All stories by Gary Naylor on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Imposter 22, Royal Court Theatre review - ace on representation, less so on structure by Gary Naylor

Big-hearted and necessary play fails to deliver fully on its huge promise The Royal Court’s collaboration with Access All Areas (AAA) may not be theatre’s first explicit embrace of the n…

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Unbelievable, Criterion Theatre review - Derren Brown-directed show misses his otherworldly danger by Gary Naylor

★★★ UNBELIEVABLE, CRITERION THEATRE Entertaining show, but short of a little magic in more senses than one Pantomime vibe undermines the unique frisson of the magician's art Unbeliev…

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play, Young Vic review - committed and important play let down by heavy-handed writing by Gary Naylor

★★ UNTITLED F*UCK M*SS S**GON PLAY, YOUNG VIC A gruelling watch, but message hits home Satirical comedy-drama labours its points across an uninterrupted two hours Seldom can a title hav…

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Friday, September 22, 2023

Rebecca, Charing Cross Theatre review - troubled show about a troubled house nonetheless diverts by Gary Naylor

  Austrian musical finally arrives in London to entertain, but not quite thrill There are times when it’s best to know as little as possible before taking one’s seat for a show – this…

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Infamous, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Lady Hamilton challenges the patriarchy and loses by Gary Naylor

★★★ INFAMOUS, JERMYN STREET THEATRE Caroline and Rose Quentin perfectly cast in mother and daughter play A clever, sexy, confident woman woos the aristocracy but is disowned when she …

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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Makeshifts and Realities, Finborough Theatre review - Edwardian dramas with a pinch of Chekhov by Gary Naylor

★★★★ MAKESHIFTS AND REALITIES, FINBOROUGH THEATRE Three one act works revived with a beautiful attention to detail Plays that show that much may have changed for women in the last 1…

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

La Cage Aux Folles, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - 40 years on, the drag show still entertains and educates by Gary Naylor

Feelgood show acquires added poignancy on an emotional night Forty years ago, the world was very different for gay men. AIDS was devastating their communities around the world, especially …

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Saturday, August 12, 2023

The SpongeBob Musical, QEH review - musical based on popular kids' animation sinks for lack of focus by Gary Naylor

★★ THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, SOUTHBANK CENTRE Broadway show drowns in an unsympathetic venue, holed beneath the waterline by a lacklustre book and incoherent score Fine performances cannot…

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Friday, August 11, 2023

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - uneven production of intermittent power by Gary Naylor

★★★ MACBETH, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE Stripped back version has plenty of echoes of today's news, but lacks coherence and spectacle Matti Houghton shines as a grieving, accusing, frustrate…

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Friday, July 28, 2023

The Crown Jewels, Garrick Theatre review - star laden comedy fails to sparkle by Gary Naylor

★★ THE CROWN JEWELS, GARRICK THEATRE True story, dreadfully low on laughs and drama, in which the only successful heist comes at the box office  Al Murray and Carrie Hope Fletcher prov…

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Monday, July 24, 2023

Annie Get Your Gun, Lavender Theatre review - new production in new venue has some work to do by Gary Naylor

★★★ ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, LAVENDER THEATRE Corny book still has its problems,. but Irving Berlin's songs are as glorious as ever  In fields of lavender flowers, an open air show sung we…

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Thursday, July 6, 2023

Modest, Kiln Theatre review - tale of Victorian would-be trailblazer fails and succeeds by Gary Naylor

★★ MODEST, KILN THEATRE A trans and queer celebration, but not a very good play  Art, songs and a cabaret (indeed, Cabaret) vibe, but the story goes nowhere Whether you believe that Ell…

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Stumped, Hampstead Theatre review - Beckett and Pinter, waiting for Doggo by Gary Naylor

★★★★ STUMPED, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE A smart, funny, and beautifully staged new play An hour zips by in the company of two playwrights bickering on the boundary edge Much of cricket comp…

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Robin Hood. The Legend. Re-written, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - no bullseye for new take on familiar characters by Gary Naylor

★ ROBIN HOOD. THE LEGEND. RE-WRITTEN. REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Play with music lost in a forest of competing genres and tones New version of old story wastes talent and resources in …

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Thursday, June 15, 2023

42nd Street, Sadler's Wells review - musical extravaganza will knock your socks off by Gary Naylor

★★★★★ 42nd STREET, SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE Glorious entertainment led by a star in the making Old show sparkles in astonishing new production that dazzles from first to last There…

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Thursday, May 25, 2023

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - busy production overflowing with new ideas by Gary Naylor

★★★ A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE - Hot button issues douse fiery passions MIchelle Terry steals the show as a Puck who brings a malevolent undertow to the comic roman…

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Saturday, May 20, 2023

A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Finborough Theatre review - 86 years, punctuated by fun and funerals by Gary Naylor

★★★★ A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIED, FINBOROUGH THEATRE New play that mines the bittersweet moments of a long life  Jacob Marx Rice's new play mines the bittersweet moments of a …

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Friday, May 12, 2023

The Circle, Orange Tree Theatre review - acerbic reflections on the price paid for love by Gary Naylor

★★★★ THE CIRCLE, ORANGE TREE THEATRE Acerbic reflections on the price paid for love Jane Asher leads an ensemble cast in Somerset Maugham's comedy of manners Tom Littler opens his a…

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Monday, May 1, 2023

It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure, Soho Theatre review - disability-led comedy hits hard by Gary Naylor

FlawBored's meta-theatrical show comforts and then goes in for the kill Just when you’ve relaxed a little, privileged duly checked and confident that you won’t be guilt-tripped for nippi…

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Thursday, April 27, 2023

Jules and Jim, Jermyn Street Theatre review - a bohemian love triangle ends badly by Gary Naylor

Classy new stage adaptation of 1950s French novel proves intellectually rewarding It’s apt that this new play, with characters moving in and out of Paris either side of World War I, is st…

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Monday, April 24, 2023

The Good Person of Szechwan, Lyric Hammersmith review - wild ride in hyperreality slides by by Gary Naylor

Frenetic take on Brecht's tale of doing good in a bad world loses focus As the UK undergoes yet another political convulsion, this time concerning the threshold for ministers being shitty to…

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Saturday, April 22, 2023

Ain't Too Proud, Prince Edward Theatre review - Temptations musical is none too tempting by Gary Naylor

American show is lost in the West End with only the hits to save it Ain’t Too Proud? Ain’t too good either I’m afraid. Which is a shame as there’s plenty of the raw material here tha…

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Friday, April 7, 2023

Betty Blue Eyes, Union Theatre review - musical revival pigs out on nostalgia by Gary Naylor

New production of the West End show based on the Alan Bennett film is perhaps near its sell-by date People can’t find the food they want in the shops. Nobody has enough money. Public servi…

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Friday, March 31, 2023

Berlusconi, Southwark Playhouse Elephant review - curious new musical satire by Gary Naylor

A reprehensible man treats women badly, but the political magic is left entirely unexplored One wonders if Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan pondered long over their debut musical’s title.…

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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Under the Black Rock, Arcola Theatre review - political thriller turns soapy by Gary Naylor

Evanna Lynch heads up wan troubles-themed dark comedy “Darkly comic thrillers” (as they like to say) set in Ireland tracking how families, or quasi-families, fall apart under pressure ar…

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Oklahoma!, Wyndham's Theatre review - radical reimagining adds plenty but achieves less by Gary Naylor

Ambitious but misconceived take on musical theatre landmark outstays its welcome It is, perhaps, important to note that this production was first staged in London at the Young Vic, a venue …

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Monday, February 20, 2023

Standing at the Sky's Edge, National Theatre review - razor-sharp musical with second-act woes by Gary Naylor

★★★★ STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE, NT 60 years in one Sheffield flat tells our nation's story Chris Bush and Richard Hawley write a love letter to a friendly and flawed hometown Buil…

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Friday, February 17, 2023

Sylvia, Old Vic review - great leads, rambling story by Gary Naylor

★★★★ SYLVIA, THE OLD VIC Beverley Knight is compelling and complex in suffragette musical Sylvia Pankhurst suffers for her commitment to votes for women and to socialism For many ye…

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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Smoke, Southwark Playhouse review - dazzling Strindberg update by Gary Naylor

★★★★★ SMOKE, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Kim Davies' 2014 play has only grown in relevance for the post #MeToo world  The perils of navigating power relations when sexual tension is all …

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Friday, February 3, 2023

Titus Andronicus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - notorious play hits and misses by Gary Naylor

★★ TITUS ANDRONICUS, SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE Gory play full of murders played with neither gore nor murders  Tricksy staging distracts and disappoints If All's Well That Ends Well, …

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Noises Off, Phoenix Theatre review - much revived classic farce gains in poignancy by Gary Naylor

★★★★ NOISES OFF, PHOENIX THEATRE Michael Frayn's farce about a farce still jars the funny bone Sure it's overly familiar, but, 40 years on, the laughs keep coming There’s a chance…

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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