. But as the strapping and commanding Kit Harington hovers above the stage at the Donmar Warehouse in modern army fatigues preparing his troops for battle, that aforementioned “breach” feels all too close to home in Max Webster’s eerily relevant production. The play opens with a single chorus member, played ably by...

  • Photo credit: Olivia Fines and Richard Winsor (Photo by Paul Coltas)

    You should - and will - be dancing along to this disco inferno of a show, part of a touring run that is doing a London stint at Sadler's Wells' West End house, the Peacock Theatre. From the Bee Gees soundtrack to the famous white suit and boogieing cast, it's a blast from the past - though one with surprising emotional heft alongside its retro pleasures. If your vague memory of the 1977 movie, which made John Travolta a star and disco a worldwide craze, is of colourful dance floors and finger...

  • Photo credit: Our Generation at National Theatre (Photo by Johan Persson)

    Does our tendency to create stereotypes stem from our brains taking mental shortcuts? When trying to understand someone, we're much more likely to rely on a set of assumptions that we learn through the media, rather than taking the time to find out more about someone for ourselves. No matter how open-minded we perceive ourselves to be, this all happens within the unconscious inner workings of our mind. When it comes to Gen Z — whether it's calling them Tik Tok junkies or Netflix obsessives —...

  • Photo credit: Suzette Llewellyn, Ruby Barker, Velile Tshabalala in Running With Lions (Photo by Jahvin Morgan Photography)

    Oddly enough, the classic family drama has become increasingly hard to come by in post-pandemic London theatre. Sian Carter's debut play, developed and co-produced by Talawa Theatre, steps into that gap in the market with relish.Carter assembles her chess pieces on the board carefully: single mother Gloria (Velile Tshabalala), returns from a stint in a mental health clinic to her parents' home, where her sixteen-year-old daughter, Imani (Ruby Barker), longs to study art in America. Gloria's...

  • Photo credit: The Forest cast (Photo by The Other Richard)

    The first Florian Zeller play to premiere not in his native French but in English, The Forest also marks this writer's most disturbing and alluring play in years, not least as delivered in a production from an empathic Jonathan Kent that matches the text's deepening sense of mystery. Bringing together a starry cast as seems of late to be the Hampstead Theatre norm, the 80-minute play feels like a riff on the likes of Pinter's Betrayal while wandering toward various tropes of the horror genre...

  • Photo credit: Ash Hunter (Heathcliff), Lucy McCormick (Cathy) and Nandi Bhebhe (The Moor) (Photo by Steve Tanner)

    Wuthering Heightsis an incredibly difficult book to adapt. Most of the characters have the same names (yes, we all know that Catherine and Heathcliff but there are several others with the same moniker), and almost everyone is related. The narrative takes place both in the present and the past, and the overall aesthetic and plot of the Emily Brontë novel is more moody vibes than forward-moving action. That's a tricky recipe for theatre, but adapter and director Emma Rice does her darndest,...

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