All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Thursday, November 2, 2023

THE INTERVIEW. Park Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

DIANA AND THE DECEIVER Jonathan Maitland did a superb play for this theatre about Thatcher and Howe, “Dead Sheep”, and one on Jimmy Savile which was far more telling and cathartic than t…

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023

THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE. Apollo, W1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SCIENCE FANTASY AND HONEST EMOTION        I don’t normally indulge in first-night anecdotes,  but feel I should mention that in the big wedding scene Joanna Woodward tossed her bouque…

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. Richmond & touring by Libby Purves and Friends

AGATHA STRIKES AGAIN       This is Extreme Agatha Christie, her most preposterous (and bestselling) plot and one of the most murderously morbid (NB the final moments of the staging are no…

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

JEFFREY BERNARD IS UNWELL. Coach and Horses, Soho by Libby Purves and Friends

MEMORIES OF A MAVERICK   It’s an immersive show, in that you buy a drink in the cramped saloon of the old pub on Greek Street, find a corner, and ideally fall into conversation with anoth…

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THE INQUIRY Minerva, Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

WHILE THE REAL ONE RUNS…. With the Covid Inquiry surging along in a froth of accusations and curses and scandalous Whatsappery, it was hard to resist a hasty day-return to Harry Davies’ …

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Friday, October 27, 2023

THE UNGODLY Red Rose Chain, Ipswich by Libby Purves and Friends

THE FIRST WITCHFINDER, NOT WITHOUT LESSONS FOR TODAY         This is remarkable,  Joanna Carrick’s best and deepest play yet,   following her acclaimed Reformation trilogy. In its sm…

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

THE CONFESSIONS Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A MOTHER’S LIFE, A SON’S PERSPECTIVE Sometimes it is almost useful to be a day late (sorry,  tied up yesterday) because it gives a chance to read other people’s take on the play you s…

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Friday, October 20, 2023

THE SCORE Theatre Royal, Bath by Libby Purves and Friends

GENIUS, REALPOLITIK, RELIGION      In days  of horrifying conflict there was quite a jolt in a confrontation between Stephen Hagan’s  resplendently silver-suited Frederick the Great a…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

OWNERS Jermyn st Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

PROPERTY RAGE FROM ANOTHER AGE Here’s a curiosity from 1972;  an early , rarely-seen Caryl Churchill play revived  with dashing elegance under the Jermyn’s Artistic director Stella Pow…

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A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Chichester Festival Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

GRIM AND PURE BY THE DOCKS, PITY AND POETRY    The lawyer Alfieri, prowling in memory round Arthur Miller’s stark  tale of immigrant longshoremen on the 1940’s Brooklyn docks,  speak…

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Monday, October 16, 2023

A VOYAGE ROUND MY FATHER touring by Libby Purves and Friends

A LEARNED FRIEND REMEMBERED      Rumpole of the Bailey is occasional comfort-viewing in our house, thanks to Talkingpicturestv repeats. John Mortimer’s  portrait of the old barrister a…

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Friday, October 13, 2023

SUNSET BOULEVARD. Savoy theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

ITS THE PICTURES THAT GOT SMALL? Not if Lloyd can help it. It felt  strange to see this in the bowels of a gala-night Savoy, only a week or two after our local arts centre showed the  1950…

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Sunday, October 1, 2023

PETER PAN GOES WRONG touring by Libby Purves and Friends

IT’S BACK, THROUGH THE NURSERY WINDOW, STILL FLYING       Just to reassure you:  this offshoot from Mischief, the team who brought you the perennial  Play-goes-wrong, is still a lot o…

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

CLOSE UP Menier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

  THE TWIG WHO BRANCHED OUT      We get up to speed on the period,  with irresistible tracks from the golden age of pop: Beatles, Stones, Animals.   Onstage is a photographer’s white…

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

OCTOPOLIS Hampstead Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

A TANKFUL OF EMOTIONAL TENTACLES       Where better than Hampstead to watch the interplay of cutting-edge science with emotional intensity and philosophical unanswerables?  Upstairs we h…

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Friday, September 22, 2023

PYGMALION Old VIc, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

PHONETICALLY PHABULOUS      Last time Bertie Carvel was on this stage it was as Donald Trump. Now our best shapeshifter is Henry Higgins: capering, swearing, somewhere on the far side of …

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Thursday, September 21, 2023

THE WHITE FACTORY. Marylebone theatre, NW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE INFECTION OF WICKEDNESS          The history of the Lodz ghetto in Poland is a part of the Holocaust story worth foxusing on, ot least because the Jewish population there were made …

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REBECCA Charing Cross Theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

LAST NIGHT I DREAMT I WENT TO MANDERLEY  YET AGAIN…       Daphne Du Maurier’s story is almost a national myth, what with the grand house on the towering cliffs, the terrifying housek…

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

ANTHROPOLOGY Hampstead Theatre, NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

LOSS AND GRIEF IN A SILICON WORLD         In a bleak grey minimalist space  Merril (a restlessly gamine Myanna Buring) is grieving her much younger sister Angie,  who has vanished, pre…

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Friday, September 15, 2023

THE FATHER AND THE ASSASSIN Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

INDIA 1948 , LESSONS FOR ALL TIME      This show  is a happy return, especially if like me you missed it last summer: the National at its best, a modern epic and warning directed with fl…

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

THE INVINCIBLES Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch by Libby Purves and Friends

SHOOT, SCORE, SPARK!  This is the year of  football plays. First Dear England at the Olivier, now  the women’s turn on another stage,  out East a bit.  Here’s another neon strip lig…

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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

INFAMOUS Jermyn St theatre SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A SCANDALOUS WOMAN IN A STORMY WORLD       A distant thunder of naval artillery: against elegant panelled walls in Naples a bundled matron   in a bonnet watches her flighty daughter toss…

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Sunday, September 10, 2023

GOD OF CARNAGE Lyric, Hammersmith by Libby Purves and Friends

FOUR MORE AWFUL PEOPLE, HURRAH          Two four-handers about awful middle class behaviour in a week:  just what the irritable heatwave needed.   This, which I caught in a late previ…

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Thursday, September 7, 2023

NEVER HAVE I EVER. Minerva, Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

WHEN THE VIRTUE-SIGNALS DRIVE YOU OFF THE RAILS      In a boutique restaurant going bankrupt, Jacq and Kas nervously prepare to admit it to their main investor Tobin and his wife Adaego.�…

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Friday, August 18, 2023

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park by Libby Purves and Friends

 HAVING THE BEST OF TIMES IN THE PARK     Even in familiar classics you can never predict which anthem will set you dabbing your eye.    You might expect it at Albin’s anguished ‘I …

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

THE EFFECT. Lyttelton, SE 1 by Libby Purves and Friends

DOPAMINE , DRUGS, DANGER, DOCTORS   This intriguing play by Lucy Prebble  aired in 2012 in the intimate Cottesloe space , with Billie Piper and Jonjo o’Neill as paid subjects in an antid…

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

FALKLAND SOUND. Swan, Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

FORTY YEARS ON, FROM TWO PERSPECTIVES     This is a properly interesting RSC commission: a history play about the Falklands invasion by Argentina in 1982 and the British task force which e…

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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

SPIRAL Jermyn St Theatre SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SORROW AND SUSPICION     This one had me from the first few minutes: another Jermyn find.   A new play, whose young actor- writer Abigail Hood and director Kevin Tomlinson both perform in…

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Friday, August 4, 2023

THE CROWN JEWELS. Garrick Theatre, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

A CORONATION YEAR ROMP ANYWAY          A neighbour in the stalls confided that she sees a lot of West End theatre but avoids “the more highbrow sort”.  She was in the right place, …

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CUCKOO. Royal Court, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THREE GENERATIONS UNDER SMARTPHONE RULE  Bit late to this one, and it had mixed reviews – largely I suspect because Michael Wynne’s play, a two hour four-hander all-woman slice of life …

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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

ROCK FOLLIES. Minerva, Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

NEVER MIND THE MOUNTAIN, OVER THE ROAD CHICHESTER ROCKS      Now here’s a perfect gig for us 1970’s leftovers, though I suspect today’s young rockers  will also love the shiny leat…

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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
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
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
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards