All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Whispers to thunderstorms: the world of sound designer Max Pappenheim by Arifa Akbar

After embarking accidentally on his career, Pappenheim has created innovative soundscapes for theatre, opera and radio Max Pappenheim’s journey into sound design comprises a series of happ…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:54AM
Monday, April 19, 2021

The Motherhood Project review – difficult choices, disparate voices by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThis set of 15 monologues – from writers including Lemn Sissay, Jodi Gray and Juno Dawson – is heartfelt but feels underpowered In one of the 15 monologues here, Juno Daw…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:48PM
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Graham Greene’s showdown with Soviet spy Kim Philby: A Splinter of Ice review by Arifa Akbar

Available online A meeting between the writer and the double agent, once colleagues at MI6, is strong on friendship and betrayal – but takes us no closer to the heart of either man In Febr…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:18PM
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘The heat is on’: top theatres act to root out ‘system failure’ of racism by Arifa Akbar

The Young Vic and Royal Court are rethinking their work practices to unpick centuries of ingrained attitudes – and achieve ‘the miracle of equality’ The Young Vic and Royal Court theat…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06PM
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Drama about Flint water crisis takes major theatre award by Arifa Akbar

US activist and dramatist Erika Dickerson-Despenza wins Susan Smith Blackburn prize with the play cullud wattah A “bold and urgent” play about the Flint water crisis, seen through the ey…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42PM
Sunday, April 4, 2021

Romeo and Juliet review – National Theatre's first film is an ingenious triumph by Arifa Akbar

Sky ArtsJosh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley captivate as the star-crossed lovers in a pacy, painterly and emotionally raw production The National Theatre’s first foray into film-making is a…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:42PM
Thursday, April 1, 2021

'We had a three-hour window to get intimate!' Romeo and Juliet at the National by Arifa Akbar

After the pandemic nixed a stage run of Shakespeare’s tragedy, the theatre launched an ambitious film version starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor Just over a year ago, Simon Godwin…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:32AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Jessica Hung Han Yun: a designer tripping the light fantastic by Arifa Akbar

The bright mind who lit up Blindness at the Donmar and the National Theatre’s panto approaches each job like a mystery After Jessica Hung Han Yun’s first professional gig as a lighting d…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:24AM
Friday, March 26, 2021

Inside review – trio of anxious lockdown studies by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineDeborah Bruce’s grief-stricken monologue Guidesky and I is the pick of the Orange Tree theatre’s introspective bunch Inside comprises three short studies of what it means…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:48AM

Talawa theatre company: 'It's time to double down on Black Lives Matter pledges' by Arifa Akbar

The minds behind Britain’s oldest black theatre group discuss pulling out of Birmingham Rep when it became a Nightingale court – and their plans to conquer the West End Britain’s oldes…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Angela review – Mark Ravenhill's tale of dance and dementia by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe playwright takes us inside the mind of his late mother in a poignant audio play that dramatises her shifting sense of self Anyone who has observed dementia at close quart…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Monday, March 22, 2021

'I got a job on a fishing trawler' – Covid: one year on, stars of music and theatre look back by Dave Simpson , Imogen Tilden, Arifa Akbar, Lyndsey Winship and Brian Logan

In the second of our two-parter, rock stars, roadies, actors, dancers, composers and comics describe how their lives have been transformed without live shows – and imagine what now lies ah…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:12PM
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Adventurous review – Zoom dating drama is warmly witty by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIan Hallard’s entertaining romance is full of conversational crossed wires and social awkwardness A pandemic drama that centres on two people in a Zoom conversation is a ri…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:32PM

'My body was screaming of motherhood': readings shine light on dark period of Irish history by Arifa Akbar

Home, presented by the Abbey theatre, shines a light on decades of abuse of unmarried women and children in Ireland Ireland’s Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, which …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:06PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The RSC's hi-tech Dream opens up a world of theatrical possibility by Arifa Akbar

This online experiment uses live motion capture to bring the fairies and sprites of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to vivid life The opening moments of Dream contain all the enticements of an a…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:06PM

Rosalind Eleazar: a star devoted to the exhilarating thrill of theatre by Arifa Akbar

After drama school, the actor feared she’d made a terrible mistake until she had a run of acclaimed roles on stage, TV and in the hit film version of David Copperfield Rosalind Eleazar rem…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54AM
Monday, March 15, 2021

The Picture of Dorian Gray review – the ugly face of social media by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineEternal youth and beauty exist only online in this thoroughly modern adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s fable, which counts Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley among its impressive cast…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12PM

'Solidarity in Europe': Maria Aberg's international theatre company looks ahead by Arifa Akbar

The acclaimed Swedish director’s Projekt Europa will have a UK residency in Kent and collaborate with migrant theatre-makers Maria Aberg was having one of the busiest times of her 20-year …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06AM
Friday, March 12, 2021

Yellow review – a gripping epic about fascism in Belgium by Arifa Akbar

Available onlinePart two in NTGent’s Sorrows of Belgium trilogy is a visually arresting account of the rise of the Rex party and the horror of the second world war Director Luk Perceval’…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:06PM
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! review – Meghan inspires explosive drama by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIn Steppenwolf theatre company’s creepy satire on palace life, two women have an intense teatime meeting It is tempting to assume that an American drama about black women c…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:12PM
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Christopher Boy’s Communion review – Mamet's warped drama of motherhood and murder by Arifa Akbar

BBC Radio 4David Mamet’s new play, adapted as an audio drama, follows an indomitable Manhattanite willing to sacrifice everything to save her murderer son It is peculiarly low-key for a p…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:03PM
Monday, March 8, 2021

Tickets and towels, please! This is theatre for your bath by Arifa Akbar

Thirst Trap and Swimming Home are two new audio productions which audiences listen to while submerged – but don’t expect a relaxing soak Two new immersive audio shows involve running a w…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:32PM
Friday, March 5, 2021

The Great Gatsby review – two-woman show is a cocktail of stage wizardry by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineScenery, sounds, light and casting are treated with endless invention in this charmingly low-key take on Fitzgerald’s classic Stage and screen adaptations of The Great Gats…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels review – moreish frenemies drama by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineAs two women compete for the attentions of a middle-aged man, Athena Stevens’ production explores abuse and complicity Everything about Late Night Staring at High Res Pixel…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:24PM

Building a brilliant theatre career: designer Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey by Arifa Akbar

After cutting her teeth on carnival parades and the Olympics opening ceremony, the bright designer collaborated on dazzling creations for major London stages Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey’s car…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:24AM
Monday, March 1, 2021

On the scene, like a sex-obsessed machine: when a robot writes a play by Arifa Akbar

In a drama written by artificial intelligence, the computer’s imagination touches on themes of love and loneliness – but is mostly obsessed with sex Kazuo Ishiguro, whose new novel Klara…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Redemption Room review – fear is the winner in scary celebrity gameshow by Arifa Akbar

Available online Disgraced stars must plead for the audience’s forgiveness – or suffer a nasty fate – in a show that prizes horror over interaction, yet delivers a satisfying adrenalin…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:36AM
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Typical review – Richard Blackwood is mesmerising in poetic tragedy by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThis superb play draws on the final hours of Christopher Alder, who died in police custody in Hull in 1998 Christopher Alder’s last moments, in April 1998, were unforgivab…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:33AM
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure review – it's so fun who cares whodunnit? by Arifa Akbar

Available online It’s a ball playing sleuth – with Dr Watson’s help – even if you don’t identify the killer in this interactive show This interactive sleuthing show has the punning…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:32PM
Sunday, February 21, 2021

‘You can smell the sweat and hair gel’: the best nightclub scenes from culture by Peter Bradshaw, Claire Armitstead, Keza Macdonald, Simran Hans, Ammar Kalia, Lanre Bakare, Lyndsey Winship, Alexis Petridis, Arifa Akbar, Aniefiok Ekpoudom and Jonathan Jones. Artist Interviews By Ben Beaumont-Thomas

Writers and artists including Róisín Murphy, Tiffany Calver and Sigala on the art that transports them to the dancefloor during lockdown There have been many notable nightclubs in film his…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:03PM
Friday, February 19, 2021

Hymn review – thoughtful black bromance shuns convention by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineDanny Sapani and Adrian Lester strike up true chemistry in a poignant friendship drama that wears its racial context lightly Danny Sapani describes this play about an oddbal…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:18PM

All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre