All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Friday, October 22, 2021

Wuthering Heights review – Emma Rice’s audacious riff on Emily Brontë’s classic by Arifa Akbar

Bristol Old VicRetelling the gothic novel with intelligently charming humour and a live band, this is a bold and ingenious production Emma Rice calls Wuthering Heights a tragedy in this show…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:24PM
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical review – a powerful spirit by Arifa Akbar

Lyric theatre, LondonIt’s the music that carries the emotional weight in this tale of love, loss and roots rock, starring the superb Arinzé Kene A fortress-like wall of speakers is wheele…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:03AM
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What’s New Pussycat? review – high-voltage collision of two Tom Joneses by Arifa Akbar

Birmingham Repertory theatreThe 18th-century novel and Welsh crooner meet on 1960s Carnaby Street in a spirited jukebox musical This is a madcap mashup of a musical. Its basic premise is, bi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:42AM

Terrifying Women: the trio of ‘horror fiends’ embracing stage fright by Arifa Akbar

A new female-led festival aims to challenge the sexist tropes and subvert the narratives of scary theatre Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Abi Zakarian and Sampira are self-professed horror fiends. All…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

10 Nights review – funny, soulful play hijacked by lack of drama by Arifa Akbar

Bush theatre, LondonShahid Iqbal Khan’s signed play about a young Muslim’s spiritual journey could be fantastic, but it needs a better narrative It is a tremendous relief to see a play …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:54AM

Grenfell: Value Engineering review – gruelling, unfinished tragedy by Arifa Akbar

Tabernacle, LondonVerbatim reconstruction of the inquiry into the 2017 disaster points up the horrifying, amoral capitalism that fuelled it Grenfell Tower housed many of the “have-nots” …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24AM
Monday, October 18, 2021

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy review by Arifa Akbar

New Diorama theatre, LondonRyan Calais Cameron’s exploration of race and masculinity is timely and has potent moments but this production feels underdeveloped British dramatist Ryan Calais…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:48AM
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Love and Other Acts of Violence review – mesmerising moments amid the darkness by Arifa Akbar

Donmar Warehouse, LondonA poet and a physicist begin a relationship under a fascist regime in Cordelia Lynn’s audaciously jagged play about the tipping point of tyranny Love and Other Acts…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:54PM
Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Tragedy of Macbeth review – Yaël Farber’s blood-curdling terror by Arifa Akbar

Almeida theatre, LondonSaoirse Ronan and James McArdle star in a production with emotional spark, palpable dread and a horrifying beauty The psychological terror is slow to rear and does not…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:32PM
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

White Noise review – an enormous provocation of a play by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonIn Suzan-Lori Parks’ darkly witty four-hander, a black man persuades a white college buddy to be his slave-master for 40 days “It’s a great time to be black, righ…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:03PM

Michelle Gayle: ‘They said don’t leave EastEnders – I never regretted it’ by Arifa Akbar

From Grange Hill to the West End, via Eurovision and the Brit awards, the star has built multiple careers. She talks about stage-school pressure, TV diversity and playing Hermione in Harry P…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24AM
Sunday, October 10, 2021

‘This had to happen now’: Lucy Kirkwood on Maryland, her 30-minute ‘howl’ of a play by Arifa Akbar

Galvanised by the killings of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard, the playwright tells how she penned the eviscerating drama in just two days It usually takes Lucy Kirkwood two years to write a …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:12AM
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Hamlet review – Cush Jumbo is a remarkable prince by Arifa Akbar

Young Vic, LondonGreg Hersov’s sleek production focuses on familial grief, unfolds with the pace of a thriller and is full of fresh humour and chemistry We have been promised a “new kind…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Monday, October 4, 2021

The Mountaintop review – Martin Luther King meets his match in a motel room by Arifa Akbar

Royal Exchange, ManchesterNtombizodwa Ndlovu is spellbinding in Katori Hall’s intriguing drama about an imaginary meeting between King and a maid The Mountaintop is a bold shape-shifter of…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:12AM
Friday, October 1, 2021

The Normal Heart review – poignant and powerful account of the Aids epidemic by Arifa Akbar

Olivier theatre, LondonThe first London production of the Larry Kramer play since 1986 captures the fear and anger in the gay community of that decade – and its heartbreaking personal loss…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:42AM
Thursday, September 30, 2021

Curious review – Jasmine Lee-Jones packs a punch with new solo show by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThe Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner playwright returns with a production about a drama student researching Black British history Jasmine Lee-Jones made the fiercest…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:12PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tokyo Rose review – fiery musical revolves around radio DJ’s fight for justice by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonIva Toguri’s trial for treason, accused of broadcasting Japanese propaganda to American troops, forms the backbone of this production This real-life story of Iva…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:18PM
Friday, September 24, 2021

Malindadzimu review – a poignant quest to confront Africa’s past by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonCharm and camaraderie lie at the heart of a smart, soap opera-style attempt to unpick issues of history, heritage and empire Malindadzimu is a mother-daughter soap o…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:54PM
Thursday, September 23, 2021

History review – hostility repeats itself in tale of prejudice and protest by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThere are spirited performances as Roy Williams explores activism, parenthood and sexuality in this audio drama about black British identity spanning 40 years Roy Williams’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36AM
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Lodger review – fights, forgiveness and midlife reckonings by Arifa Akbar

Coronet theatre, LondonThere’s an intriguing story about sibling betrayal buried among the distracting subplots in Robert Holman’s play Robert Holman’s play contains some great riches.…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:06PM
Monday, September 20, 2021

Finally! Get ready for a new season of culture by Presented By Nosheen Iqbal With Arifa Akbar, Ammar Kalia and Ben Beaumont-Thomas; Produced By Hannah Moore and Axel Kacoutié; Executive Producers Phil Maynard and Archie Bland

New albums, new TV series, and actual live shows – the culture taps might have run dry during the pandemic, but this autumn they are switching on again at last. Our critics give their pick…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24AM
Friday, September 17, 2021

Camp Siegfried review – love and terror on Long Island by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonTeenage passion meets Nazi ideology in Bess Wohl’s play, inspired by a real-life summer camp in the US It is 1938 and two American teenagers are at a themed summer camp on L…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:48PM

Is God Is review – revenge is a dish best served bold by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonTarantinoesque bloodshed meets Greek tragedy in Aleshea Harris’s daring drama about a voyage of vengeance It is not often that a play manages to resemble a Tarantino fil…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:06AM
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

NW Trilogy review – let’s hear it for melting-pot Brent’s brilliant stories by Arifa Akbar

Kiln theatre, LondonMoira Buffini, Roy Williams and Suhayla El-Bushra deliver a trio of powerful immigrant stories set in the London borough NW Trilogy comprises three short plays with one o…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:48PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Can I Live? review – privilege, protest and the climate crisis by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineFehinti Balogun’s show uses hip-hop and spoken word to explore the ways people of colour have been excluded from environmental activism There is a moment in Fehinti Balogun…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:48PM
Monday, September 13, 2021

Back to the Future: The Musical review – the car’s the star by Arifa Akbar

Adelphi theatre, LondonThis is a splashy theatre-film mashup, with gravity-defying effects, cute quirks and offbeat gags How does a car speed at 88mph on stage? That must have been the bigge…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:06PM

East Is East review – magnificent revival of culture-clash classic by Arifa Akbar

Birmingham RepAyub Khan Din’s comedy still resonates in its depiction of a hostile environment – Salford in the 70s – while its sharp wit and warm characterisations are exhilarating Tw…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:48AM
Friday, September 10, 2021

The Beauty Queen of Leenane review – Martin McDonagh’s raging black comedy returns by Arifa Akbar

Minerva theatre, ChichesterThis tale of a claustrophobic mother-daughter relationship takes contrived turns, but the starkly moving performances remain compelling Much has changed in Ireland…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24PM

White Witch review – slavery drama turned into awkward farce by Arifa Akbar

Bloomsbury theatre, LondonBarry Reckord’s sexually charged play about freedom and rebellion is drowned out by chaotic comedy The Jamaican playwright Barry Reckord broke several boundaries …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:12AM
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Frozen review – stunning musical extravaganza creates its own magic by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, LondonBeyond the visual thrills and powerful ballads, this adaptation brings an unexpected depth to the relationship between two tortured sisters This musical extr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42PM
Monday, September 6, 2021

‘Take back power’: Talawa’s Run It Back and the politics of black joy by Arifa Akbar

The resurgence of Black Lives Matter has given fresh potency to the theatre company’s production – an earthquake of sound and dance We have been encouraged to bring our “rags and flags…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:18AM

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
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre