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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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  • Our Town

    Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be wandering around the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Perusing the enormous site, it's easy to be awestruck by the incredible statues, structures and amphitheatres built over two millennia ago. What you don't get a sense of is the people who called Pompeii home; those who lived (and probably died) in the tiny abandoned plots along the streets are hardly given a second thought.What Thornton Wilder's Our Town does is fill those homes with life. It tells the...

  • Anna at the National Theatre

    It is 1968, and in a Plattenbau apartment in East Berlin, Anna and her husband Hans arehosting a party to celebrate his promotion. Despite the strict regulations of Soviet rule and a culture of mass surveillance, tonight there is laughter, toasting and even chocolate cake. But the sight of Hans' new boss unlocks terrible ghosts from Anna's past, threatening the life she and Hans are trying to build for themselves in an uncertain time.Ella Hickson's script, rich with moral ambiguity and questions...

  • Orpheus Descending

    The ancient Greek mythical character of Orpheus is all the theatrical rage right now - he's currently on Broadway as a character in Hadestown (that originated at the National), and he's also back on the London stage, too, in the play that Tennessee Williams named after him, as an itinerant musician in a snakeskin jacket who arrives in the small Deep South community of Two Rivers County as something of a fugitive. He becomes a seriously disruptive life force for the lonely Lady Torrance, a...

    Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Last Temptation of Boris Johnson

    Actor Will Barton makes the ultimate personal sacrifice in this play: he has dyed his natural dark brown hair (as evidenced by a rehearsal photograph in the programme) bright canary yellow to look more like the title character of The Temptation of Boris Johnson. Some might say that the British nation has made an even bigger sacrifice in indulging this shallow, vain man who always seems to put personal ambition before principles, the latter of which he seems to make up on the spot. No, I'm not a...

  • Henry IV

    The Globe project - recreating the conditions in which Shakespeare's plays were originally performed - was originally thought to be about a desire to recreate a kind of historical accuracy; but it has, in fact, emerged as one of our most radical (and popular) of all classical theatres. And now, confronting this great trilogy of national history - of kingship and kinship - the Globe comes into its own in creating an entirely democratic theatre space, equally owned by actors and the audience they...

  • Death of a Salesman

    This review of Death of a Salesman is from the Young Vic production. The play will transfer to the West End later in 2019, click here to find out more. London's informal Arthur Miller season in The Cut, SE1 - which has seen The American Clock and currently All My Sons playing consecutively at the Old Vic - now reaches its peak with a searing, sensational new production of Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic. In an earlier age, when David Thacker presided over this theatre (from 1984-1993),...

    Piccadilly Theatre
  • Amour

    I'm going out on a limb here with my five-star rating for the UK premiere of Michel Legrand and Jeremy Sams's wistful, witty Amour (all-too-briefly seen on Broadway in 2002), as I'm certain that for others it will be a show they can't bear. It's likely to be a Marmite show - not a show for all tastes. Nor for all markets: in a programme note, Sams writes of the challenges of adapting (and expanding) its original French source material -a bonne mouche, as he calls it - that had originally been...

  • Rosmersholm

    The National will soon be reviving Henrik Ibsen's sprawling epic Peer Gynt, but in one of producer Sonia Friedman's possibly boldest (or most reckless?) moves yet, she's giving commercial life to the Norwegian misery merchant's (very) rarely-seen 1886 play Rosmersholm; even the title is off-putting and hardly trips off the tongue.The bigger wonder is that this isn't a transfer on the back of a sold out, already acclaimed run in a subsided theatre, as happened when Friedman transferred Ibsen's...

    Duke of York's Theatre
  • UPDATE: This review is for a previous production of Small Island at the National Theatre. Small Island is at the National Theatre in 2022. Book Small Island tickets on London Theatre. The latest chapter in the ongoing scandal around the treatment of the Windrush generation - immigrants who arrived in the "mother country" from the West Indies in the late 40s and early 50s - is still being written, with a group of over 80 MPs referring the Home Office to the Equality and Human Rights Commission...

    Olivier Theatre
  • Man of La Mancha

    With its earworm of a song in "The Impossible Dream", the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha lives in the shadow of its declaration: "To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go."ENO and their annual commercial musical partners Michael Linnit and Michael Grade (who previously partnered on productions of Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, Carousel and Chess here) now run where the brave have not dared since it...

    London Coliseum