All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Croft review – a contagion story with uncanny resonance by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineMoving between three timelines of women who go against the grain, Philip Franks’s haunted-house production cranks up the tension The Croft is a haunted house story that has…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:36AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Wicker Husband review – puppets weave a feisty fable for our times by Arifa Akbar

Watermill, NewburyThis folk musical about a lonely fisherwoman looking for love boldly puts a puppet in the role of the leading man Just after many UK theatres announced indefinite closures …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:06PM
Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Seven Streams of the River Ota review – pushes boundaries of theatrical possibility by Arifa Akbar

National Theatre, LondonRobert Lepage’s dazzling epic explores human resilience in the face of global trauma with elegance and imagination An arresting image in the opening of The Seven St…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:54AM
Friday, March 13, 2020

Afterplay review – Brian Friel's Chekhovian parlour game by Arifa Akbar

Coronet theatre, London Friel’s mashup of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters is an exciting prospect, but this production lacks chemistry Afterplay initially sounds like drama of th…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Love, Love, Love review – baby boomers v generation austerity by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonMike Bartlett’s brilliant play follows a couple trying, and failing, to keep family together ‘The personal is political” started out as a feminist rallying cal…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:06AM
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coriolanus review – political powerplay that packs a punch by Arifa Akbar

Crucible, SheffieldAn arrogant elite, populist fury … Robert Hastie charts the rise and fall of Tom Bateman’s hero with a modern-day edge For all of its ruthless violence and ferocious m…

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

Shoe Lady review – Katherine Parkinson's off-kilter commuter delights by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonVicky Featherstone directs EV Crowe’s play about a working mother who loses a shoe and her grip on reality ‘I’m often frustrated by the rhythms of naturalism,” EV …

Linked From The Guardian at 12:36PM
Friday, March 6, 2020

Corpse! review – murder most tepid by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonSome nifty staging and a strong performance from Tom York as two warring brothers cannot enliven this outdated caper Gerald Moon’s 1983 comic crime caper is set in the …

Linked From The Guardian at 07:18PM
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Run Sister Run review – raw portrait of enduring love seen in reverse by Arifa Akbar

Crucible Studio theatre, SheffieldTwo sisters travel back across four decades in Chloë Morris’s gritty and unsentimental story of a pained relationship Difficult sisterhood appears to be …

Linked From The Guardian at 03:03PM

The Mikvah Project review – bathing, banter and burning desire by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree theatre, LondonJosh Azouz’s play explores the passion between two men who go to the same synagogue but it lacks tension and tenderness ‘This is a mikvah,” states a characte…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:33AM
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The recipe for realistic theatre gore? Jelly, oatmeal and raw meat by Arifa Akbar

From cat brains to dismembered tongues, the teams behind theatre’s bloodiest shows reveal how they made audiences shriek with horror and delight Bodies hacked to pieces, brains dribbling o…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:12AM
Monday, March 2, 2020

Pretty Woman: The Musical review – tasteless romcom returns with tunes by Arifa Akbar

Piccadilly theatre, London Danny Mac and Aimie Atkinson star in the schmaltzy and shallow Hollywood tale, told with a few winning songs A businessman picks up a sex worker to turn her into h…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:42PM
Friday, February 28, 2020

Women Beware Women review – excess all areas with Tara Fitzgerald by Arifa Akbar

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, LondonThomas Middleton’s play seems perfect for the #MeToo era, but this over-stylised production misses the mark Thomas Middleton’s revenge drama about patriarc…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:42PM
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

'Any attempt is perilous!' How do you adapt a novel for the stage? by Arifa Akbar

Tales by Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter and Emily Brontë are all being brought to theatres this year. Their creative teams reflect on what they cut and what they added How does a well-loved …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:12AM

The Tin Drum review – Günter Grass's spectacular study of German trauma by Arifa Akbar

Coronet theatre, LondonNico Holonics is in resoundingly offbeat form as as a stunted child in a solo show that delights in making its audience squirm ‘How shall I begin?” asks Nico Holon…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:42AM
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Prince of Egypt review – Babylon goes to Vegas but loses its stardust by Arifa Akbar

Dominion, LondonIt’s got pageantry, pyramids and dazzling dance moves, but this lavish stage adaptation drowns out the emotional drama DreamWorks’ musical animation The Prince of Egypt …

Linked From The Guardian at 07:48PM
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pass Over review – fiercely relevant and compelling by Arifa Akbar

Kiln, LondonAntoinette Nwandu’s powerful absurdist urban tragedy sees two black homeless men – cowed by the ever-present threat of police brutality – pursue their own American dream An…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Number review – Caryl Churchill's clone fable counts cost of progress by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, London Roger Allam plays a father with multiple versions of the same son in a drama that feels like an early noughties Black Mirror Caryl Churchill wrote A Number in 2002, wh…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:06PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Be More Chill review – glorious misfit musical for the age of oddballs by Arifa Akbar

The Other Palace, LondonThe soaring joys and plunging agonies of adolescence are treated with humour and heart in this refreshing arrival from Broadway ‘There’s never been a better time …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:18PM
Monday, February 17, 2020

The High Table review – coming out and coming together in tender debut by Arifa Akbar

Bush theatre, LondonInspired by Master of None, Temi Wilkey delivers a heartfelt and funny tale of love and ancestral ties in a Nigerian family ‘Being gay isn’t something black people lo…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03AM
Friday, February 14, 2020

The Visit review – Tony Kushner's plodding revenge epic falls flat by Arifa Akbar

Olivier theatre, London Lesley Manville excels as the billionaire returning to her small town but even she can’t save this bloated adaptation The Visit (or The Old Lady Comes to Call) is a…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Leopoldstadt review – Stoppard's family portrait is an elegiac epic by Arifa Akbar

Wyndham’s theatre, LondonPatrick Marber directs Tom Stoppard’s sweeping story of a Jewish family in Vienna across six decades In 2003, Tom Stoppard was asked if he would ever write a …

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24PM

The Whip review – political drama exposes cost of abolishing slavery by Arifa Akbar

Swan theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonJuliet Gilkes Romero’s play about the battle to end slave-owning in the British empire grows in intrigue and tension The Whip takes a moment in British his…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:24PM
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

All of It review – everywoman takes us from cradle to grave by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonAlistair McDowall’s monologue – performed by a mesmerising Kate O’Flynn – channels female experience with warmth and humour Alistair McDowall joined forces with th…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:36PM
Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sex Education's Aimee Lou Wood: 'I confronted my own school bully' by Arifa Akbar

She loved her nude scenes in the Netflix hit but the West End’s Uncle Vanya gave her stage fright. The Stockport star remembers being the class clown and tracking down her tormentor Aimee…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:54AM
Friday, February 7, 2020

Death of England review – Rafe Spall dazzles in punkish state-of-the-nation address by Arifa Akbar

National Theatre, LondonSpall is like a man possessed in Roy Williams’ and Clint Dyer’s hair-raising dramatic monologue about the grief and grievances of a working-class white male In th…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:18AM
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Albion review – Mike Bartlett's thorny study of politics and patriotism by Arifa Akbar

Almeida, LondonRevived by Rupert Goold just over two years after its premiere, this subtle drama has grown with new meaning In 2017, Rupert Goold directed a state-of-the-nation play by Mike …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:54AM
Friday, January 31, 2020

The Remains of Logan Dankworth review – a poet for our day by Arifa Akbar

Pound Arts Centre, Corsham Luke Wright’s eloquent verse monologue pairs Brexit with the breakdown of a marriage Luke Wright is a poet for our day and today in particular. This dramatic mon…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:48AM
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Faustus: That Damned Woman review – devilish drama is far from divine by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonChris Bush’s female Faustus is original, ambitious and fantastically revisionist – but this bare-boned production fails to save its soul Doctor Faustus, as we kn…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Sugar Syndrome review – Lucy Prebble's dark encounters still connect by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree, LondonOscar Toeman directs a striking revival of the 2003 play about the relationship between a teenage girl and a paedophile Since Lucy Prebble’s award-winning first play pr…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:36PM
Monday, January 27, 2020

Dear Winnie review – thrilling homage to the flawed mother of South Africa by Arifa Akbar

KVS, BrusselsThe complicated legacy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is fearlessly transformed into a radical and rousing musical When Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died in 2018, she was seen both a…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:42AM

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