This website uses cookies. If you continue to use the site, your agreement will result in cookies being set.

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.

Sort byMost recent
  • Translations

    It couldn't be more timely for the National Theatre to be reviving its stirring, magnificent 2018 production of Brian Friel's Translations at this precarious point in our national history when Britain's tortuous relationship with Ireland is being recalibrated once again in the ongoing arrangements being negotiated for our departure from the European Union.Friel's history play, set in a hedge-school (an unlicensed, makeshift rural school) in a Gaelic speaking community in Baile Beag (Ballybeg) in...

    Olivier Theatre
  • Playwrights often sit down to ambitiously write a play that aims to answer life's big questions. In Duncan Macmillan's drama Lungs, he aims to answer little questions in a big way, which mean the absolute world to its central characters.Those characters are just a pretty normal, nameless couple. He, played by Matt Smith, is a gigging musician while she, played by Claire Foy, is a PhD student. Together they wrestle through their conversations with whether they should bring a baby into a world...

    Old Vic
  • Solaris

    West London's Lyric Hammersmith was the original birthplace of two current West End shows, Noises Off (both in its first production and the new revival newly transferred to the Garrick) and Ghost Stories (now back for a second run at the Ambassadors Theatre). Just as Ghost Stories offers a spooky theatrical buffet of otherworldly tales happening on earth, Solaris - based on a futuristic sci-fi novel by Stanisław Lem, originally published in 1961 - is a story set on a space station that's...

    Lyric Hammersmith
  • Groan Ups

    Kids are well and truly back to school, and it's also true of the West End. Joining Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (set in the fictional Hogwarts, beginning as Harry's son Albus enrols) and Everybody's Talking About Jamie (about a year 11 student at a Sheffield comprehensive school) now is Groan Ups, a new play co-written by and starring Mischief Theatre co-founders Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. Groan Ups follows five students from year two (aged six) and emerging teenagers...

    Vaudeville Theatre
  • The Man in the White Suit

    Not so much firing on every cylinder as misfiring on them, this stage version of the 1951 Ealing comedy film The Man in the White Suit is like the intrepid inventor Sidney Stratton's early experiments in the show: there's always a missing ingredient and they don't quite work, leading to regular explosions. "I know exactly where I went wrong", he keeps saying.But the explosions are never matched by corresponding eruptions of laughter. I'm not sure writer-director Sean Foley knows quite where...

    Wyndham's Theatre
  • Master Harold and the Boys

    Athol Fugard's 1982 play 'Master Harold'... and the Boys is, in his own words, "probably the most intensely personal thing I have ever written". And a nakedly autobiographical play, based on his own childhood relationship to two black waiters who worked at his mother's tea room (a South African term for park cafe) in his native Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, deserves an autobiographical response from me. I, too, was born and brought up in apartheid-era South Africa - and my childhood self...

    Lyttelton Theatre
  • Noises Off

    It is often said that laughter is the best medicine. In which case, Noises Off should be prescribed on the NHS. Like The Play That Goes Wrong that it clearly inspired, it is a play about the putting of a disastrous production, from its tortuous technical dress rehearsal to a messy performance midway through its run (observed from backstage) to one of its final calamitous performances. So the big joke is the mechanisms of the theatre and the machinations of its actors as they try to get through...

    Garrick Theatre
  • Peter Nichols died just last month, aged 92, but here's living and welcome proof that a great playwright's work is bound to outlive him. In a career that also spanned premieres at the National and the RSC, his first major hit was A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, originally premiered at Glasgow's Citizens' Theatre in 1967, before transferring to the West End and then Broadway. Returning now for its second West End revival since then, it remains a shatteringly personal play and a deeply involving...

    Trafalgar Studios
  • Ian McKellen on Stage

    An unadulterated love letter to the theatre, to the actor's life and the prose and poetry that fuel both, Ian McKellen's latest one-man show is a thing of sheer joy and utter wonder: an act of selfless generosity and warmth in every regard.There is, of course, an ever-present danger in any one-person show that it could become an act of self-regard, and it is unquestionably true that McKellen, too, has a lot to be proud of, so he could be forgiven for indulging those qualities. But though false...

    Harold Pinter Theatre
  • The Watsons

    Jane Austen only wrote six finished novels before dying at the age of just 41. But an entire industry has developed around her endlessly popular fiction, including multiple film and television versions and plenty of literary (and some not-so-literary) spin-offs inspired by her characters and stories (including one called Pride and Promiscuity, which helpfully provides us with "the lost sex scenes of Jane Austen").She died before completing what would have been her seventh novel Sanditon; it was...

    Harold Pinter Theatre