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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  • Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen in 'The Comeback.' (Photo by Marc Brenner)

    The Comeback? More like The Shutdown, if Tuesday night's performance this week was any gauge, given that London theatreland went dark yet again as of the next morning. That decision was in accordance with tier 3 restrictions prohibiting people from gathering in playhouses, even though the "sold out" sign in front of the Noel Coward Theatre was met, upon entry into the auditorium, with plenty of deliberately empty seats in accordance with COVID-era protocol pertaining to social distancing and the...

    Noël Coward Theatre
  • Mischief Movie Night (Photo by Pamela Raith)

    There's nothing like seeing old friends at holiday time, even if they're onstage. Or especially if they're onstage in this of all blighted years, which I'm sure many would agree can't come to an end soon enough. Imagine my delight, therefore, late one recent afternoon to enter the newly socially distanced Vaudeville Theatre and find the ever-wonderful Mischief Theatre troupe back not with Magic Goes Wrong, the Penn and Teller collaboration with which they were last represented at this address....

  • Flight (Photo by Mihaila Bodlovic)

    This really is a small wonder. Created by Scottish company Vox Motus and first seen three years ago, it's the story of two orphaned brothers, Aryan and Kabir, who flee their home in Afghanistan to make a new life in London. It's based on the novel Hinterland, by Caroline Brothers - but this, co-presented here by the Bridge and the Barbican, is no ordinary literary adaptation. Instead, its perilous odyssey unfolds in exquisitely detailed model boxes, arranged as a revolving diorama. Each audience...

    Bridge Theatre
  • Sam Oladeinde, Brian Conley, Jacqueline Jossa, and Lucie Jones in A Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre.

    With no shortage of visitations by the spooky seasonal favourite this year, why the Dickens would you pick this one? If it's political punch you're after, there's Jack Thorne's Old Vic adaptation (online, thanks to Covid). And for stripped-back storytelling and virtuoso acting, the Bridge's three-hander is the obvious choice. But if you've been missing large-scale spectacle, and you crave the heart-soaring joy of song and dance, then this might be just the ticket.It's a lavish concert version of...

  • Courtney Bowman, center, in SIX: The Musical (Photo by Pamela Raith)

    The queens are back, and they're beautiful. Since their creation by Cambridge University students Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss in 2017, when they first sashayed before audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, these ritzily reincarnated wives of Henry VIII have stomped their way into the theatre history books. The show - more rock revue than musical - transferred to the West End and became an international hit. Its Broadway opening was delayed by the Covid crisis, but doubtless its conquering of...

    Vaudeville Theatre
  • Photo credit: Cast of Death Drop (Photo by Matt Crockett)

    While not marketed directly as a Christmas show, there is more than a touch of pantomime to Death Drop. Written by Holly Stars, the self-described "Dragatha Christie Murder Mystery" is a glitzy, if somewhat straggly show.The premise is fairly simple — set in 1991, against a stage design which can only be described as what might happen if the set of The Mousetrap was put in a blender with The Pink Panther, a group of guests, ranging from the washed up 80s popstar Shazza (Courtney Act), the stuffy...

    Garrick Theatre
  • Luke Thallon, Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Katie Brayben, and Maimuna Memon in Nine Lessons and Carols at the Almeida. (Photo by Helen Murray)

    Add the Almeida to the gratifying list of London playhouses that are opening their doors this week for the first time since March, following directly on the heels of another Off-West End mainstay, the Hampstead. But whereas that northwest London venue is currently looking towards the past by way of a Harold Pinter play (The Dumb Waiter) from 60 years ago, the Almeida has its eye on the here and now - specifically, a fragmentary play devised for our fraught times that draws its title from the...

  • Simon Russell Beale in A Christmas Carol at the Bridge Theatre (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

    In this miserly year given over in so many cases to illness and isolation, the arrival of A Christmas Carol as the festive-season title of choice seems especially popular. Dickens's tale of gradually awakened generosity is cropping up at numerous addresses around town to remind us of the human and societal interconnectedness that has sometimes gone walkabout in our divisive and plague-ridden times. The time-honored story may be proliferating anew, or getting a fresh makeover courtesy Matthew...

    Bridge Theatre
  • Death of England: Delroy

    "Keep your social racial distance please" intones a robotic announcement repeatedly in the opening moments of this electrifying new monologue by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer. This is not a play about the pandemic, but it is thrillingly plugged in to our current extraordinary moment, with all its division, anger, and fear, all its ripping away of certainties and its fragile hope for the future. Opening night was also closing night, thanks to lockdown. For those who were there, it was...

  • Photo credit: Lladel Bryant in Nine Lives (Photo by Bridge Theatre)

    When we are first introduced to Ishmael, he is urgently seeking to escape. He is illuminated by a solitary light bulb dangling from above and his only companion on the strikingly bare stage is his suitcase. It's clear that he is unsettled and is operating in survival mode.Ishmael, our central character in Nine Lives, is gently revealed to us in the one-man show staged at the Bridge Theatre. Following threats to his life for being gay, he's fled from Zimbabwe to seek asylum in the UK and finds...

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