All stories by Aliya Al-Hassan on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

BWW Review: BLOOD KNOT, Orange Tree Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Family ties are complicated things. Those we are connected to through blood are often those we love the most, but who we can also treat the most poorly. Athol Fugard's visceral 1961 play, Bl…

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

BWW Review: MACBETH, Hackney Empire by Aliya Al-Hassan

There is something very noble about the mission of English Touring Opera to bring the art form to parts of the country that would normally never see it. They often bravely overlook the popul…

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

BWW Review: THE MERRY WIDOW, London Coliseum by Aliya Al-Hassan

A comic operetta is a difficult thing to pull off, but the ENO has good form with the genre, having had great success with an irreverent version of Iolanthe last year. This year, they turn t…

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Experience by Aliya Al-Hassan

The Phantom of the Opera was how Aliya fell in love with theatre, but then she fell out of love with the show.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

BWW Review: ART, Richmond Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

In 1998, French playwright Yasmina Reza was slightly bemused to win an Olivier Award for Best Comedy with her play ART. Her intention was to write a biting satire, tinged with tragedy, but B…

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

BWW Review: MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD, Richmond Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Written in 1985 and first performed in 1987, Charlotte Keatley's sensitive drama My Mother Said I Never Shouldis a warm and understated show about the complex relationships between mothers a…

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

BWW Review: ROCK OF AGES, New Wimbledon Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Taking us back to a world of hideous stonewashed denim, huge hair and even bigger rock anthems, Rock of Agesis on a new national tour. The jukebox musical has been doing the rounds since it …

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

BWW Review: TRIAL BY LAUGHTER, Richmond Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

As Editor and Lead Cartoonist of Private Eye, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman are certainly not immune to the issue of libel. In Trial By Laughter they expand what was a Radio 4 afternoon drama t…

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Monday, February 18, 2019

BWW Review: MACBETH, Orange Tree Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

School is where most of us are introduced to William Shakespeare and the nature of this introduction will often impact on how much we love or loath The Bard in later life.In their series Sha…

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

BWW Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, New Wimbledon Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Theatre audiences are certainly less easy to shock these days than they were back in 1973 when Richard O'Brien's outrageous musical The Rocky Horror Showfirst debuted at the Royal Court. The…

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Monday, February 11, 2019

BWW Review: CHITA RIVERA, Cadogan Hall by Aliya Al-Hassan

At 86, Chita Rivera could easily justify putting her feet up a little. She first performed in London back in 1958 in the iconic role of Anita in West Side Story and has never stopped since. …

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

BWW Review: BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY VOICE, Trafalgar Studios by Aliya Al-Hassan

Inspired by the music and the political activism of the legendary Nina Simone, Black Is The Color Of My Voiceis the tiny gem of a show, written by singer and writer Apphia Campbell. The prod…

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

BWW Review: AVENUE Q, New Wimbledon Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Avenue Qis an interesting show to describe to those who have never seen it. Naive graduate Princeton comes to New York with big dreams and little money to match. When he moves to Avenue Q he…

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

BWW Review: COUGAR, Orange Tree Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Possession, power and control, with climate change thrown in. Cougaris a new play by Rose Lewenstein which is essentially a series of 80 snapshots into the lifespan of a dysfunctional relati…

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

BWW Review: NOTRE DAME DE PARIS, London Coliseum by Aliya Al-Hassan

It is difficult to overestimate how popular Notre Dame de Paris is in France, leaving audiences in raptures for twenty years. However, the critics were not kind when it was last performed in…

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Friday, January 18, 2019

BWW Review: MANON, London Coliseum by Aliya Al-Hassan

Manonis not a ballet for the MeToo era. The story follows Manon as she falls in love with Des Grieux, a poor student. She is, essentially, pimped out by her brother to become the mistress of…

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

BWW Review: TOTEM, Royal Albert Hall by Aliya Al-Hassan

It is easy to be wowed by Cirque du Soleil the acts themselves are often utterly thrilling and defy any expectations of human strength, dexterity and flexibility. With TOTEM, returning to th…

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

BWW Review: COMING CLEAN, Trafalgar Studios by Aliya Al-Hassan

Playwright Kevin Elyot is best known for his brilliant AIDS-era play My Night With Reg, but after being revived at Islington's King's Head Theatre, his debut play Coming Cleanhas now transfe…

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Friday, January 4, 2019

BWW Review: SWAN LAKE, London Coliseum by Aliya Al-Hassan

After a rather pedestrian version of Tchiakovsky's iconic Swan Lake by the St Petersburg Ballet at London's Coliseum in the summer, ballet fans are eager for a more immersive and emotionally…

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

BWW Review: THE NUTCRACKER, Royal Albert Hall by Aliya Al-Hassan

London is already blessed with two outstanding productions of the Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. Birmingham Royal Ballet now also presents Peter Wright's beautiful version in the challengi…

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Friday, December 21, 2018

BWW Review: CIRCUS 1903, Southbank Centre by Aliya Al-Hassan

With extraordinary feats of bravery, strength and skill, the appeal of old-fashioned circus is not hard to understand. Performing a show that is the essence of traditional circus entertainme…

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

BWW Review: HANSEL & GRETEL, Rose Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

The perfect family show at Christmas is a big ask for theatres. The pressure is on to cater for the biggest range of audiences they see all year. They expect fun, jokes, a good story, great …

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2018 Year in Review: Aliya Al-Hassan's Best of Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

What a bizarre year 2018 has been. In the months that saw too much Trump, devastating Californian wildfires, an escalation in the refugee crisis, not to mention the dreaded 'B' word, it make…

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Friday, December 14, 2018

BWW Review: NUTCRACKER, London Coliseum by Aliya Al-Hassan

London is lucky enough to have three different productions of Nutcrackerplaying this year. With fabulous reviews for The Royal Ballet's immaculate version already in and anticipation for the…

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BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Arts Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Was there ever an actor more suited to perform a one-man show than Simon Callow Add in the evocative and mellifluous writings of Dickens at Christmas time and you have the recipe for a show …

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BWW Review: PETER PAN, Richmond Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Alexander Pope's poignant quote 'To wake the soul with the gentle strokes of art' hangs above the stage of the beautiful Richmond Theatre to remind us of the potent power of art and theatre.…

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

BWW Review: THE DOUBLE DEALER, Orange Tree Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

William Congreve's rarely performed Restoration comedy, The Double Dealer, is an interesting choice to be revived at Richmond's Orange Tree theatre and, for some, will be a welcome relief to…

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Old Vic by Aliya Al-Hassan

If you are struggling to get into the festive spirit this year, a visit to London's Old Vic theatre is highly recommended. After the roaring success of Jack Thorne's charming adaptation of C…

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

BWW Review: LA BOHEME, London Coliseum by Aliya Al-Hassan

The best versions of La boheme are simple enough to let the genius of Puccini's opera shine, rather than distracting the audience with quirky updates and subliminal messages. The ENO's decis…

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

BWW Review: DIRTY DANCING, New Wimbledon Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

As one of the most famous coming-of-age films, the story of Dirty Dancing is loved by many. The 2004 stage shownowcomes to the New Wimbledon Theatrein an energetic but occasionally awkward r…

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

BWW Review: DON CARLOS, Rose Theatre by Aliya Al-Hassan

Back in 2005, Friedrich Schiller's 18th century offering Don Carlos won rapturous reviews when it transferred to the Gieldgud from Sheffield's Crucible. Now revived by the newly formed Ara t…

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