All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Ravenscourt review – NHS drama zings with grim humour by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonGeorgina Burns’ debut play about an overburdened counselling unit presents perceptive insights and no easy answers A therapist at an NHS counselling unit jokes dar…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:43AM
Monday, October 3, 2022

Scene Unseen review – cabaret song cycle seems both too short and too long by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineWriter Jessica Walker sings strongly but this tale of family dysfunction and abuse doesn’t hang together It is reassuring to see online shows being made beyond pandemic nec…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:37PM
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Iphigenia in Splott review – a shattering modern classic that distils all our troubles by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonGary Owen’s magnificent one-woman monologue brings Greek tragedy to Cardiff and reveals the terrible emotional costs of our societal shortfalls This monologue was…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:19AM
Friday, September 30, 2022

John Gabriel Borkman review – Simon Russell Beale stunning as the shamed alpha-male banker by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonTurning to a lesser-staged work by Ibsen might seem risky, but Nicholas Hytner’s production is held together by some powerhouse performances Reviving a lesser-staged …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:13PM
Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Crucible review – stylish restaging is all beauty and no bite by Arifa Akbar

National Theatre, LondonDirector Lyndsey Turner misses the opportunity to give Arthur Miller’s allegory modern resonance with a too-faithful interpretation Arthur Miller’s play used the …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:43AM
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Jews. In Their Own Words review – appalling revelations in a gallop through centuries of bigotry by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, London Jonathan Freedland has turned 180,000 words drawn from interviews into a potent verbatim play about antisemitism and the blindspots of liberal institutions. The results f…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:43PM
Monday, September 26, 2022

Gilly Gilly review – Cush Jumbo’s searing play about abuse let down by mundane details by Arifa Akbar

Audible Originals Delivered with rage, as a woman reckoning with her past, this audio drama written and performed by Jumbo takes too long to get to the point, stalling in domesticity Cush Ju…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:37AM

Mrs Wickham review – Austen spinoff sees despairing Lydia ‘banished’ to the north by Arifa Akbar

Audible Originals What happened next to headstrong Lydia Bennet, the most rock’n’roll of the Pride and Prejudice sisters? This intriguing take by Sarah Page reunites Jessie Buckley and J…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:25AM
Sunday, September 25, 2022

Eureka Day review – Helen Hunt is an anti-vaxxer on the attack in anti-woke satire by Arifa Akbar

The Old Vic, LondonWhat begins as a broad takedown of the liberal left morphs into an engrossing and textured debate on social justice, vaccination and the pull of conspiracy theory Eureka D…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:25AM
Friday, September 23, 2022

The Wonderful World of Dissocia review – whimsical and brutal by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Stratford East, London At first, Anthony Neilson’s play is a bewildering affair, but its sombre aftermath imparts understanding with crushing effect Anthony Neilson’s 2004 …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:25AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Mama, just killed a samurai! How Japan used Queen to liven up Romeo and Juliet by Arifa Akbar

How do you give the star-cross’d lovers a lift? Drop them in 12th-century Japan and add a classic Queen album. As it opens in Britain, A Night at the Kabuki sends shivers down our writer…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:37PM

Love All review – Dorothy L Sayers’s battle-of-the-sexes comedy lacks bite by Arifa Akbar

Jermyn Street theatre, LondonA bestselling romance writer leaves his wife for a glamorous new partner in this 1940 play whose gender politics feel toothless now Dorothy L Sayers is not prima…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:37PM

The Apology review – powerful tale of wartime ‘comfort women’ by Arifa Akbar

Arcola, LondonKyo Choi’s shocking and intelligent play tells the story of a Korean woman who was forced into military sex slavery for Japanese troops at the age of 16 The Apology dramatise…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:13AM
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

‘Childhood holidays everyone wishes they had’: the Famous Five return in a musical by Arifa Akbar

Enid Blyton’s adventurers roam the stage in a new show that considers the climate crisis, gender identity and the impact of the pandemic on children Anyone who has grown up reading The Fam…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:43AM
Friday, September 16, 2022

The P Word review – an irresistible romance and so much more by Arifa Akbar

Bush theatre, LondonWaleed Akhtar’s bewitching love story between a gym bunny and an asylum seeker raises urgent issues The P Word is a love story with shades of When Harry Met Sally: it h…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:13AM
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Handbagged review – sparks fly at the Queen’s audiences with the Iron Lady by Arifa Akbar

Kiln theatre, LondonMoira Buffini’s clever political comedy returns, educating a new generation on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy through her weekly encounters with the monarch It is unnervi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:55PM

The Snail House review – Richard Eyre’s debut play takes on too much by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonThe venerable director’s drama about a doctor’s splintering family broaches huge issues but never makes a unified whole The pandemic has brought out the budding …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:33AM
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Clinic review – culture wars erupt at a birthday party by Arifa Akbar

Almeida, LondonA family fight about politics, policing and race in Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s play but the ominous early signs lead nowhere The Clinic starts off with a satirical set piece as a Bl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:07AM
Sunday, September 11, 2022

Antigone review – a poetic tragedy about modern British Muslim life by Arifa Akbar

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, LondonInua Ellams updates the Sophoclean drama into a beguiling piece about faith and prejudice, and casts a suspicious eye at politicians who betray their …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:03AM
Friday, September 9, 2022

Who Killed My Father review – powerful study of class, cruelty and kin by Arifa Akbar

Young Vic, LondonHans Kesting is spellbinding as an anguished man facing up to his abusive father in Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of the book by Édouard Louis A one-minute silence marking th…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:37AM
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Playtime review – quirky gags and mimed mayhem as Tati comedy takes the stage by Arifa Akbar

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonThis adaptation of the classic 1967 film is packed with fun despite losing its way in the second half Attempting to adapt Jacques Tati’s 1967 masterpiece i…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:55AM
Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Silence review – a potent and poetic telling of the partition of India by Arifa Akbar

Donmar Warehouse, LondonThe stage adaptation of Kavita Puri’s extraordinary oral history project is at times superficial and blunt but also deeply moving Few English-language writers have …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:13PM
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Ride review – jaunty new musical takes cyclist’s feat for a spin by Arifa Akbar

Charing Cross theatre, London This soulful celebration of adventurer Annie Londonderry takes time to get into gear, but newcomer Liv Andrusier gives a superb performance Annie Cohen Kopchovs…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:03AM
Thursday, September 1, 2022

The best theatre to stream this month: Beckett batting, Henry VI and a South African dance-off by Arifa Akbar

Our roundup of drama to watch at home includes an intelligent political drama, a reimagined As You like It and a play about Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter’s passion for cricket The Made …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:49AM
Sunday, August 28, 2022

Follow the Signs review – an exuberant exploration of the life of a young Black Deaf man by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonChris Fonseca signs and dances his early life story with a guileless charm, drawing on rap, immersive sound and comedy to lighten the darker moments The music is blasting…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:55AM
Friday, August 26, 2022

All’s Well That Ends Well review – problem play gets a tasty Gen Z makeover by Arifa Akbar

Royal Shakespeare theatre, Stratford upon AvonRosie Sheehy dazzles as a woman calling the shots in this feverish production that underlines the play’s curious ambiguities This problem play…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:42AM
Thursday, August 25, 2022

Into the Woods review – Terry Gilliam’s rollicking take on Sondheim’s ‘fairytale collision’ by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal BathThe ex-Python’s production is visually enticing, playful and dreamlike but doesn’t quite reach the mournful depths of parental anxiety that run through the story What m…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:49PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Blues, Jews and Ukrainian ballet: the best theatre, dance and comedy of autumn 2022 by Arifa Akbar, Lyndsey Winship and Brian Logan

Samira Wiley makes her UK stage debut, there’s an urgent counter to antisemitism, plus a fourth King James, refugee dancers and comedic returns Continue reading...

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:33AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Gunpowder Plot goes grime – Treason the Musical in Concert review by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, LondonThis absorbing take on Guy Fawkes’s plan to blow up parliament has striking resonances to today’s world, as well as a starry cast knocking out sensational…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:18AM
Sunday, August 21, 2022

Diva: Live from Hell! review – killer humour and murderous teen rivalry by Arifa Akbar

Turbine theatre, LondonLuke Bayer single-handedly plays a classroom of feuding high school drama students in this unmissable take on All About Eve A musical with a classroom full of feuding …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:49PM
Friday, August 19, 2022

Brawn review – a half-formed play about toxic male self-image by Arifa Akbar

King’s Head theatre, LondonChristopher Wollaton impresses in a one-man show about body dysmorphia but his script suffers from a lack of proper plot “What we are showing here is important…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:48PM

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