All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Monday, November 18, 2019

Stray Dogs review – Russian poet's struggle against Stalin by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonAnna Akhmatova is forced to choose between artistic integrity and saving her son in Olivia Olsen’s play In 1935, Anna Akhmatova began writing Requiem in Soviet Russia. …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Friday, November 8, 2019

Shook review – young offenders take forlorn lessons in fatherhood by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonSamuel Bailey’s moving play is carried along by its characters’ wisecracking – and reveals the anguish hidden underneath The bored young men in Shook yearn t…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:06AM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

'I needed a new home': how Debris Stevenson left Mormonism for grime by Arifa Akbar

Her musical Poet in da Corner brought raving to the Royal Court. Now the writer and performer is exploring first love. She talks Mormonism, trauma and teen dreams Debris Stevenson’s first …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:48PM
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Frankenstein review – Shelley's story malfunctions under weight of new ideas by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonVR headsets and a gender switch give National Youth Theatre’s exuberant production a modern twist, but the storytelling feels gimmicky ‘The human era is coming…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:33AM
Thursday, October 31, 2019

God’s Dice review – Baddiel drama has science, spirituality but no spark by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonIn his debut play, starring Alan Davies, David Baddiel gambles on a mash-up of physics and midlife crisis Alan Davies emerges on stage to address the room, or so it seems…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:03PM
Monday, October 28, 2019

Sex tapes and acid attacks: Anupama Chandrasekhar, the playwright shocking India by Arifa Akbar

Her dramas confront the growing horrors facing women in India today. Now she’s reworked Ibsen’s Ghosts, taking out the syphilis and putting in the Delhi bus gang rape of 2012 Anupama Cha…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:24PM
Sunday, October 27, 2019

Botticelli in the Fire review – audacious Renaissance romp by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonThe painter resembles a drunken YBA in a flawed but timely show that veers from camp humour to political intrigue ‘This is not just a play, it’s an extravaganza,…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Ages of the Moon review – Sam Shepard bromance laughs in the face of death by Arifa Akbar

Vaults, LondonShepard picks apart the frailties of two men tormented by unspoken emotions, from marital meltdown and armchair priapism to the existential crisis of mortality The men in Sam S…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12AM
Sunday, October 20, 2019

Lungs review – Claire Foy and Matt Smith shine in climate crisis drama by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonDuncan Macmillan’s two-hander is a frenetic portrait of flawed love in a flawed world, exposing the neuroses of a modern couple who struggle to put their principles aside …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Friday, October 18, 2019

For All the Women Who Thought They Were Mad review – a great unravelling by Arifa Akbar

Hackney Showroom, LondonZawe Ashton aims high with an intricate dissection of race and gender but a smart ending can’t save this muddled show Zawe Ashton has described her play as both an …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:12AM
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Out of Sorts review – deeply tender drama about belonging by Arifa Akbar

Theatre 503, LondonDanusia Samal’s complex drama explores the double life of a young Muslim millennial heading for marriage Zara is a British-Arab millennial who feels the strain of her do…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:36PM
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hottest ticket in town: the mega sauna hosting a Euro theatre contest by Arifa Akbar

A drama competition for 200 naked people in a giant sauna? Our writer gets a sweaty taste of ‘aufgass’ in the Netherlands I am standing behind a partition rope, waiting for the theatre t…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Monday, October 7, 2019

Shuck ‘n’ Jive review – racism still has a lead role in the audition room by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThis fearless production uses intelligent humour to expose racial typecasting in the entertainment industry How diverse is theatre? Are there more roles for BAME actors …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM

Frankenstein review – monster-maker overeggs the horror by Arifa Akbar

Belgrade theatre, CoventryPlacing Mary Shelley alongside the characters she created undermines the extraordinary power of her classic story The real-life tale behind the creation of Frankens…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:06AM
Friday, September 27, 2019

The Night Watch review – Sarah Waters' sorrowful story speaks to the pain of war by Arifa Akbar

Yvonne Arnaud theatre, Guildford Set during and after the blitz, the lives of five characters and the scars left behind are movingly explored Sarah Waters writes historical novels that seem …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:06AM
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Blood Wedding review – bold and beautiful tale of doom by Arifa Akbar

Young Vic, LondonYaël Farber’s visceral production, relocating the action to rural Ireland, retains all the potency of Lorca’s play about tribal vengeance How to stage Lorca’s Blood W…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Mother of Him review – unflinching crime drama with Tracy Ann Oberman by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonOberman stars as the mother of a teenage rapist in this revival of Evan Placey’s rich exploration of family conflict Matthew Kapowitz is a Canadian teenager under house…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:42AM
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Amsterdam review – actors squabble over story of Nazi occupation by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree, LondonMaya Arad Yasur’s complex play about the consequences of war is obscured by a series of comic games Amsterdam is billed as an “audacious thriller” and the mystery at…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:24PM
Friday, September 6, 2019

Anahera review – deft satire of class, race and family values by Arifa Akbar

Finborough, LondonAfter a boy runs away, a Maori social worker is sent to investigate the parents in Emma Kinane’s engaging if overlong New Zealand drama A young Maori social worker is sen…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Theatre and #MeToo: 'There's a new anger in women's stories' by Arifa Akbar

The Weinstein scandal has inspired several new plays ranging from sharp satire to crass comedy. As the mogul heads to trial, we gauge theatre’s response Katie Arnstein tells a story of a d…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54AM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Evita review – Argentina's queen of hearts as a high-school mean girl by Arifa Akbar

Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, LondonAndrew Lloyd Webber’s epic gets a rock-concert revival that features pom-poms and twerking but lacks central chemistry It is no surprise that Evita …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:42AM
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Shackleton's Carpenter review – forgotten hero tells his own tale by Arifa Akbar

Jermyn Street theatre, LondonMalcolm Rennie is stunning as Harry McNish, a carpenter on Shackleton’s ill-fated voyage, whose key part in the famous story has been overlooked The lights go …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:36PM
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Uncle Vanya review – Rupert Everett is flamboyant in Hare's comic Chekhov by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal, BathA dark, growly Everett pushes the humour in David Hare’s absurdist adaptation of the classic drama of mid-life malaise Last year, Rupert Everett gave a heart-wrenching p…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:03AM

Rupert Everett: 'I'd have done anything to be a Hollywood star' by Arifa Akbar

He lit up the screen in the 80s – but things did not go as planned. As he takes on Chekhov, Everett speaks about stardom, midlife crises and penis padding Rupert Everett is directing his f…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:36AM
Sunday, July 28, 2019

Peter Pan review – dark mischief and a wicked Tinkerbell steal the show by Arifa Akbar

Troubadour White City theatre, LondonSally Cookson’s stunning production brims with naughtiness, bloodlust and menace – recalling JM Barrie’s original intentions for the story Peter Pa…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:03AM
Friday, July 26, 2019

Malory Towers review – Emma Rice takes Blyton to the top of the class by Arifa Akbar

The Passenger Shed, BristolWith a diverse cast bringing an affectionate subversiveness to Enid Blyton’s postwar school tales, Rice’s musical is huge fun and surprisingly contemporary Emm…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:54AM
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Our Church review – quietly powerful parish abuse reckoning by Arifa Akbar

Watermill, NewburyMarietta Kirkbride’s play about a village torn over forgiving a sex offender convincingly channels older voices The #MeToo movement has inspired a number of plays giving…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:36PM
Friday, July 12, 2019

Lunatic 19s: A Deportational Road Trip – powerful US immigration drama by Arifa Akbar

Finborough, LondonGabriela Garcia and Devon Anderson shine as a prisoner and her guard in a story where the lines are blurred Tegan McLeod’s drama about American citizenship, illegal immi…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:32AM
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner review – social media storm lit up by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonJasmine Lee-Jones’s play follows an online battle about the Instagram star and tackles racism, misogyny and colourism The lights are still dead when this play opens. A w…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24AM
Monday, July 8, 2019

Whitewash review – mother and son on the frontline of racial tension by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonA young man plans to privatise the estate where he grew up in Gabriel Bisset-Smith’s quick-witted drama about identity and belonging Mary is mixed-race; her son Lysande…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Grey review – the racial politics of mental health by Arifa Akbar

Ovalhouse, LondonThe second instalment of Koko Brown’s colour trilogy is a darkly humorous piece about depression White, the first part of Koko Brown’s “colour” trilogy, was about gr…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03PM

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