All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

ENERGY, ANGER, HOPE           It is 1842:  young Charles Dickens, thirty years old and with five novels under his belt, is ranting.    The Industrial Revolution is revving up nicely,…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:37AM
Monday, December 10, 2018

SNOWFLAKE Old Fire Station, Oxford by Libby Purves and Friends

  CHRISTMAS,  BREXIT,   GRIEF, HOPE      A few hours after Theresa May postponed the parliamentary vote and spun us down into another layer of Brexi-hell ,  the little OFS    –…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:52PM

DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Oxford Playhouse by Libby Purves and Friends

 I WENT TO THE PANTO.  O YES I DID.       The great thing about the proud tradition of Oxford Playhouse panto is that while cannily aware of the  audience’s likely cultural uplift, …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 12:42PM
Sunday, December 9, 2018

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Avenue Theatre, Ipswich by Libby Purves and Friends

A WONDERLAND WINNER           “Posh panto”,  for wincing parents fleeing the rackety showbiz ’n smut of the season, can be a bit chilly –  neither one thing nor the other…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 09:18AM
Friday, December 7, 2018

UNCLE VANYA Hampstead Theatre NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

,  GEESE CACKLE, LIFE GOES ON        I have a friend of Russian heritage who boycotts any Chekhov production which lacks scabby birch-trees, a samovar and some parasols.   She’ll do …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 09:17AM
Thursday, December 6, 2018

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Menier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

L’CHAIM – TO LIFE!    A SPECIAL NIGHT           We are there, over a century ago, beyond the Caucasus.   Designer  Robert Jones  has wrapped us around in rustic planks and …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 08:33AM

TRUE WEST Vaudeville, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST CRITIC MICHAEL ADAIR EMPATHISES WITH DEADLINE FEVER.. Here is a tale of two brothers. First, Kit Harrington’s serious, intelligent and moustachioed Austin, Ivy League educated and wi…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:42AM
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

THE BOX OF DELIGHTS Wilton’s Music Hall E1 by Libby Purves and Friends

DARK MAGIC,  REAL THEATRE     Long, long before Harry Potter there was a gallant orphan, a boy dreamer sucked into a world of murderous magic, facing grief and responsibility alike.   Tw…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:32PM

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Old Vic SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

DICKENS UNCHAINED: A SCROOGE FOR OUR TIMES          It is , if possible, even finer and more heartfelt and gripping, tuneable and serious and moving than last year.   My  former r…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:31PM
Friday, November 30, 2018

BURKE AND HARE               Jermyn St Theatre SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

DARK DOINGS AND DISSECTION     Oyez, Oyez.   Let it be known that this suspenseful yet dreary political season has become officially the Year Of Dark Panto.  Down at The Bridge we had Ma…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:25PM
Friday, November 23, 2018

AN HONOURABLE MAN                   White Bear, Kennington SE11 by Libby Purves and Friends

BREAKING THE MOULD….    Our politics is  partisan, quarrelsome, dated in its pattern of two-parties-plus-minnows.   A nest of weary careerists,  pointless betrayals and illogical loya…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:28PM
Monday, November 19, 2018

SWITZERLAND Ambassadors, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

DEATH AND THE DIFFICULT WOMAN   Those who call Theresa May a ‘bloody difficult woman’ should pop in to the Ambassadors and realise that in the ranks of  of BDWs she is the merest d…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:22PM
Thursday, November 15, 2018

MACBETH Wanamaker, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE EMPTY DARKNESS OF THE HEART     Third time  lucky:  after two glumly disappointing 2018 productions steeped in directorial gimmicks   – RSC and NT –  the candlelit cram…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:53AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

DON QUIXOTE Vaudeville, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE KNIGHT WINS HIS SPURS AGAIN:  A NOBLE DELUSION      Need a Christmas outing? Quailing at panto, feel you and the kids need some Euro-culture to counteract Brexidepression? Trust the …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 12:37PM

HADESTOWN Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A SWING AND SWIRL THROUGH HELL     It’s certainly not family-panto time along the glittering Thames riverbank:  what with Martin McDonagh’ grossout-silly Dark Matter downstream at the…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:16AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

THE SIMON AND GARFUNKEL STORY Vaudeville, WC2 & touring by Libby Purves and Friends

LIKE A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED DECADES….    If you’re my age, it’s a time machine. Songs like The Sound Of Silence and  Bridge Over Troubled Water (bestselling album 1970,71 and 72…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:11AM
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR Jermyn, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE SAVAGE BEAUTY OF THE FIRST AIR WAR    Britain did not stand alone  in WW1.    As our hero sings in John MacLachlan Gray’s  1982 play: “South Africa and Canada and Australia to …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:51AM
Sunday, November 4, 2018

ear for eye ROYAL COURT, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST CRITIC MICHAEL  ADAIR LISTENS, AS WE SHOULD   A glass box filled with smoke encapsulates the Royal Court stage. Shadowy figures patrol its perimeter, sometimes staring out at th…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:04AM
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

HONOUR Park Theatre, N4 by Libby Purves and Friends

LOVE’S PRECEDENCE AND CRUELTY         George is a journalist-intellectual, award-winner, amiably vain and sixtyish..  He  twinkles for England,  with much black-rimmed-specs…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 08:51AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A VERY VERY VERY DARK MATTER Bridge, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

NOT SO VERY     A wooden box swings, pendulum-regular, in a peerlessly spooky attic of Halloween horror,  designed with glee by Anna Fleischle .   It is inhabited. Difficult, says its c…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:52PM

THE WILD DUCK Almeida, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

LOVE,  LIES AND THE PAIN OF TRUTH      Is it better to live in a lie,  a happy story,  or to admit the messy sinful truth?  Should you  assume that every person you meet is the w…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:45AM
Sunday, October 21, 2018

THE MARINER Touring by Libby Purves and Friends

ALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEA           The Rime of the Ancient Mariner may be studded with overfamiliar quotations,  but taken in its entirely,  has power to disturb .  It is about gui…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 01:12PM
Friday, October 19, 2018

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford by Libby Purves and Friends

LECHERY AND TREACHERY,  MACHISMO AND METAL…     ‘I had forgotten” said a companion as we staggered out, deafened by the final outbreak of crazed metallic drumming,  “how syph…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 03:25AM
Thursday, October 18, 2018

WISE CHILDREN                  Old Vic SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

ROMPING FABLE OF A GREASEPAINT CENTURY              Twins, three sets of them,  in a dynasty of performers from the 1880s onward: a theatrical boarding-house with a heart-of-gold har…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:59PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

COMPANY. Gielgud, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

FOR BETTER FOR WORSE?  FOR FIVE MICE ANYWAY        If you’re going to mess about with a classic but slightly dated Sondheim musical,  be sure to do it brilliantly. Do it like Mar…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:24PM

STORIES Dorfman SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

CONCEPTION AND THE CREATIVES      It’s a sign of the sparky credibility of Nina Raine’s play about a woman desperate for a sperm donor  – having broken with her younger, un…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:48PM
Monday, October 15, 2018

TOUCHING THE VOID Royal, Northampton & Scotland later by Libby Purves and Friends

THE HEIGHTS OF LIFE            Theatre sometimes gives films – and books – a remarkable translation, making stories deeper ,stranger ,  more tense.   Maybe  it i…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 11:05AM
Saturday, October 13, 2018

THE WIDER EARTH Natural History Museum by Libby Purves and Friends

THE YOUNG DARWIN RISES AGAIN          The Jerwood Gallery is for the first time a theatre: in the small excitement of a new space dark shapes loom ahead of us,  angular, wooden.  …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:06AM
Friday, October 12, 2018

MEASURE FOR MEASURE Donmar WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

LUKE JONES TAKES THE MEASURE..   This is a made for measure Measure-For-Measure. Its greatest achievement is hacking the flabby old Jacobian down to the right side of 90 minutes. It rol…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:44AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM Wyndham’s, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

A MASTERPIECE OF LOVE AND LOSS       I saw this on tour in Cambridge, and heroically held of telling you until the West End embargo lifted.  It’s wonderful: puzzling, moving, cleve…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:15AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I’M NOT RUNNING Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A DOSE HARD TO SWALLOW   David Hare has chronicled Labour politics – and the state of the nation  -for nearly half a century,  brilliantly catching  truths and tensions. This t…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 08:01PM

All that Chat

2018-2019 BROADWAY SEASON