All stories by Libby Purves on BroadwayStars

Thursday, June 30, 2022

RICHARD III Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

THE BOTTLED SPIDER, HEDGEHOG, ABORTIVE ROOTING HOG, IS BACK…MAGNIFICENTLY           The winter of discontent made glorious summer is ushered in with a wild conga round the stage under…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 07:00PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

CANCELLING SOCRATES Jermyn St Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

ALL GREEK TO US, AND TOPICAL WITH IT Fascinating to see how, despite many light tempting fatuities and sentimentalities onscreen and onstage, and the countercurrents of self conscious experi…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 04:37AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

TONY!  The Tony Blair rock opera          Park Theatre N4 by Libby Purves and Friends

IT HAS COME TO FRUITION. REJOICE!    In a spirit of joyful pastiche, it’s a Sweeney-Todd sound that opens the show:  “`Prepare! To be made Aware! Of the most successful Labour Premier…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 06:31AM
Sunday, June 26, 2022

PARADISE LOST caught at Thorington, touring by Libby Purves and Friends

OF MAN’S FIRST DISOBEDIENCE….  Thorington is a new outdoor theatre, a beautiful bomb-crater amid tall sighing pine trees and beneath a great oak in Suffolk.  It runs only one-night,  …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 01:08PM
Monday, June 20, 2022

REVIEW: The Southbury Child, Chichester Festival ✭✭✭✭✭ by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our very own TheatreCat Libby Purves reviews The Southbury Child now playing at the Chichester Festival Theatre prior to a season at the Bridge Theatre, London. This post REV…

SOURCE: britishtheatre.com at 06:14AM
Saturday, June 18, 2022

THE SOUTHBURY CHILD           Chichester Festival Theatre then Bridge by Libby Purves and Friends

VIA MEDIA ANGLICANA IN A NEW JERUSALEM       We’re in  a vicarage kitchen in a small West Country town,  its incumbent dealing with parishioners, a resentful, weary wife and two daugh…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 08:00AM
Sunday, May 15, 2022

ORLANDO Jermyn St theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

WOOLFING ROUND THE GENDER BEND A bit of a conversion experience for me, this. Disliked Woolf for years, Lighthouse and Waves and all, and therefore never read Orlando. Thought of it as a bit…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 10:14AM

OKLAHOMA Young Vic, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A DARKER HAZE ON AMERICA’S  MEADOW Traditionally, audiences don’t go to Oklahoma to be unsettled . On the other hand you don’t go to the Young Vic to have your expectations cosily met…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 04:18AM
Friday, May 13, 2022

THE BREACH Hampstead Theatre NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

TEENS FALLING, UNPROTECTED     An empty basement in a working class Kentucky neighbourhood in the mid 70s.  An offstage adult world is preoccupied with unemployment,  the mained young c…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 06:34AM
Thursday, May 12, 2022

CHINESE BOXING Touring by Libby Purves and Friends

A SCRUTABLE TAKE ON CHINA     This is a beguiling  70-minute solo show from the actor, writer, wandering maverick entrepreneur  and China pundit Mark Kitto.  He plays three parts in seq…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 08:24AM
Monday, May 9, 2022

THE CORN IS GREEN Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

VOICES FROM THE VALLEYS       It is a curious feeling to be half charmed and half irritated by a production: one moment absorbed in a confrontation and engaged with a character, the next…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 05:21AM
Friday, May 6, 2022

MARYS SEACOLE. Donmar, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

NURSING ACROSS CONTINENTS      Kayla Meikle, stalwart in Victorian dignity and Caribbean matriarchy, addresses us firmly at the start of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s manic, sometimes  chao…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 07:01AM
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

MIDDLE Dorfman, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

IN THE MIDDLE OF LIFE’S JOURNEY..THROW A PLATE OR TWO      Ah, middle age! Waists spreading outwards, options  contracting, marriage all too familiar, parents getting older fast and ch…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 05:21PM
Thursday, April 28, 2022

PRIMA FACIE Harold Pinter Theatre, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SEXUAL ASSAULT , HARD LAW, AND AN ASTONING WEST END DEBUT    Forget the cold sadistic clotheshorse Vilanelle from Killing Eve.  Actually, forget all Jodie Comer’s screen awards.  This …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 05:09AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

BARRY HUMPHRIES ; THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK Touring towards London by Libby Purves and Friends

HALF A CENTURY OF HAPPY MISCHIEF Full disclosure: I have been following this man around for the best part of 50 years. Went with my brother Mike to his first show, Housewife Superstar, at th…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 05:48AM
Friday, April 22, 2022

HENRY VI REBELLION: and THE WARS OF THE ROSES Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford by Libby Purves and Friends

NOW THE TWO PLAYS TOGETHER HENRY VI: REBELLION.        ENGLAND IN FERMENT, AND SOME DANGEROUS WOMEN       We are in the 1450s, in a dangerous doldrum: Henry V of Agincourt is long dea…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 08:52AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

HENRY VI: REBELLION.        Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford u-Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

ENGLAND IN FERMENT, AND SOME DANGEROUS WOMEN       We are in the 1450s, in a dangerous doldrum: Henry V of Agincourt is long dead,  his stripling son married to  pretty French Margaret …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 04:22PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

JERUSALEM REVIVED: REFLECTIONS by Libby Purves and Friends

DO WE STILL LOVE ROOSTER?    So it’s back, another St George’s day before a west country village fair.   Twelve years on from Jez Butterworth’s glorious shock-troop assault on me…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 06:11AM
Sunday, April 17, 2022

THE 47th Old Vic SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE ORANGE MONSTER RIDES AGAIN   The first thing to say is what everyone has said:  that Bertie Carvel as Donald Trump is magnificent. Eerily so,  capturing not only the ex-President’s …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 12:04PM
Sunday, April 10, 2022

DIARY OF A SOMEBODY Seven Dials Playhouse W1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE LOST BOYS OF THEATRE…    The  tiny Actors’ Centre is reborn under its new name, and since this play is set in what was a  traditionally febrile, theatrical, subversively arty qua…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 08:08AM
Thursday, April 7, 2022

“DADDY” by Libby Purves and Friends

 QUEER AS FOLK BY THE INFINITY POOL Jeremy O Harris is a much feted American playwright (a Tony for Slave Play) adept at drilling in to the moment:  BLM, fashionable white guilt, showy t…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 08:03AM
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

THE FEVER SYNDROME Hampstead Theatre NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

SCIENCE, SIBLINGS, SOUND AND FURY     This is a satisfying play.  To take a painting analogy, it satisfies not in the way that a perfect still-life vase might, but more like a Kandinsky …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 07:35AM
Monday, April 4, 2022

PINAFORE Wilton’s Music Hall, E1 by Libby Purves and Friends

CAMPING ON THE PLANKING At the Coliseum last autumn Gilbert and Sullivan’s seagoing Savoy Opera was immense, with a huge revolving ship, Les Dennis as the first sea lord, a massive chorus …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 01:46PM
Friday, April 1, 2022

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Gielgud, W1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE SHADOW OF A BEGINNING, ALABAMA 1936       Forget, for the moment, both the fame and the the arguments over Harper Lee’s classic novel:  Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation is a free…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 07:33AM
Thursday, March 24, 2022

CLYBOURNE PARK Park Theatre, N4 by Libby Purves and Friends

WELCOME BACK, BITING SHARP AS EVER    In 2010 Bruce Norris’ play wowed the Royal Court: this is a  ten-year anniversary (well, plus two years lost to Covid) so forgive me for quoting wh…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 04:01PM

STRAIGHT LINE CRAZY. Bridge, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE ROUGH TOUGH BIRTH OF A CITY    It is not often I resort to drawing in the notebook, but there it is: half an hour into the first part of David Hare’s play about the city planner Robe…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 07:40AM
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

THE MARRIAGE OF ALICE B.TOKLAS   Jermyn St Theatre, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A PLAY IS A PLAY IS A PLAY IS A WEDDING    With typical wit,  the doughty little Jermyn has captured an intellectual-farcical oddity from New York  complete with author-director and star…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 04:51AM
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

REVIEW: Cock, Ambassadors Theatre, London ✭✭✭✭ by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our very own TheatreCat Libby Purves reviews Mike Bartlett's play Cock now playing at the Ambassadors Theatre, London. This post REVIEW: Cock, Ambassadors Theatre, London ✭…

SOURCE: britishtheatre.com at 01:42AM
Saturday, March 19, 2022

MARIA FRIEDMAN AND FRIENDS – LEGACY by Libby Purves and Friends

BRACING, BELTING, BENIGN       At the end of the evening the great diva, director and muse informs us that we too must sing. In a packed house,  on the far side of a pandemic which made …

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 11:41AM
Thursday, March 17, 2022

THE ANIMAL KINGDOM Hampstead theatre, NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

 LEARNING TO LIVE        Sometimes judging others harshly is a relishable guilty pleasure.  In Ruby Thomas’ wonderful 80-minute sequence of snapshots of  family therapy,  the write…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 08:17PM
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

THE WOODS Southwark Playhouse, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

NOT A FINE ROMANCE     Mamet plays are Marmite plays. You can applaud Speed the Plow, adore Wag the Dog on screen, and have a pleasurable argument with the opposite sex after a particularl…

SOURCE: theatrecat.com at 11:49AM

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