All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

'Your cat is watching you!' The fearless felines hidden by their author by Arifa Akbar

William Baldwin concealed his 16th-century book Beware the Cat because of its satirical swipes at the Catholic church. Now, it’s celebrated on stage What was the first novel in the English…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:36AM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Blithe Spirit review – Jennifer Saunders is spookily funny by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal BathSaunders is a fizzy delight as the medium in Richard Eyre’s revival of the Noël Coward comedy about a couple haunted by the ghost of the husband’s first wife Noël Cow…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54PM
Monday, June 10, 2019

Kill Climate Deniers review – eco-warriors turn up the heat by Arifa Akbar

Pleasance, LondonDavid Finnigan’s bold play about protesters who take an environment minister hostage is stalled by metatheatrics In London’s Parliament Square last October, teenage acti…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:24AM
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Glass Menagerie review – bold and bewitching take on Tennessee Williams by Arifa Akbar

Arcola, LondonFemi Elufowoju Jr’s engaging production puts an African American family at its centre but misses some of the play’s quietly heart-wringing moments Playwright August Wilson…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:42AM
Monday, June 3, 2019

The Audience review – Theresa May joins conveyor belt of PMs meeting the Queen by Arifa Akbar

NST City, SouthamptonUpdated to include Brexit, Peter Morgan’s 2013 drama about the Queen’s off-the-record conversations with her prime ministers seems underpowered Peter Morgan’s play…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:18PM
Monday, May 27, 2019

Blueprint Medea review – Euripides explodes in modern London by Arifa Akbar

Finborough theatre, LondonJulia Pascal’s dynamic production sees Medea reborn as a former fighter against Isis who finds Jason in the British capital Euripides’ Medea is not just a blood…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:24PM
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Does My Bomb Look Big in This? review – fierce, witty study of radicalisation by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonNyla Levy’s play about London schoolfriends, divided when one goes to Syria, is savvy, streetwise and energetic What makes a 15-year-old from Mitcham, south London, lea…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hoard review – emotional wreckage from a drive-by family visit by Arifa Akbar

Arcola theatre, LondonThere are entertaining performances in Bim Adewunmi’s lively debut play about a British-Nigerian family with a dinner guest The dinner party has served as the setting…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:03PM
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Firm review – pub drama overflows with banter and rage by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonZingy repartee and energetic performances fail to enliven Roy Williams’ tale about a criminal gang’s unresolved grievances The Firm opens in high mood as four mi…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06PM
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rejoicing at Her Wondrous Vulva … review – listen to this clitoris by Arifa Akbar

Ovalhouse, LondonNothing feels gratuitous in Bella Heesom’s bold and poetic play about female sexuality which ends in catharsis not climax More than 20 years ago, Eve Ensler dared to say t…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:12PM
Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Thousand Splendid Suns review – comic fog clouds Hosseini drama by Arifa Akbar

Birmingham RepThis staging of the bestseller loses the story’s gut-wrenching power in a sea of lighthearted flourish Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling book The Kite Runner is about fathers, …

Linked From The Guardian at 03:18PM
Friday, April 26, 2019

Captain Corelli's Mandolin review – wartime weepy is shocking and wondrous by Arifa Akbar

Rose theatre, KingstonRona Munro’s adaptation of the Louis de Bernières classic cuts back the love story to drum home the bloody trauma of conflict Louis de Bernières’s Greek island ep…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:34AM
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Other People’s Money review – good capitalism goes to war with greed by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonUnfettered excess and predatory humour combine in a timely reflection on big business Jerry Sterner’s play about Wall Street avarice first opened off-Broadway tw…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:37AM
Friday, April 19, 2019

Tumulus review – chemsex, murder and social satire in 'queer noir' thriller by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThere’s comedy and mystery but darker themes are under-explored in this original but tricksy meta-theatre production Anthony (Ciarán Owens) is a thirtysomething gay ma…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:21AM

Amélie the Musical review – sepia-toned surrealism that's high on imagination by Arifa Akbar

The Watermill Theatre, NewburyThe arrival of the kind-hearted and introverted Parisian on the UK stage is a magical and emotional triumph of adaptation The formidable success of Amélie the …

Linked From The Guardian at 03:55AM
Sunday, April 14, 2019

Mrs Noah fights back: 'It's about extinction. There is no bigger story' by Arifa Akbar

Among the protesters heading for parliament are Noah’s family and Ade Adepitan as God in a suit. April De Angelis talks about turning the biblical flood into riotous drama On Monday, a day…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:00AM
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Europe's unflinching tales of #MeToo and xenophobia land in London by Arifa Akbar

A Piece of the Continent, a festival celebrating the unifying influence of European theatre, includes dramas about patriarchy, dogmatism and dementia As Britain seeks to finalise its divorce…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:54AM
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Abhishek Majumdar: the playwright fighting death threats with ice cream by Arifa Akbar

Blocked from entering Tibet, he simply walked in through the Himalayas, hiding from Chinese soldiers. As his play about riots in the region is finally staged, the Indian writer talks about l…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:38AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Rubenstein Kiss review – passion and paranoia as spy drama implodes by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonThis drama inspired by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg is ripe for revival but the story asks more questions than it answers James Phillips calls it the “perfect time…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:07AM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Athol Fugard's apartheid dramas still bite in our divided age by Arifa Akbar

New productions of A Lesson from Aloes and Blood Knot forcefully portray a world of claustrophobia, surveillance and the subtleties of racial exclusion The multiracial plays of Athol Fugard …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:56AM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Monica Dolan: ‘I stopped reading reviews when one said I was kittenish’ by Arifa Akbar

The award-winning actor and writer on All About Eve, celebrity culture and the perils of not actually being Welsh Monica Dolan is a Bafta-winning actor and writer. Born in Middlesbrough, her…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:00AM
Friday, March 8, 2019

The Ridiculous Darkness review – Conrad, Coppola and the 'white saviour' complex by Arifa Akbar

Gate theatre, LondonA story from a Somali pirate kicks off this outlandish comic critique of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now Wolfram Lotz’s surreally comic critique of Joseph Conrad…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:23AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Inside Bitch review – prison truths beyond Orange Is the New Black by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonClean Break’s satirical look at the stereotypes around life in jail ends up undone by its own artifice Inside Bitch is a drama about drama and its misrepresentations. Fo…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:49PM
Monday, March 4, 2019

The Mirror Crack’d review – death and dazzle as Miss Marple goes to the movies by Arifa Akbar

Salisbury PlayhouseThis frenetic rewind for Agatha Christie’s mystery splits between Hollywood homage and send-up In a bare room, an elderly woman sleeps in an armchair, sprained ankle on …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:54AM
Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Remains of the Day review – Ishiguro's novel makes cerebral theatre by Arifa Akbar

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonBarney Norris’s adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker winner about the perils of blind duty speaks to modern Britain ‘The play must be unlike the book …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:48AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Handbag? It's from Sports Direct: The Importance of Being Earnest for boxers by Arifa Akbar

Serving the cucumber sandwiches in a future Britain, Tara Arts and Two Gents present Oscar Wilde’s classic as an urgent tale of migrant survival – with only two actors Ayesha Casely-Hayf…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:09AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Harvey review – Steven Berkoff explores Weinstein's psyche by Arifa Akbar

Playground theatre, London This attempt to delve into the disgraced movie mogul’s mind finds rage, denial and hateThe theatre’s promotional blurb warns that Steven Berkoff will go “whe…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:04PM
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Blue/Orange review – smarm, charm and raw emotion in gladiatorial mental health drama by Arifa Akbar

Birmingham Repertory theatreJoe Penhall’s play about a young black patient caught between two clashing white doctors is incendiary, intellectually rich and ever topicalWhen Blue/Orange was…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Salaam review – faith and the fallout of London terror attacks by Arifa Akbar

Vaults, LondonA mother and daughter have profound discussions about identity but this drama is still searching for its centreA Muslim mother and daughter are preparing for Ramadan when their…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:04AM
Monday, January 21, 2019

The Dark review – dangerous escape from Idi Amin's Uganda by Arifa Akbar

The Egg, BathNick Makoha’s fragmented and vertiginous account of his treacherous journey to Britain is a story of our timesOn the left of the stage, a screen projects the Miltonic line: …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54AM
Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sabrina Mahfouz: ‘Oppressive systems can destroy young people’s lives’ by Arifa Akbar

With an adaptation of Noughts and Crosses set to tour the UK and her anthology of Muslim writing picked for Emma Watson’s book club, the prolific British writer is as busy as ever. Here sh…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM

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