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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  • The ensemble of 'After Life' (Photo by Johan Persson)

    What is the one memory you would like to take from your mortal life into the beyond? This is the question that Jack Thorne's latest play After Life poses for its audience and its characters, as the story explores the confines and escapism of memory and reality in death. Adapted from the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, After Life is a co-production between the National Theatre and Headlong, that adventurous company known for inventive works like People, Places, and Things, The Nether, and more. After...

  • Photo credit: The Death of a Black Man (Photo by Marc Brenner)

    The Death of a Black Man is a wild ride of a play. It confronts you with the racial politics of the 1970s as well as the pertinent economic, gender, and class divisions of the time, which at moments do not feel too distant from the climate of the present day. The year is 1973. Shakie (Nickcolia King-N'da), a smooth-talking 18-year-old of West Indian heritage, is the proud owner of a swanky flat in Chelsea where the champagne flows and the music swells. He's paid a surprise visit by his older...

  • Photo credit: Audrey Brisson in Amélie (Photo by Pamela Raith)

    The fear going into Craig Lucas's musical adaptation of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's now-iconic 2001 film is that the whimsicality of the original might calcify into an unbearable, teeth-rotting level of tweeness. On the whole, this is, remarkably, not the case with Michael Fentiman's production, which premiered in 2019 at the Watermill before transferring to The Other Palace and now the Criterion. As a young girl, Amélie Poulain is misdiagnosed with a heart defect and is sequestered away from other...

    Criterion Theatre
  • Lydia Wilson and Gemma Arterton in 'Walden' (Photo by Johan Persson)

    There's a moment early in Amy Berryman's new play Walden when NASA botanist Cassie (a stoic Lydia Wilson) enters wearing a plastic face covering that looks like a mix between an oxygen mask and the N95s that have become a wardrobe staple in the Covid-19 pandemic. "You don't need a mask," her twin's boyfriend Bryan (a completely charming Fehinti Balogun) says. "The air is totally safe."Meanwhile, the socially distanced audience at the Harold Pinter Theatre, where producer Sonia Friedman's...

    Harold Pinter Theatre
  • Amy Trigg in 'Reasons You Should(n't) Love Me' (Photo by Marc Brenner)

    Comparison is the death of joy, or so they say, and in our social media-obsessed, self congratulatory-culture, comparison has become a bit of a pandemic in its own right. Even as we were all shuttered in our houses for the past year, peering through screens at friends' pool-side quarantines or country homes felt a little bit like it's own disease, while trying to maintain gratitude for health and safety. In a particularly moving scene in Amy Trigg's poignant Reasons You Should(n't) Love Me, the...

    Kiln Theatre
  • Nadine Higgin, Sophie Russell, Victoria Elliott, Jacoba Williams in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Shakespeare’s Globe. (Photo by Tristram Kenton)

    After the year we've had, we're all ready for a party - and this production of Shakespeare's lovestruck comedy, directed by Sean Holmes and first seen in 2019, riotously delivers a fiesta to remember. Designed by Jean Chan in retina-searing dayglo colours, it leads us into the woods to a fairyland that is like a psychedelic trip at a music festival. Unusually, the scenes with the Mechanicals - often so tedious - are at the centre of the action here; it's the passions and confusions of the two...

    Globe Theatre
  • Photo: Kelly Gough in 'Harm' at Bush Theatre (Photo by Isha Shah)

    What are we really doing to ourselves when we start to live our whole lives on social media? What are we doing to each other? In Phoebe Eclair-Powell's smart, acidic new monodrama, the cost of scrolling through endless images of fake perfection, of sacrificing our privacy to create and star in them, and of comparing them to our own ordinary, messy realities is cruelly high. We all know that most of us routinely give far more of ourselves away online than is strictly safe or healthy; that we can...

  • Photo credit: Jack Holden in Cruise (Photo by Pamela Raith Photography)

    No, Jack Holden's play is not about Tom, though the film star does get referenced along the way. In fact, Cruise is a vigorously acted history lesson that doubles as a vital performance opportunity for the author, a 30-year-old actor (his credits include War Horse and Ink) who doubles as its lone performer. Joined by an arresting DJ in John Elliott who is on hand to spin a synth-heavy score that keeps the beat with the unfolding tale of woe but also resilience, Holden has landed pride of place...

    Duchess Theatre
  • Photo credit: Scott Paige, Claudia Kariuki and Tia Kofi in Eurobeat (Photos by Darren Bell)

    Hello Europe, this is London Theatre calling!I'm unashamed to say Eurovision is one of my favourite nights. Over the years, Eurovision has given us the goods: ABBA, Celine Dion, and hours of Graham Norton's acerbic commentary. So, when I watched Eurobeat at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, I was that obsessed fan that told all their friends and family about the show's magic.For five years, I've been patiently waiting for a new Eurobeat — and it's finally here. Half a decade later. Eurobeat continues...

  • Jessie Buckley, Luican Msamati, and Josh O'Connor in Romeo and Juliet. (Photo by Rob Youngson)

    This is more like it. Nearly two months after a disconnected, largely emotion-free Romeo and Juliet starring Sam Tutty (of Dear Evan Hansen fame), along comes the real deal: a raw and urgent new take on this potentially most overfamiliar of plays that represents lateral thinking of the highest order. In so doing, the director Simon Godwin has offered up the most impassioned version of this play imaginable, its often unwieldy length here filleted to 90-minutes as hurtling and relentless as the...

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