All stories by Matt.wolf on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The York Realist, Donmar Warehouse review - a miniaturist masterpiece by Matt.wolf

Pitch-perfect Peter Gill revival surpasses its original Peter Gill has been a quiet if invaluable mainstay of the Donmar over time. But the Welsh playwright-director has rarely been better s…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:31AM
Thursday, January 18, 2018

All's Well That Ends Well, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - feisty, prickly and topical, as well by Matt.wolf

Shakespeare problem play gets a spirited reading that chimes with our #metoo timesIt's the people who are problematic, not the play. That's one take-away sentiment afforded by Caroline Byrne…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:29AM
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Royal Court review - iconic 1980s title makes a welcome return by Matt.wolf

Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start. Fo…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 08:19AM
Thursday, January 11, 2018

My Mum's a Twat, Royal Court, review - Patsy Ferran shines in a solo play that looks back in anger by Matt.wolf

Autobiographical debut play is sprightly but sketchy, tooThat ages-old dictum "write what you know" has given rise to the intriguingly titled My Mum's a Twat, in which the Royal Court's deli…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:50AM
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Best of 2017: Theatre by Matt.wolf

Sondheim and Alexander Hamilton sang out, as did a bracing array of new plays Year-end wrap-ups function as both remembrances of things past and time capsules, attempts to preserve an experi…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:33AM
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Grinning Man, Trafalgar Studios review - cool puppets but too convoluted by half by Matt.wolf

Visually alluring Victor Hugo rewrite needs to go back to the storyboardThese are challenging times for new British musicals. Following quickly on from a Pinocchio that ought to be way more …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:54AM
Friday, December 15, 2017

Belleville, Donmar Warehouse review - prickly and unnerving by Matt.wolf

Imogen Poots and James Norton in terrific form as American expats living on the edge The city of love provides a backdrop for marital discord and worse in Belleville, Amy Herzog's celebrated…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 08:12AM
Monday, December 11, 2017

Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre review - intriguing yet opaque by Matt.wolf

Simon Gray play is better served by its cast this time round The play that famously got away when one of its stars (quite literally) jumped ship is back. In 1995, Stephen Fry abandoned the W…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:24AM
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Network, National Theatre review - Bryan Cranston’s searing London stage debut by Matt.wolf

Seminal 1976 film resonates anew as Breaking Bad star gets 'mad as hell'Outrage knows no time barrier, as the world at large reminds us on a daily basis. So what better moment for …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:36AM
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Young Frankenstein review - Mel Brooks musical is blissfully bonkers by Matt.wolf

Broadway misfire finds chuckles aplenty, and a heart, at the Garrick TheatreWhat a difference an ocean and a change of scale can make. When I saw the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein on…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:33AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Peter Hall: A Reminiscence by Matt.wolf

The colossus who founded the RSC and took the National to the Southbank is fondly rememberedTheatre artist, political agitator, cultural advocate: Sir Peter Hall was all these and more in a …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 12:36PM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

h.Club 100 Awards: Theatre and Performance - is this a new golden age for the stage? by Matt.wolf

If this is a great era for theatre, it is not only welcome but necessary Could we be inhabiting a new golden age of theatre? It sometimes seems that way, not least in the blurring of boundar…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:18AM
Monday, July 31, 2017

Road, Royal Court review - poetry amidst the pain by Matt.wolf

John Tiffany leads Jim Cartwright's debut play towards the sublimeWho'd have guessed that the London theatre scene at present would be so devoted to the numinous? Hard on the heels of G…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:48AM
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mosquitoes, National Theatre review - Olivias Colman and Williams dazzle amid dramatic excess by Matt.wolf

Lucy Kirkwood play fusing science and familial disarray is as exhausting as it is enlightening There's enough plot for a dozen plays buzzing its way through Mosquitoes, Lucy Kirkwood's play …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:32AM
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre review - Sienna Miller lets rip by Matt.wolf

Starry cast lay bare body and soul in Tennessee Williams classic "Maggie the cat is alive: I am alive," or so remarks the feline, eternally frustrated heroine of Tennessee Williams's Cat on …

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:54AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dessert, Southwark Playhouse review - undercooked and overwrought by Matt.wolf

Oliver Cotton's new play, directed by Trevor Nunn, begins well before succumbing to absurdity and hysteria "What is this, Saving Private Ryan?" a character randomly queries well into th…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:36AM
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Wyndham's Theatre review – searing stuff by Matt.wolf

Audra McDonald's long-awaited West End debut deserves to take the town Broadway so frequently fetes its visiting Brits that it's nice when the honour is repaid.

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 09:06PM
Friday, June 23, 2017

Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious by Matt.wolf

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's Off Broadway hit makes a vibrant crossing to London starring Colin MorganAs with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls t…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:48AM
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Annie review - a 12-year-old star is born by Matt.wolf

A cautious Miranda Hart cedes centre-stage to an enchanting young newcomer Forty years after Annie swept on to Broadway, brimming with shining-faced optimism amidst wearying times, along com…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:42AM
Friday, May 19, 2017

Lettice and Lovage, Menier Chocolate Factory review - Peter Shaffer star vehicle sags this time out by Matt.wolf

Felicity Kendal follows with difficulty where Maggie Smith once gloriously led You have to hand it to Felicity Kendal: this ever-game actress is fearless about treading in the footsteps of t…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 04:24AM
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre review - vivid outline in search of a fuller play by Matt.wolf

Rory Stewart's Iraq nation-building memoir makes for fluent if sketchy theatre"This is the most fun province in Iraq" isn't the sort of sentence you hear every day on a London stage. On…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:33AM
Friday, May 5, 2017

Angels in America, National Theatre review - Andrew Garfield and company soar in seismic revival by Matt.wolf

Tony Kushner's great work arrives anew in London "We live past hope," or so remarks the AIDS-afflicted drag queen-turned-prophet, Prior Walter (Andrew Garfield), late in Angels in Ameri…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:02AM
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, review - 'sheer synchronised splendour' by Matt.wolf

Lavish revival delivers dazzle aplenty if not much depth Can London support two dance musicals, each one dazzling in a different way? We're about to find out, now that the mother of all toe-…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 09:32PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Old Vic by Matt.wolf

Stoppard's breakout play gets a giddy 50th-anniversary revival To the list of abiding theatrical partnerships one must surely add Tom Stoppard and the director David Leveaux.

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:42AM
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Speech & Debate, Trafalgar Studios by Matt.wolf

Tony winner's first play couples awkwardness and charm There's something to be said for encountering a playwright fresh out of the starting gate. Since his debut play Speech & Debat…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 08:12PM
Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre by Matt.wolf

The, ahem, ladies do what they can with a show at once overfamiliar and overlong Why? That's the abiding question that hangs over The Girls, the sluggish and entirely pro forma Tim Firth-Gar…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 05:48AM
Monday, January 23, 2017

Us/Them, National Theatre by Matt.wolf

Startling hour-long play mixes the poignant and the playful Unimaginable tragedy is given poignant, piquant form in Us/Them, the hour-long performance piece from Belgian theatre company BRON…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 08:54PM
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Top Trumps, Theatre 503 by Matt.wolf

America's new president gives rise to galvanic, sometimes scary theatreThere's an irony to be found in the fact that America's 45th president is already abolishing any and all things to…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:18AM
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Best of 2016: Theatre by Matt.wolf

Several National Theatre knock-outs, a corker or three at the Court, and Billie Piper packed a wallop Life threw numerous, possibly irrevocable curveballs at us all during 2016, which in tur…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 03:04AM
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wild Honey, Hampstead Theatre by Matt.wolf

Early Chekhov begins strongly, then falls away This Chekhov-intensive year comes to a muted climax with a rare sighting of Wild Honey, Michael Frayn's reappraisal of the Russian master's unt…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 06:04AM
Thursday, December 8, 2016

She Loves Me, Menier Chocolate Factory by Matt.wolf

Bijou Broadway title proves supremely winningThere are no cartwheels, and no one does the splits, in the new London revival of that most cherishable of Broadway musicals, She Loves Me, which…

SOURCE: The Arts Desk at 07:31AM

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