All stories by Tom Bolton on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

‘An era-defining production’: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

Stefano Massini’s work about the origins of Lehman Brothers Bank is a domestic epic and a remarkable evening of theatre.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

‘An irresistible play, in a triumphant production’: ULSTER AMERICAN – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

David Ireland’s play Ulster American, about a Hollywood actor arriving in Britain to play the lead in a play by an Ulster Protestant writer, is a riot.

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

‘A low-key but important monologue’: DUPED – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

DUPed is a low-key but important monologue, fascinating in itself but something that also feels like the notes for something bigger to come.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

‘Performed musically & dramatically with great conviction’: PREHISTORIC – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

Prehistoric is an impressive drama, which delivers a forgotten history as part of a compelling account of growing up, physically, culturally and politically.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

‘Effortlessly recreates the ’80s Scottish school experience’: SQUARE GO – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

Writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair have strong Edinburgh records, and they join together at Summerhall for a play which generates serious late night energy.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

‘Both experimental & emotionally powerful’: HOW TO KEEP TIME: A DRUM SOLO FOR DEMENTIA – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

Antosh Wojcik is a poet and a drummer, an unusual but logical combination. In his one-man Summerhall show, he brings his skills to a performance that is highly distinctive – both experimen…

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

‘Energy & commitment’: THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK & CRACK – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

Ed Edwards’ new play The Political History of Smack & Crack takes the hopeless territory of addiction, a never-ending round of petty crime, near death, recovery and decline, and place…

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Monday, August 13, 2018

‘It asks troubling & important questions’: £¥€$ (Lies) – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Ontroerend Goed may be based in Belgium, but their varied and inventive work is an invaluable part of the British theatre scene. Their show £¥€$ (Lies), a hit at last year’s Edinburgh …

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

‘A play that is much more than a curiosity’: EXIT THE KING – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

The National Theatre brings a fascinating cast to Exit the King, the story of King Berenger, who has lived and ruled for 400 years. He is played by Rhys Ifans, a wild and unruly actor who is…

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

‘A perfect historical moment for reexamination’: QUEENS OF THE COAL AGE – Manchester by Tom Bolton

Playing at her spiritual home, the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, Maxine Peake’s play about women and the mines is both a political corrective and a highly entertaining night out.

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Monday, July 16, 2018

‘An exceptional ability to hold an audience in the palm of her hand’: PIGSPURT’S DAUGHTER – Touring by Tom Bolton

Already a writer and theatre-maker of note, Daisycampbell’s one-woman show about her father Ken confirms her as touched by inherited genius, but with her own, exceptional ability to hold a…

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Friday, July 6, 2018

‘Compelling, urgent & humane theatre’: BOXMAN – Blue Elephant Theatre by Tom Bolton

Boxman is compelling, urgent and humane theatre about the trauma and terror hidden in plain sight on our streets. It is also an exceptionally high-quality piece, from a confident creative te…

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘Louise Coulthard is a serious talent’: COCKAMAMY – Hope Theatre by Tom Bolton

Louise Coulthard’s writing is of a very high quality, and a play that could have been worthy or predictable in different hands is moving, complex and real. Cockamany is a true delight, and…

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

‘Excellent production that gives the writing the respect it deserves’: MACHINAL – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

An entirely contemporary play, Machinal presents themes that are as current on the stage now as they were in Treadwell’s time. The Almeida’s excellent production should do a great deal t…

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

‘Intriguing collaboration between women’: SPIKED – Pleasance Theatre by Tom Bolton

Spiked is an intriguing collaboration between women, with all-female cast and creatives, but lacks the subtlety or the focus to deliver the impact it clearly intends.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

‘An effortlessly entertaining piece about the social issues of our time’: MISTY – Bush Theatre by Tom Bolton

Arinzé Kene is an exceptional performer, who clearly has the makings of a star. If he can make such an ambitious, complex and individual show work, it will be fascinating to see what he doe…

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

‘Staging adds fascinating levels of meaning’: OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD – Touring by Tom Bolton

As a progressive company, Ramps on the Moon is leading the way by showing what inclusive theatre looks like. It is encouraging that this fundamental innovation is coming from regional UK the…

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

‘Free from the complications of its set, the play rolls more smoothly’: MACBETH – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

There is much to like and enjoy about this production of Macbeth, including inventive performances and strong ideas. However, Rufus Norris should probably play to his strengths as a director…

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

‘Something of a stage landmark’: NOT I – Battersea ArtS Centre by Tom Bolton

In adding herself to the short list of actors who’ve tackled Not I, Jess Thom has made a powerful statement, one which challenges conceptions of what theatre is, and what it can do.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

‘An affirmation of alternative culture a generation on’: JUBILEE – Lyric Hammersmith by Tom Bolton

Jubilee is an uneven experience by its nature, but the success of the evening can be judged in the reaction of the audience. It was made for them, and they love it.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

‘Fails to deliver fresh insight’: THE FERRYMAN – West End by Tom Bolton

The Ferryman feels like a play from a different time rather than the future of British, or Irish, theatre.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

‘A playwright who is changing expectations of theatre’: JOHN – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

The title of Annie Baker’s new play, John, is the epitome of the ordinary but turns out to be quite the opposite. The piece is essential to understanding the excitement new writing can gen…

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

‘Physical skills need room to breathe’: ARNIKA – Bridewell Theatre by Tom Bolton

Arnika at the Bridewell Theatre offers a cultural bridge to the perspectives and performing styles of a European theatre we are in danger of forgetting, along with much else. Théâtre Voli…

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

‘Still gripping & audacious’: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY – West End by Tom Bolton

Ian Rickson’s excellent production at the Harold Pinter Theatre demonstrates, without a shadow of a doubt, why The Birthday Party deserves its classic status.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

‘Feels like the future of circus’: BECOMING SHADES – Vault Festival #Vault2018 by Tom Bolton

After Chivaree Circus’ No Show last year which highlighted the frustrations of female circus artists, the presence of such skilled performers in Becoming Shades at the VAULT Festival, a pi…

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

‘Hilarious & touchingly personal’: KEN – Bunker Theatre by Tom Bolton

What makes KEN really work is the feeling that we have been granted a genuine glimpse of the real Ken Campbell, a rare insight into why he mattered. Johnson’s play at The Bunker does not j…

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Monday, January 15, 2018

‘It is hard to imagine a better fringe staging’ – EAST – King’s Head Theatre by Tom Bolton

Jessica Lazar’s production of East is imaginatively directed, satisfyingly choreographed and acted with commitment by a talented cast within the tight boundaries of the King’s Head Theat…

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

THE BOX OF DELIGHTS – Wilton’s by Tom Bolton

Wilton’s is perhaps the most atmospheric theatre in the country, a miraculously preserved jewel box of a space, fringed with flaked plaster and precariously supported on barley sugar colum…

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

‘Clever & classy’: THE TWILIGHT ZONE – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

The action is tightly choreographed, with the nine-strong cast playing multiple characters in a black and white world, wearing black and white costumes and performing in black box speckled w…

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

‘Intensely watchable’: TITUS ANDRONICUS – Barbican Theatre (RSC) by Tom Bolton

Blanche McIntyre’s production features a fine performance from David Troughton in the title role. His performance as Titus, intensely watchable, is wracked with grief and both real and sta…

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

ALBION – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Albion has strong writing, intriguing characters and one barn-storming lead role. However, it is also flabby, predictable and clichéd so, despite its various strengths, it amounts to a frus…

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