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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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  • The Christmas Carol industry remains a thriving one, and Dickens’s self-described “ghost story of Christmas” has certainly experienced many and varied appropriations since the novella was published in 1843. Even so, it’s hard not to feel that writer-director Alexander Knott only muddies the water with Cratchit, a worthy expansion of a script, December, that Knott premiered online during lockdown late in 2020; that version was filmed at the Old Red Lion Theatre, Knott’s artistic home, with Ryan...

  • Photo credit: Trevor Fox and Tamsin Greig in Peggy For You (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

    Christmas came a little bit earlier in the form of the Santa-sent - no, make that heaven-sent - Tamsin Greig, who gives nothing less than one of the best performances of 2021 as the onetime uber-agent Peggy Ramsay, in Alan Plater's 2000 play. Completing a season of revivals of plays first seen at the Hampstead Theatre, Richard Wilson's production of Peggy For You improves on the original, which I saw back in the day with Maureen Lipman in the title role. Not only does Greig instantly give off...

  • Photo credit: Habeas Corpus cast (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

    Plays don't come trickier or harder to pin down tonally than Habeas Corpus, Alan Bennett's 1973 farce of sorts whose abiding topic turns out to be death. Full of jokes about outsized breasts, terminal illness, and suicidal patients who can't get seen by their doctor, this dark comedy would seem an especially odd fit for these morally scrupulous times, not least with Bennett experiencing criticism for some of his more bizarre (at times genuinely off-putting) imaginings. In fact, as Sam Mendes...

  • Gary Lilburn and Tanya Moodie in Trouble in Mind (Photo by Johan Persson)

    Set in 1950s America, Trouble in Mind follows rehearsals for the fictional play, Chaos in Belleville; a Broadway-bound show about a lynching in a southern town. Despite being a "race" play, the show is written, financed and directed by a roster of white theatremakers.The play-within-a-play format has been used multiple times on stage with hits such as Noises Off, Curtains, and The Play that Goes Wrong to name a few. While these other comedies seek to entertain, Trouble in Mind succeeds in using...

  • Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley in Cabaret (Photo by Marc Brenner)

    We have no troubles here. In here, life is beautiful.The Kit Kat Club is the ultimate escape. After a difficult or even ordinary day, the fanfare, glitz, and glamour feel like a portal to another time, where you'll be greeted with complimentary schnapps, dancing chorus members, and a lascivious pre-show smorgasbord. From the gilded lobby, disco-lit basement, and everywhere in between, the space creates an all-encompassing atmosphere, right down to the aptly named cabaret tables, a design element...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

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