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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  • Hansel and Gretel is always a tricky one to place for an audience. Whilst generally considered a children's fairytale, this originally gruesome tale of cruelty and parental neglect isn't in any way fluffy.The opera, originally devised in German by Adelheid Wette and Engelbert Humperdinck, softens it somewhat by revisiting some of the more unforgiving elements, and paired with Peter McKintosh's colourful set at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, this English adaptation has a broader appeal....

    Globe Theatre
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream

    The Bridge is billing its new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as immersive, but in fact it's just old-fashioned promenade for the groundlings in the pit, who mill around or are shunted about a bit as the actors appear on various platforms that rise and descend around them, mostly containing variations of beds, or occasionally take to the air on bungee-like circus trapezes. The rest of the audience is seated in galleries around the full perimeter of the playing space.This is hardly as...

    Theatre on Kew
  • Afterglow

    This import of a gay-themed play from Off-Broadway is quite an eyeful, in every sense. The poster and production photography already lead you into an expectation that there will be three buff men in various states of undress; and for once, there's plenty of truth in advertising.And S. Asher Gelman's play isn't coy: it opens with a full-on sex scene as a long-established married gay couple introduce a third party pick-up into their bedroom, and all three actors emerge from underneath the sheets...

    Southwark Playhouse Borough
  • Wife

    Despite being called Wife, this new play at the Kiln has nothing in common with The Father, The Mother and The Son, all of which were previously premiered at the same address and the last of which is set to transfer to the West End's Duke of York's this summer. That trilogy of plays was written by the Paris-based French writer Florian Zeller; this play by the Australian-born but London-based Samuel Adamson is actually a sophisticated melding of four separate stories, set in four different time...

    Kiln Theatre
  • It seems strange to be applying a star rating to a play that is all about stars: meeting a story about the infinite universe with a finite rating. But then that is also what Kenneth Lonergan's tenderly perceptive play about our own tiny part in the universe revolves around: how do we try to understand something that is so far beyond us, and how do we make sense of our own lives?Lonergan makes his lead character a middle-aged astronomy teacher of night classes at New York's Hayden Planetarium,...

    Wyndham's Theatre
  • Rutherford and Son

    "Rarely-seen" is all relative: Githa Sowerby's play, written in 1912, may not exactly be a theatrical standard, but it was last seen in London in 2013 in a transfer for Northern Broadsides' production from Halifax to what is now The Other Palace, when it was directed by the veteran Jonathan Miller. Before that, it had been revived at the National in 1994 by Katie Mitchell, in a production starring the late, great Bob Peck in what is now the Dorfman; now it claims its place once again on the...

    Lyttelton Theatre
  • King Hedley II

    Twenty years after the premiere of August Wilson's play in the USA, it is unsettling to observe how much of its thematic contents still hold true. Particularly with the rise of street violence here in the UK over the past year, this production directed by Nadia Fall remains an important lesson in the futility of violence and the responsibility of the state to abate it.King Hedley has returned to his home in Pittsburgh after serving seven years in jail for the murder of another man. The woman who...

  • 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...

  • The Lehman Trilogy

    In September 2008, the top brokerage firm Lehman Brothers collapsed. It was the largest bankruptcy filing America had ever seen, and sparked the greatest financial devastation since the Great Depression.Adapted from Stefano Massini's play, in this production for the National Theatre, Ben Power and director Sam Mendes tell the story of the men behind the world-famous corporation, from the moment the three brothers from Rimpar, Bavaria - Henry (Simon Russell Beale), Emanuel (Ben Miles) and Mayer...

    Piccadilly Theatre
  • 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...

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