All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Two Character Play review – hermetic sibling psychodrama by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, London Tennessee Williams’s play within a play uses ingenious artifice, as its actor brother and sister perform their way into madness, but locks out the audience There …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:03AM
Thursday, July 22, 2021

Gin Craze! review – a bawdy feminist history lesson with anarchic spirit by Arifa Akbar

Royal and Derngate, NorthamptonThis rousing Gin Lane musical by April De Angelis and Lucy Rivers has working-class women at its heart Gin Craze! enacts a lesser-remembered piece of 18th-cent…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:48AM
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hamlet review – Ian McKellen’s risky prince reveals method in the madness by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal WindsorThe actor brings brilliant nuance and daring to his part in an age-blind production marred by some eccentric decisions This Hamlet, starring 82-year-old Ian McKellen as …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24PM
Monday, July 19, 2021

‘We know that anger’: the return of David Mamet’s incendiary Oleanna by Arifa Akbar

What does Mamet’s 1992 play about a college professor accused of sexual harassment say in the wake of #MeToo? Lucy Bailey, director of its West End revival, discusses its power Director Lu…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:54AM
Saturday, July 17, 2021

Anna X review – sound and vision steal the show in ‘fake heiress’ tale by Arifa Akbar

Harold Pinter theatre, LondonEmma Corrin and and Nabhaan Rizwan give excellent performances in Joseph Charlton’s two-hander which has a fizzing hi-tech design Damien Hirst’s conceptual a…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:06PM
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Last Easter review – a lovable drama about life, death and theatre by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree theatre, LondonBryony Lavery’s play, revived by director Tinuke Craig, celebrates friendship with truths, humour and good punchlines A play about serious illness and the search…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:54AM
Sunday, July 11, 2021

Niqabi Ninja review – rape-revenge promenade loses its way by Arifa Akbar

Toynbee Studios, LondonWritten in response to sexual violence in Tahrir Square, this mobile adaptation of Sara Shaarawi’s polemic becomes confusing Niqabi Ninja is a revenge fantasy origin…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:42PM

The Dumb Waiter review – Thewlis and Mays’s supreme double act beefs up Pinter’s menace by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic: In CameraDavid Thewlis and Daniel Mays add rich new shades to the over-familiar 1957 two-hander in this filmed adaptation It takes theatrical alchemy – and talent – to turn a pl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:36AM
Saturday, July 10, 2021

Wayne McGregor: ‘Dancers are believing their voices can be heard, and I love that’ by Arifa Akbar

Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor had no access to elite ballet schools growing up. But he did have John Travolta and disco to spark a lifelong obsession. Now he wants to make dancer…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:48PM
Friday, July 9, 2021

Romeo and Juliet review – a bold rewiring with no room for romance by Arifa Akbar

Shakespeare’s Globe, LondonDirector Ola Ince’s take on Shakespeare’s tragedy is clever, energetic and doesn’t have a single smooch This is not the first major production of Romeo and…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12PM
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Notes on Grief review – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie essay sketched on stage by Arifa Akbar

Exchange Auditorium, Manchester CentralThe novelist’s article about her father’s death was expanded into a book and has now become a play but it feels limited Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, July 4, 2021

Extinct review – firenadoes, melting ice and one hour to halt apocalypse by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Stratford East, LondonFeaturing plague and shootouts in M&S, XR supporter April De Angelis’s dystopic climate drama is a powerful, urgent polemic During Extinction Rebell…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Friday, July 2, 2021

Constellations review – a stellar revival for Nick Payne’s high-concept romance by Arifa Akbar

Vaudeville theatreThe stories of string theorist Marianne and beekeeper Roland are told forwards, backwards and sideways as we explore their theatrical multiverse How many ways can the same …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Thursday, July 1, 2021

As You Like It review – eco-Shakespeare makes case for rewilding by Arifa Akbar

Watermill theatre, NewburyWith Paul Hart’s production blending into the theatre grounds, the pastoral comedy here becomes an effective vehicle to reflect on our relationship with nature I…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:03PM
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Hairspray review – unstoppably joyous musical lights up the West End by Arifa Akbar

Coliseum, LondonThis maelstrom of a show based on the 1988 John Waters film has a dizzy energy and a stunning turn from Marisha Wallace “You have to think big to be big,” declares Tracy …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:03PM
Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Bach & Sons review – study of the man and his music hits a flat note by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonSimon Russell Beale stars in a visually impressive production of Nina Raine’s play that never quite gets off the ground It is tempting to compare Bach & Sons with…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:48PM
Friday, June 25, 2021

Shedding a Skin review – a warm, funny, wondrous weepie by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThe platonic love between thirtysomething Myah and her elderly landlady moves and empowers in Amanda Wilkin’s one-woman show “I would rather be anywhere. Anywhere els…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:18PM

Out West review – compelling trio of dramas reframes place and race by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonTanika Gupta sends Gandhi overseas, Simon Stephens sees devastation in locked-down London and Roy Williams lightens the mood with a local hero story The monologue be…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:12PM
Thursday, June 24, 2021

J’Ouvert review – the history of Notting Hill carnival comes to life by Arifa Akbar

Harold Pinter theatre, LondonIn Yasmin Joseph’s play, three girls wind their way through the streets, guided by the spirit of the activist who founded the carnival J’Ouvert evokes the sp…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:54PM
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Under Milk Wood review – Michael Sheen steps into Dylan Thomas’s bygone world by Arifa Akbar

National Theatre, LondonLyndsey Turner’s production is a charming albeit emotionally distanced retreat into nostalgia Dylan Thomas’s drama, broadcast on radio in 1954 , has been recited …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42PM
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

and breathe… review – powerful tale of family grief is poetry in motion by Arifa Akbar

Almeida, LondonYomi Ṣode’s startling play about death, mourning and young masculinity is intensified by its weight of emotion and sensational stagecraft This is a strange and startling …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:03AM
Sunday, June 20, 2021

Playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones: ‘The theatre industry is full of isms and schisms and nepotism’ by Arifa Akbar

The creator of the hit play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner on the power of comedy and why Instagram is almost like cosplay Jasmine Lee-Jones, 22, is a writer and actor from London. In…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:24PM
Friday, June 18, 2021

Happy Days review – Lisa Dwan swings from laughter to gothic gravity by Arifa Akbar

Riverside Studios, LondonTrevor Nunn’s production of Samuel Beckett’s classic play is stronger on music-hall comedy than bleakness When Peggy Ashcroft played Winnie at the National Theat…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:06AM
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Copenhagen review – science and politics collide in dynamic drama by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal BathUncertainty reigns supreme in a fast and fluid revival of Michael Frayn’s resonant, if sometimes impenetrable, play Rehearsals for this revival of Michael Frayn’s award…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:48AM
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Under the Mask review – at the coalface of the Covid crisis by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Peckham, LondonIn Shaan Sahota’s audio play, which is touring theatres, a junior doctor tries to navigate the early days of the pandemic A junior doctor’s first nervous day at wo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:12PM
Thursday, June 10, 2021

‘I rip off my skin and give him the guts’ – Lisa Dwan on her approach to Beckett by Arifa Akbar

The actor had a great lockdown: she learned to cook, took up cello – and fell in love. Now six months pregnant, Dwan’s about to be buried up to her neck in Happy Days. Is she worried? Li…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:18AM
Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars review – grief, loss, fury: the legacy of a race hate crime by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Stratford East, London Kibong Tanji is outstanding as the sister of the victim in Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s play which is dynamic and gripping but lacks tonal variety The Sun, the M…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:42AM
Friday, June 4, 2021

The Death of a Black Man review – an inflammatory study of social mobility by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonDepravity takes hold of a pair of young black entrepreneurs in 1970s London in this revival of Alfred Fagon’s idea-filled play It has taken almost half a century f…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:06AM
Thursday, June 3, 2021

Four Quartets review – Ralph Fiennes triumphs with bold TS Eliot monologue by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Bath Fiennes imbues Eliot’s last great poem with all the drama of a Shakespearean soliloquy in a magnificent, intimate theatrical experience By the time TS Eliot wrote his l…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Saturday, May 29, 2021

Walden review – Gemma Arterton’s sister act reaches for the stars by Arifa Akbar

Harold Pinter theatre, LondonArterton plays a former Nasa employee whose astronaut twin descends on her wilderness retreat in Amy Berryman’s intelligent, soulful drama Twin sisters with a …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42PM
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me review – big-hearted debut is a keeper by Arifa Akbar

Kiln theatre, LondonStarring in her play about friendship, romance and spina bifida, Amy Trigg is enormously entertaining There are several good reasons to love Amy Trigg’s debut play abou…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:06PM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54