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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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  • 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of the most famous and tragic of the Bard's plays. A love affair that is doomed to end in tragedy due to the hostilities between the lover's families. Turning Shakespeare's script into a romantic musical with mass appeal seems an impossible task, and indeed it apparently is, which is why this musical does not attempt to do so. The book written by David Freeman and Don Black, for all intents and purposes ignores Shakespeare's text, and has merely borrowed the plot and...

  • The Nazis didn't reserve their highly individual and gruesomely twisted brand of nastiness simply for Jews. Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, the mentally handicapped, intellectuals, vagrants, prostitutes, Freemasons and many others were on the Nazi hit list of 'undesirables' they wanted to eradicate from the planet. Systematically rounding up these groups with meticulous precision and industrial efficiency, and incarcerating them in concentration camps, homosexuals were at the nadir of an enormous...

  • There's no question that Thriller Live is a genuine crowd-pleaser. But is it the answer? It depends on what you want the West End to stand for. Is it a place to showcase the best in world theatre, or just a home for mindless but colourful variety spectacles?Actually, let's not to be too snobbish. There's room for both. I may personally miss the fact that the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue -- one of the best, most perfectly proportioned playhouses in town -- has been lost to straight plays...

    Lyric Theatre
  • Profoundly disturbing and intensely macabre, Martin McDonagh's new play provokes an ambivalent response. On the one hand his inventive imagination and ear for naturalistic dialogue is as sharp as ever, commanding both respect and attention but the sheer intensity of the horrors related will curdle all but the strongest of stomachs.As the play opens a young writer sits blindfolded in a cell, clearly awaiting interrogation. A detective (Jim Broadbent) enters and asks the prisoner Katurian (David...

    Duke of York's Theatre
  • Last week, I saw 'Much Ado About Nothing' at the Globe, and now here's another version playing at Wyndham's, right in the heart of the West End. Comparisons are often invidious, but here's a rare chance to compare two productions of the same play, both on at the same time.This version has the added glamour and audience pulling-power of TV stars in the lead roles. TV comedian and character actress Catherine Tate is Beatrice and a former Dr Who, David Tennant, is Benedick. With a time traveller in...

    Wilton's Music Hall
  • Writer Polly Stenham was just 19 when she wrote this, her first play. Having had it's premiere at the Royal Court and garnered a number of awards, it's now moved up to the West End. It's success is well-deserved because there's a freshness in the writing and the humour as well as the plot.Polly Stenham brings us the world of a dysfunctional family where roles are never clear-cut or as one would expect them to be. Children act like parents, and parents ignore their responsibilities, acting more...

  • Les Misérables is a monolith of a musical that at 30 years young shows no signs of slowing down. Even on a Wednesday matinee three decades after opening in London the show received unadulterated concentration from a full house, along with a standing ovation. Part of the joy and the energy comes from the sheer commitment and devotion shown by the cast, who walk the familiar territory as though they're doing it for the very first time. With the highly successful film adaptation making the story...

    Sondheim Theatre
  • The appropriately named Mischief Theatre have been making merry mischief with the West End since 2014 when their fringe-born hit The Play That Goes Wrong transferred to the Duchess, which went on to win last year's Olivier Award for best comedy and is still running, and is now Broadway-bound. Their second show Peter Pan Goes Wrong, which ran at the Apollo last Christmas, was also Olivier nominated. That, too, was honed via a pre-London tour; but now for the first time they are even more...

    Criterion Theatre
  • NOTE: Cast changed since this reviewPG Wodehouse's most famous non-theatrical creation Jeeves has, of course, been in the West End before -- as a one-man show in 1980 by Edward Duke called Jeeves Takes Charge, and as a notorious Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn flop musical five years before that (called simply Jeeves) that returned more successfully to the Duke of York's in 1996, by then re-titled By Jeeves. Now the Duke of York's is home again for a new stage play called Perfect...

  • When I first saw Jeremy Sams' production at the National Theatre 16 months ago I said, "This is farcical comedy at its very best with some of the most incredible timing I have ever seen by a cast." Unfortunately, after transferring to the Piccadilly Theatre and now to the Comedy with a completely new cast the quality of the production has seriously diminished.This 1980's hit comedy by Michael Frayn of theatrical antics and disasters is in three acts. A theatrical company are performing in a play...

    Garrick Theatre