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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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  • Witness for the Prosecution

    When Witness for the Prosecution premiered in 1953, it was one of Agatha Christie's proudest moments. Originally a short story, she had been convinced to turn it into a play set in a courtroom - an element that only played a small part in her initial story. This new production of her play focuses on that courtroom element, transforming London County Hall into the historic Old Bailey.And it steps up to the job. The set truly immerses you in the setting, with the bench and witness box at one end...

  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole at the Menier Chocolate Factory

    There are plenty of shows about how tough growing up can be. Matilda, Curious Incident, even Mosquitoes currently running at the National. But it would be difficult to find one as brilliantly British and as rip-roaring as The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. The show is based on Sue Townsend's 1982 book (which later became a TV series) about Adrian, a 13-and-three-quarter year-old boy living in Leicester. Thatcher's in Number Ten and Reagan's in the White House, but politics is the last thing on the...

  • Review of Peter Pan at the National Theatre

    3/5
    Troubadour White City Theatre

    When you take a tale as old as time, the main challenge for a theatre director is to tell it in a fresh and newly imagined way. Sally Cookson's interpretation of the classic J.M. Barrie tale is certainly an innovative theatrical experience, but one that at times seems a little unfocused and overstuffed. A show-stealing performance by Anna Francolini as Captain Hook (and Mrs. Darling), however, saves the play from walking the plank.Cookson's production is filled with colour and gender-blind...

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber is on another roll right now. The undisputed King of the West End musical has just seen his 1971 show Jesus Christ Superstar win this year's Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical (for the summer revival at the Open Air Theatre that has now announced it is to return there in 2017) and The Phantom of the Opera celebrated its 30th anniversary in the West End last month. Meanwhile, in New York the latter is the longest running musical in Broadway history, and when...

  • Just as Hamilton has been all-pervasive on Broadway since it opened there last summer, there's been little talk of anything but Harry Potter's official stage debut over here since the first announcement was made revealing that it was on its way over a year ago. (There was previously a small two-man fringe show called Potted Potter that raced through all the books to date in 70 minutes that transferred from the Trafalgar Studios small house to the Garrick where it was Olivier nominated in 2012,...

  • Here's a show which gives a lot of bang for your bucks, in every way.Disney have set themselves an extremely high bar: their stage version of The Lion King -- which next year marks its 20th birthday on Broadway -- is still consistently the highest grossing of any show in New York, and in 2014 set the record for the top-grossing entertainment in any genre or medium of all time, having earned $6.2 billion worldwide. Their animated musical film version of Aladdin, premiered in 1992, was the most...

  • Les Misérables is a monolith of a musical that at 30 years young shows no signs of slowing down. Even on a Wednesday matinee three decades after opening in London the show received unadulterated concentration from a full house, along with a standing ovation. Part of the joy and the energy comes from the sheer commitment and devotion shown by the cast, who walk the familiar territory as though they're doing it for the very first time. With the highly successful film adaptation making the story...

  • In the typical jukebox musical, the music of a well-known band or musician are combined with a script which tells us something about the life and times of the artist. In 'Let It Be', there is no script - the songs of The Beatles are simply left to speak for themselves. The format is more akin to a concert as the musicians are set-up 'on stage' in performing mode throughout.The show is billed as celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles - defined, it seems, by the acquisition of their...

  • There's no question that Thriller Live is a genuine crowd-pleaser. But is it the answer? It depends on what you want the West End to stand for. Is it a place to showcase the best in world theatre, or just a home for mindless but colourful variety spectacles?Actually, let's not to be too snobbish. There's room for both. I may personally miss the fact that the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue -- one of the best, most perfectly proportioned playhouses in town -- has been lost to straight plays...

  • This year sees the silver jubilee of one of the most successful musicals ever - 'Les Misérables'. It's almost beyond imagination to conceive of a musical lasting a staggering 25 years in one city (London) and touring and playing in dozens of other cities all over the world. But such is the phenomenal success of 'Les Misérables'. To celebrate its anniversary, a new touring production of the show has landed at its original home, The Barbican, and so we now have the unique situation of 2 versions...

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