All stories by David Jays on BroadwayStars

Friday, November 17, 2023

Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) review – charming romcom is a treat by David Jays

Kiln theatre, LondonTwo-hander musical matches its wide-eyed hero and sardonic heroine with just the right mix of sugar and sour Here’s a little tale of the Big Apple. Dougal arrives from …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Thursday, November 9, 2023

‘You could beat someone to death with that!’ Great theatre wigs – and their miraculous creators by David Jays

Few things in theatre are more transformative than a wig. But who makes them? Can they really be worth thousands? And what looks best on a beheaded tyrant? We meet the hairpiece heroes and t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:03AM
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Clyde’s review – crunchy kitchen drama is a dish to be savoured by David Jays

Donmar Warehouse, LondonClyde runs a mean sandwich shop, while Montrellous is the sensei of sourdough, in Lynn Nottage’s mouthwatering play Lynn Nottage’s mouthwatering, gloriously perf…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:13AM
Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons: the cult play about words becomes a ballet by David Jays

When a principal at the Royal Ballet asked to adapt his drama about imposed verbal limits, playwright Sam Steiner was all in. ‘There are things dance does better,’ he says ‘Why don’t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:07PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2023

What It Means review – how a gay American writer came out fighting by David Jays

Wilton’s Music Hall, LondonRichard Cant is superb as Merle Miller who takes a stand against homophobia in this clever retelling of his landmark essay Merle Miller, a distinguished mid-cent…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:37AM
Sunday, October 8, 2023

Flowers for Mrs Harris review – sweetly unassuming musical with dreams of chic by David Jays

Riverside Studios, LondonJenna Russell gives a shining performance of quiet resolve in this musical adaptation of Paul Gallico’s novel about a widowed cleaner in gloomy postwar London who …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:19AM
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Michael Gambon: an actor who let his heart and soul crack open by David Jays

A star with incredible presence, Gambon – who has died at the age of 82 – brought heft and delicacy, mischief and feeling, to the stage and screen • Star of Harry Potter and The Singin…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Beautiful Thing review – 90s teens navigating tough times in a tender-hearted triumph by David Jays

Theatre Royal Stratford East, LondonJonathan Harvey’s breakthrough play still blazes with a stubborn utopian impulse thanks to finely pitched performances and delicately balanced banter Ev…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:13PM
Friday, September 1, 2023

Farewell Mr Haffmann review – Nazi drama has weirdly comic overtones by David Jays

Ustinov Studio, BathThe English-language premiere of Jean-Philippe Daguerre’s award-winning play hampers its seasoned cast with a complicated plot – bordering on farcical – about a Jew…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:13AM
Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Falkland Sound review – the RSC’s history play tells the islanders’ story by David Jays

Swan theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonBrad Birch’s drama aims to explain how it felt to be the centre of the world’s attention in the war but being narrated at becomes tiring When the RSC inv…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:07AM
Thursday, August 10, 2023

Woodhill review – astonishing portrait of Britain’s failing prison system by David Jays

Summerhall, EdinburghMatt Woodhead’s urgent drama focuses on the deaths of three real prisoners with mental health issues – and their families’ fight for justice Campaigning theatre is…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:25AM

Ageless review – dances of experience and grace from over-60s by David Jays

Assembly @ Dance Base, EdinburghScotland’s leading company for older dancers offers statuesque personality and sprightly disco in a show that defies sentimentality My neighbour at this sh…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:19AM
Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Kyiv City Ballet review – slender love stories mix farce and flirting by David Jays

Assembly Hall, EdinburghThe company is understandably seeking ‘good stories with happy endings’ but the best results come in a brief folk-dance Perhaps it isn’t surprising that there�…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:33AM

Lady Dealer review – drugs, couplets and a blaze of Beastie Boys by David Jays

Roundabout @ Summerhall, EdinburghAlexa Davies’ performance as Charly, a rhyming drug dealer who is falling apart, is the gleaming heart of this production ‘I am a trailblazer,” declar…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:07AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Thrown review – backhold wrestling tale tackles Scottish identity by David Jays

Traverse theatre, EdinburghNat McCleary’s play brings five women together through a Highland Games that does not always make them welcome Backhold wrestling, a folk sport that thrives in S…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:25AM
Thursday, July 6, 2023

Beneatha’s Place review – the future of Black America and the shadows of colonialism by David Jays

Young Vic, LondonKwame Kwei-Armah’s play takes a character from Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun on a journey to Africa A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark 1959 …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:33AM
Friday, June 23, 2023

Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles? review – an affecting memoir of a thwarted playwright by David Jays

Minerva, ChichesterRakie Ayola is superb in a story about the exploitation of a Black female playwright by the great and the greedy of London’s theatreland It’s quite a title. Adrienne …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:49AM
Sunday, June 11, 2023

Royal Ballet triple bill review – a fascinatingly icy Wayne McGregor premiere by David Jays

Royal Opera House, LondonLaura Morera takes her final bow as Anastasia in a night that also includes Christopher Wheeldon’s winningly athletic Olympian ballet and McGregor’s Untitled, 20…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:33AM
Friday, June 9, 2023

All of It review – Alistair McDowall’s extraordinary tales of ordinary life by David Jays

Royal Court, London Three audacious monologues by McDowall, dazzlingly performed by Kate O’Flynn, open vivid windows on to day-to-day existence Alistair McDowall’s plays are portals to t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:25AM
Monday, May 29, 2023

Encore! Surefire shows returning for the Edinburgh festival in 2023 by Chris Wiegand, Anya Ryan, Brian Logan, Mark Fisher, Kate Wyver, Arifa Akbar and David Jays

In the run-up to the festival, our writers will choose new productions that have caught their eye – but here’s a selection of those we’ve already reviewed Richard Marsh has clearly see…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:24AM
Thursday, May 18, 2023

Once on This Island review – stirring Little Mermaid musical in colonial Haiti by David Jays

Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, LondonA young woman offers her life to save an unworthy aristocrat in a passionately sung fable of Caribbean history A tragic tale rollicking with positive …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:54AM
Sunday, May 7, 2023

The Circle review – love, tears and tender truths when Jane Asher comes to call by David Jays

Orange Tree, Richmond Strong emotions rule in a candid and well-judged Somerset Maugham comedy twisting romantic fates across generations of squabbling society Elizabeth (Olivia Vinall), the…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:42AM
Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The Book of Will review – friends fight to save Shakespeare’s plays by David Jays

Queen’s theatre, HornchurchFearing the playwright’s works will be lost to history, former colleagues enact a rescue plan in Lauren Gunderson’s generous-hearted comedy Less giddy than S…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:32AM
Tuesday, May 2, 2023

‘It’s Shakespeare – as important as any modern piece of work’: Derek Jarman’s Blue comes to the stage by David Jays

Russell Tovey, Simon Fisher Turner, Travis Alabanza and Neil Bartlett are teaming up to reimagine the director’s final film – a narrated meditation over a static blue screen – as a ‘…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:36AM
Monday, March 13, 2023

‘I’m no white man in a toga’: Thalissa Teixeira on having a stab at Brutus by David Jays

The actor, better known as a TV cop, is portraying Julius Caesar’s assassin in a first for the RSC. She reveals why she’s been studying revolutionaries, from Mexican Zapatistas to Welsh …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:00AM
Thursday, February 23, 2023

Grenfell: System Failure review – sobering unpicking of a tragedy by David Jays

Playground theatre, LondonWriter Richard Norton-Taylor and director Nicolas Kent’s almost anti-theatrical play uses residents’ testimonies and gives the bereaved a much-needed voice Stag…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:01PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

‘Is it antisemitic? Yes’: how Jewish actors and directors tackle The Merchant of Venice by David Jays

Tracy-Ann Oberman’s Shylock, who has been relocated to 1930s Britain, is inspired by her tough great grandma – while Henry Goodman felt shame after losing himself in Shakespeare’s most…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:28PM
Friday, February 17, 2023

Duet for One review – Kempinski’s combative probe into parental tensions by David Jays

Orange Tree theatre, LondonTara Fitzgerald plays the former violinist in a restaging of Tom Kempinski’s play that pits patient against doctor in a furious battle of wills Change one elemen…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:55AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A razzle-dazzle rector, theatrical cats and Christmas cards from Judi Dench: inside the Actors’ church by David Jays

The Rev Simon Grigg, a former stage director, welcomes our writer to St Paul’s in Covent Garden, where the stars worship “She’s a very good Christian soul, but not the dynamic person t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:09PM
Monday, December 12, 2022

‘She’s writing in a state of emergency’: Lillian Hellman’s thrilling Watch on the Rhine by David Jays

As Hellman’s 1941 play is revived at the Donmar Warehouse in London, director Ellen McDougall and dramaturg Emma Jude explain how it remains a call to arms “We’re shaken out of the mag…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:24PM
Monday, December 5, 2022

Orlando review – Emma Corrin is glorious in a giddy, heartfelt show by David Jays

Garrick theatre, LondonIn Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s wild-goose chase through time, Corrin shines as the hero who falls asleep as a man and wakes as a woman Emma Corr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:24PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater