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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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  • Admissions

    The era of Trump and Trumpism has ignited a flurry of culture wars that were already simmering. Is affirmative action to increase the representation of black and minority students in college admissions in America the right way to go? And what happens to the previously-privileged status of white students who may lose out as a result?Last July, the Trump administration withdrew Obama-era policy guidelines that encouraged the consideration of race in college admissions; but playwright Joshua Harmon...

  • The Twilight Zone

    The West End is already full of stage versions of films, with Waitress and 9 to 5 newly added to the musicals roster and All About Eve to the one for plays. Now the back TV catalogue is being plundered too, with Only Fools and Horses recently turned into a musical and now a transfer for the Almeida's 2017 stage version of The Twilight Zone. The original series aired between 1959 and 1964, with subsequent revivals following in the mid-eighties and then early noughties, with yet another series now...

  • Waitress

    Waitress opened on Broadway in the same 2015/16 season as Hamilton - so, hardly surprisingly, lost out in the Tony Awards race, including for best musical and best original score. Yet, nearly three years on from its premiere there, it is still running - a block away from Hamilton (and the only shows from that season still be doing so). It has obviously struck a chord with theatregoers - and now it has come to London (with an international roll-out still to follow in Australia and Japan). It is...

  • Alys, Always

    Another day, another middling (and very middle-class) new play at the Bridge. Great things were expected for this theatre, founded by Nick Hytner and Nick Starr after they departed from the National Theatre, which they had turned into the single most exciting theatrical address in London. But at the opening night of Alys, Always, I ran into a prominent younger British playwright who told me he was making his first visit to the venue - and I replied, "You've not missed much." (There was one...

  • Rip It Up

    Strictly Come Dancing fans rejoiced at the news that four male celebrities who have competed for the Glitterball trophy would be teaming up to perform a celebration of swinging sixties music and dance in the West End. Allowing audiences to escape the real world for a few hours, Rip It Up is an energetic display that pays tribute to the era, with the leading lads demonstrating their collective dancing prowess. Yet its simplicity was often its downfall, with dance scenes interspersed with...

  • The Pirates of Penzance

    It's been ten years since London's tiny Union Theatre in Southwark, SE1 first launched their all-male cast production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, and its unquestionably been the biggest hit of the several G&S productions director Sasha Regan has also staged, including Iolanthe, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore. This production has since travelled throughout Britain and to Australia (in 2012) and it is now triumphantly back at Wilton's Music Hall where it previously played...

  • Follies

    Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's 1971 Broadway musical yields new emotions, textures and terrors with each repeated viewing or production. Nostalgia, as the old saying goes, isn't what it used to be. But Follies is a show about the perils of living in the past that comes alive in the present, and reminds us - like Samuel Beckett's great work of existential terror Waiting for Godot or Chekhov's Uncle Vanya - that we have to simply face the cold light of reality and carry on. Yes, the show is...

  • Equus

    There's always a paradox at the heart of Peter Shaffer's plays of (lack of) faith, divinity and redemption: they are unquestionably verbose in their use of language and mightily overblown in the dramatic stakes, but my God (and I use that exclamation intentionally) they can make for good theatre. His two most famous plays are Equus (1973) and Amadeus (1979), both of which originally premiered at the National Theatre, and each revolve around their lead characters wrestling with their own...

  • Shipwreck

    There have been a good number of plays across London that have addressed The Issue that is Donald Trump, whether it be Jon Culshaw's tip of the hat in the first production of the Pinter season, or the Bridge's contemporary Julius Caesar. But at the Almeida, Anne Washburn takes Trump on head-on, deconstructing almost every element of the President's character, political career, and the people that vote for him.But rather than being a clever or searing dissection of the leader of the Free World,...

  • Only Fools and Horses

    With a flurry of transfers arriving from Broadway, I've been wondering where the new British musicals are in the West End; but be careful what you wish for. While the new Broadway shows are all variously progressive - from telling true stories in the marvellous just-opened Come from Away and a principally female-led creative team to tell a story of female empowerment in Waitress to another story of teenage suicide and social media promotion in the forthcoming Dear Evan Hansen - Only Fools and...

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