All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Public Domain review – social-media musical swipes at Facebook by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineFrancesca Forristal and Jordan Paul Clarke’s show supplies sharp satire on influencer culture, but doesn’t dig into bigger issues A computer cursor clicks on the instruc…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:12PM
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

UK report reveals 'disgraceful' gender inequality in the arts by Arifa Akbar

Research exposes sustained levels of gender imbalance across theatre, film and TV, with fears that it will be worsened by pandemic Gender inequality across the theatre industry is of rising …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:12AM
Saturday, January 2, 2021

Jerusalem, Beckett and Bridget Christie: theatre, comedy and dance to book in 2021 by Arifa Akbar, Brian Logan and Lyndsey Winship

Modern masterpiece Jerusalem storms back and Trevor Nunn goes underground with Beckett, while Bob Marley gets a musical and Frankenstein becomes a ballet Continue reading...

Linked From The Guardian at 02:24AM
Thursday, December 24, 2020

Dick Whittington review – smut, songs and a dose of optimism by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe National Theatre’s pantomime paean to London feels a little too bright in the current climate, but its naughtier denizens – including a goth Queen Rat – shine Chris…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:03AM
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A dramatic year: the 10 best theatre shows of 2020 by Arifa Akbar

As the industry faced turmoil, there were triumphant stagings of classics by Sarah Kane, David Mamet and Alan Bennett – and bold new experiments More on the best culture of 2020 Continue …

Linked From The Guardian at 05:42AM
Friday, December 18, 2020

The Haunting of Alice Bowles review – murder at a time of plague by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThis MR James ghost story has been rethought as a suspenseful tale for the Covid era, with a standout performance from Tamzin Outhwaite This supernatural thriller is based on…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:18PM
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Haunted Woman review – the sound of fear by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineOlivia Williams voices Rafaella Marcus’s story of a woman in a house who has only bumps in the night for company There is nothing quite like a festive haunting to see us in…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03PM

'Rum Tum Tugger is the sexiest': one-man Cats show claws through film flop by Arifa Akbar

Bad films can spawn kitschy, cult devotion, as Linus Karp demonstrates in How to Live a Jellicle Life As London’s theatres prepared for tier 3 closure last night, some of us spent our las…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:36AM
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A Christmas Carol review – more humdinger than humbug by Arifa Akbar

Dominion theatre, LondonThis delightfully staged concert has West End ritz, Disney schmaltz and an East End music-hall heart On paper, a high-octane staged concert of Charles Dickens’ Chri…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:06PM
Sunday, December 13, 2020

‘I crave flesh-and-blood actors, an audience that laughs and gasps as one’: the magic of Christmas theatre by Arifa Akbar Interviews By Lyndsey Winship and Andrew Dickson

After a tough year for theatre, our chief critic celebrates the joy of the Christmas show, while five festive performers reveal how it feels to be waiting in the wings Remember your first ev…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:32AM

Oleanna review – brutal and brilliant revival of pre-#MeToo masterpiece by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal BathRosie Sheehy and Jonathan Slinger are captivating in David Mamet’s 1992 two-hander about a university student and professor in a battle of power, privilege and consent A…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:32AM
Friday, December 11, 2020

The Royal Court becomes a 'living newspaper' complete with musical headlines by Arifa Akbar

From a weather room to dating in the bar, the theatre is inviting audiences to experience ‘editions’ of a weekly paper staged in its building. Our critic gets an exclusive look From an a…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:03AM
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Nine Lessons and Carols review – fractured sketches from lockdown by Arifa Akbar

Almeida theatre, LondonDevised with the company, this is a bold but rough-hewn and perplexing production lifted by soothing music ‘This is not a corona play,” the production notes state.…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Dumb Waiter review – Pinter's enigma picks at the roots of power by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonThis revival of Harold Pinter’s two-hander about a pair of Beckettian hitmen raises questions for the age of strongman politics There is an “amusing story” abo…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48PM
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Christmas Carol review – Nicholas Hytner delivers an ode to theatre by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonSimon Russell Beale stars in an economical Dickens adaptation that reminds us of the richness of live theatre What has made this Victorian tale of child poverty, stalki…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:54PM
Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Ballad of Corona V review – promenade through the pandemic by Arifa Akbar

The Big House, LondonA mixture of surrealism and satire renders Maggie Norris’s production both unnerving and puzzling Covid-19 dramas have kept us afloat during lockdown. There have been …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48PM
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

First Women's Prize for Playwriting shared by two winners by Arifa Akbar

The award has been won by Ahlam and Amy Trigg, who beat more than 1,000 other entries, in initiative to dismantle stereotypes about women’s writing The inaugural Women’s Prize for Playwr…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:36PM
Friday, November 27, 2020

‘It’s a lot of work being black in Britain’ – Tales from the Front Line … and Other Stories review by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe experience of black frontline workers in the Covid crisis is brought to harrowing life in these plays based on interviews with a teacher and mental health worker As the C…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:48PM
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Haunting Julia review – a dad, an ex and a psychic go looking for 'Little Miss Mozart' by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineAlan Ayckbourn plays a man looking for answers about the death of his musical prodigy daughter in an audio version of his 1994 work that keeps us guessing till the end When A…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Eating Myself review – an audacious cooking lesson that serves the host for dinner by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIn an intimate and often traumatic one-woman performance, Pepa Duarte explores her hostile relationship with cravings, calorie-counting and identity, as a bean soup bubbles o…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM
Friday, November 20, 2020

'It's time for white women to listen': writers V and Aja Monet on what will replace The Vagina Monologues by Arifa Akbar

The playwright and activist formerly known as Eve Ensler changed the world with The Vagina Monologues. Her next project hopes to be just as empowering – but this time she’s listening to,…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:24PM
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Locked Down: The Scariest Show You Will Never See review by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineGet that blindfold on! Morpheus’s interactive horror is scary – but teaming up with strangers is fun We have been told to bring a blindfold and headphones for a “terrif…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:24PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Hoard: Rediscovered review – treasure tales from Sara Pascoe, Isy Suttie and more by Arifa Akbar

Available online Staffordshire’s Anglo-Saxon booty inspires a host of short plays by writers including April De Angelis and Darren Sharp A metal detectorist from the West Midlands lists hi…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:18PM
Monday, November 16, 2020

Misfits review – there's no place like Essex by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe Queen’s theatre in Hornchurch seeks to set the record straight on the county’s much maligned image with four monologues that fizz When Mike Leigh situated his social …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:54AM
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Ur Favourite Scary Movie review – welcome to your worst nightmare by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineLouise Orwin whispers monstrous imaginings into your ear in an aural interrogation of the horror genre that touches on pandemic fears ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:54PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Phoenix/The Ghost Caller reviews – spiked satire and phone spooks by Arifa Akbar

Mike Bartlett’s monologue brings us the inner life of a despotic public figure and Luke Barnes’s over-the-phone drama is profoundly creepy A powerful man has broken the rules of lockdown…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:32AM
Monday, November 9, 2020

15 Heroines: The Labyrinth review – defiant women rise up from the myths by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThese bite-sized, beautifully written short plays give a powerful voice to aggrieved heroines from Greek and Roman mythology This three-part series enters the hearts and mind…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06AM
Friday, November 6, 2020

Little Wars review – starry cast sparkle as squabbling literary legends by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineJuliet Stevenson, Linda Bassett and others bring to life a fantasy dinner party thrown as the Nazis overrun France All does not go smoothly at Steven Carl McCasland’s fanta…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:12PM
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Death of England: Delroy review – brash and brilliant theatre by Arifa Akbar

Olivier theatre, LondonMichael Balogun delivers this monologue – a sequel to Clint Dyer and Roy Williams’ Death of England – with deftly controlled energy ‘There have been other mome…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:32AM
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Here’s What She Said to Me review – evocative multi-generational Nigerian saga by Arifa Akbar

Crucible, Sheffield/onlineA three-woman cast powerfully captures the shifting fortunes of a Nigerian family down the decades, from Ibadan to Britain With a cast of three on an almost bare st…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Sarah Kane Crave Chichester festival theatre review by Arifa Akbar

Chichester Festival theatre/onlineDirector Tinuke Craig gives Sarah Kane’s one-act play an edge-of-the-seat tension as the four characters move between hope and despair Crave was the one-a…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:06PM

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