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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  • Photo credit: Pantoland cast (Photo by Paul Coltas)

    A self-aware show is always a good time, especially in panto season. So when Julian Clary introduces a scene in Pantoland at the Palladium by saying it's from Dick Whittington in 2017, everyone laughs it off, knowing full well this show isn't trying to be high art. A panto is simply for entertaining an audience and bringing families and friends together to laugh. Honestly who can blame Pantoland for being a night of much-needed light-hearted fun in these times? The best way to spread festive...

    London Palladium
  • Photo credit: David Harewood and Charles Edwards in Best of Enemies (Photo by Wasi Daniju)

    Could any political play top the current seething drama in Westminster? Perhaps not, but James Graham's latest is another fascinating slice of history that feels all too pertinent. In fact, our voting in a TV-friendly character as Prime Minister, only to rue the disastrous consequences, can partly be traced back to this key juncture when politics fully embraced entertainment and personality trumped all else.Graham takes us back to 1960s America and a nation teetering on the brink of change....

  • Measure for Measure

    Shakespeare's prickly, ever-intriguing play Measure for Measure is given a genuinely fresh spin courtesy of Blanche McIntyre, the busy director marking her best production in years with this provocatively gender-flipped approach to a text that itself shifts moods on a dime. With Hattie Ladbury in superlative form as a quirky, diffident Duke who knows a thing or two about camouflage and deception, the staging follows on from Metamorphoses in a prime season so far at the Globe's indoor space.The...

    Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
  • Photo credit: The Book of Dust (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

    Almost 20 years ago, Nicholas Hytner brought Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy to the stage in a memorable two-part production at the National Theatre. So, it's easy to understand the thinking behind this adaptation of Pullman's latest addition to the series at Hytner's new home — the Bridge Theatre. Unfortunately, it falls short of conjuring that same magic.In fairness to Hytner, and to adaptor Bryony Lavery, La Belle Sauvage is a tricky proposition. It's a prequel to His Dark...

    Bridge Theatre
  • Photo credit: Bring It On cast (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

    "Who wants to humiliate themselves on national reality TV?" says highschooler Danielle to new student Campbell, played by Love Island winner Amber Davies. When the first Bring It On film premiered in 2000, making a career out of a reality TV show seemed farcical. If Love Island didn't exist though, we may never have cast Amber Davies as Campbell, who soars in a role that she was born to play.Campbell is a senior at Truman High who is determined to lead her team to Nationals victory. Instead,...

  • Photo credit: The Comedy of Errors (Photo courtesy of Royal Shakespeare Company)

    The Comedy of Errors is kind of like a Shakespearean comedy highlight reel. The play has everything you want from the Bard: Twins? Check. Mistaken identities? Check. A separated family? Check. So, spoiler alert, you're bound to get a night full of pratfalls, romance, and teary reunions? It's ideal for both Bard novice and experts alike. I took a friend to the Royal Shakespeare Company production, playing at the Barbican, who had never seen a Shakespeare play onstage beyond studying his works in...

    Barbican Centre
  • Photo credit: Ralph Fiennes (Photo by Matt Humphrey)

    TS Eliot's dense, sprawling, four-poem cycle exploring time, faith, mortality, history, love, and everything in between doesn't exactly scream commercial theatre. And yet, thanks to a simply phenomenal performance by Ralph Fiennes, this passion project - which he toured earlier in the year - becomes an unlikely new West End gem. In an Eliot-worthy paradox, it's both challenging and serene, a whirlwind of ideas yet giving us the profundity of space, of silence.Written between 1935 and 1941, the...

    Harold Pinter Theatre
  • Photo credit: Hiran Abeysekera (Pi) Tom Larkin (Tiger Head) Nicholas Khan (Pi's Father) (Photo by Johan Persson)

    A teenage boy adrift at sea for 227 days with only a Royal Bengal tiger for company? Yann Martel's Booker Prize-winning philosophical novel Life of Pi is the ultimate adaptation challenge - which is what makes this triumphant Sheffield Crucible production, now playing in the West End, such a pleasure. It's a clear team effort: serious theatrical craft and creative brilliance that results in images of hallucinatory beauty.Hiran Abeysekera plays Pi Patel, who loses his family when the ship...

    Wyndham's Theatre
  • Photo credit: Bernie Dieter (Photo by Craig Sugden)

    Leicester Square is hell on earth. It's a crowded, noisy tourist trap, where crowds congregate to marvel at London's bright lights. Come the festive season though, and Leicester Square is transformed into a winter wonderland with its annual Christmas market. Sitting on the market's outskirts is the Leicester Square Spiegeltent, a specially erected performance space that's home to La Clique. The sizzling cabaret is a pick-n-mix of tantalising treats, and a show where — just like thinking about...

    Leicester Square Spiegeltent
  • Photo credit: Manor (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

    Moira Buffini's state-of-the-nation play is pegged to that irresistible trope: the dark and stormy night, with a group of strangers forced to seek shelter in a spooky manor house. Naturally it's a powder keg of personalities, and, with Chekhov's gun well established, a storm of violence is inevitable.However, Manor is a curious beast. It certainly nods to the eerie thriller: with the power out, the only light is flickering candles, and there's a ghostly presence upstairs - a possible remnant of...

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