All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MONOGAMY Park Theatre N4 by Libby Purves and Friends

A RISOTTO OF RESENTMENTS      In some plays, you reach the interval not exactly dissatisfied but wondering “where is this going next? How will it knit  up the ends.?  So many …

Linked From at 07:21AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MACHINAL Almeida, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

MICHAEL ADAIR SHUDDERS AT THE HARD OLD PATRIARCHY…   ‘These modern neurotic women, doctor. What are we going to do with them?’ says one exasperated male character to another.…

Linked From at 09:02AM
Thursday, June 7, 2018

JULIE Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

STRINDBERG MEETS STENHAM, BIRD MEETS BLENDER   We’re in a Hampstead mansion. The daughter of the house is whooping it up at her birthday party, a deafening, purple-lit rave where tigh…

Linked From at 06:28PM

TWO NOBLE KINSMEN Shakespeare’s Globe, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE RUMBUSTIOUS AFFAIR OF THE CLOGS IN THE NIGHT TIME     Barrie Rutter and the Globe are made for each other:. Fresh out of his storming leadership (and frequent personal performa…

Linked From at 12:38PM

MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON Bridge, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A WRITER, A MOTHER, A LIFE   The elegant new Bridge continues to demonstrate – firmly — that it is uniquely versatile. After one traditional tragicomedy (Young Marx) we had a sw…

Linked From at 03:32AM
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

KILLER JOE Trafalgar Studios, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

LUKE JONES REVELS  IN VIOLENCE, CHILL, NIGHTMARE..AND GREAT DIALOGUE   Orlando Bloom – denim, cowboy hat, slicked back hair, twinkling grimace – is as chilled out as a man …

Linked From at 07:59AM
Saturday, June 2, 2018

STITCHERS Jermyn St theatre WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A TAPESTRY OF HOPE              Lady Anne Tree was the Duke of Devonshire’s daughter, sister in law of Kathleen Kennedy and Debo Mitford:   grand as they come.   Kept from…

Linked From at 01:28PM
Friday, June 1, 2018

THE BE ALL AND END ALL       Theatre Royal Windsor, tour ending by Libby Purves and Friends

THE EDUCATION JUNGLE        A late catch-up for this short tour from Theatre Royal York:  but blimey, well worth it.  sA drawing-room drama of manners with deep, tangled universall…

Linked From at 05:53AM
Thursday, May 31, 2018

TRANSLATIONS Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SORROW AND SPLENDOUR IN WORDS THAT SING     The first act of Brian Friel’s great play ends with a shout of “bloody, bloody, bloody marvellous!”. And so it bloody well is, thi…

Linked From at 04:03AM
Friday, May 25, 2018

PETER PAN. Open Air, Regents Park by Libby Purves and Friends

LUKE JONES FALLS FOR TINKERBELL… Peter Pan has now flown into every medium possible. He is a play, novel, pantomime, musical, television programme, cartoon and a Kate Bush single. This…

Linked From at 04:21AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

THE GRONHOLM METHOD Menier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

MULTINATIONAL MENACE   It is always a dilemma, for those of us who despise star-ratings as a measuring device, when a 90 minute play seems set fair to earn three, or three-and-a-bit, tr…

Linked From at 04:50PM
Friday, May 18, 2018

HAMLET                 Shakespeare’s Globe, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE NEW ERA BEGINS…       Here’s a vulnerable Hamlet:  a lonely lad in proper tearful grief and disappointment at his mother’s remarriage.    A Hamlet who, in feigning madnes…

Linked From at 08:01AM
Thursday, May 17, 2018

IOLANTHE                   Richmond & Touring by Libby Purves and Friends

BOW, BOW!  THEY’RE ON THE ROAD AGAIN..     It must be nearly five years since Sasha Regan’s all-male Iolanthe at Wiltons’ caused me to break a lifelong resistance  and enjo…

Linked From at 08:28AM

MINDGAME Ambassadors, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

SCHLOCK-HORRORWITZ  AND HURRAH FOR THE SKELETON       Gotta  love the buccaneering quality of west end theatres: the Small Faces musical at the little Ambassadors off Cambridge Cir…

Linked From at 05:42AM
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

RED Wyndhams, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE SHINE AND THE TERROR     It is no bad thing to have your stage hero effectively co-designing the set. Christopher Oram’s recreation of Mark Rothko’s 1950’s studio is a bl…

Linked From at 05:18PM
Friday, May 11, 2018

PUT OUT THE LIGHTS Avenue Theatre, Ipswich by Libby Purves and Friends

CLEAR YOUNG VOICES FROM A DISTANT PAST        Three children in the 1540’s play in a hay-barn,  built fragrant and real in the tiny theatre.   One has  found a pilgrim medal…

Linked From at 07:55AM
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

NIGHTFALL Bridge Theatre, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

ROUGH, RURAL, A NEGLECTED ALBION     An immense intrusive pipe bisects the stage, a rusty oil tank below it with part of a tractor one side and a cheerless Victorian brick farmhous…

Linked From at 06:39PM
Thursday, May 3, 2018

AN IDEAL HUSBAND Vaudeville, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

OSCAR AT HIS MOST EARNEST   Worth going to Jonathan Church’s  latest Wilde “Classic Spring”revival if only for a feast of Foxes: patriarch Edward as  old Lord Caversham and his …

Linked From at 07:58PM

MOOD MUSIC Old Vic, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

CREATIVES, C***TS AND  CONTRACTS     The theatrical repertoire has a new monster:   Bernard, created by Joe Penhall  and brought to scorchingly memorable,  sociopathically  irresi…

Linked From at 07:09AM
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

ROMEO AND JULIET Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

FAST, FINE  STREETWISE SHAKESPEARE           Running and scuffling, a crowd of kids in  black scatter across the stark stage under an open-sided, distressedly concrete-looking bo…

Linked From at 04:55AM
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

NINE NIGHT Dorfman SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST CRITIC MICHAEL ADAIR  FINDS  KINSHIP IN  A FAMILY SORROW      Well, this is timely. In the shadow of Windrush, a play  immerses us in the colourful traditions of Caribbe…

Linked From at 07:12AM
Friday, April 27, 2018

PRESENT LAUGHTER                  Chichester Festival Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

COWARD GOES FARCEO-FORTISSIMO              In the final outburst from our hero Gary Essendine –  silk-dressing-gowned philanderer,  arrogantly insecure darling of the …

Linked From at 11:08AM
Thursday, April 26, 2018

ABSOLUTE HELL Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A WAR OVER, A WORLD ADRIFT   It’s a great tapestry of a play: Rodney Ackland’s portrait of a Soho nightclub as WW2 ended. Socialites and slobs, black-marketeers and failing artists,…

Linked From at 04:06AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

THE WRITER Almeida, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

REBEL WITHOUT AN ARGUMENT   It is a curiosity of the age that young British women seem to be far angrier about The Patriarchy than their mothers , even though law, language, women’s a…

Linked From at 07:04PM

GUESTHOUSE Eastern Angles tour by Libby Purves and Friends

GOLDEN SANDS AND GRIEVANCES     Nicola Werenowska has certainly found fertile ground for the setting of her play: the decline of English seaside towns (in this case Clacton) from t…

Linked From at 06:50PM
Monday, April 23, 2018

TONIGHT AT 8.30 Jermyn ST SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

Part 1: SECRET HEARTS (and an explanation)   This is a fabulously quixotic enterprise directed by Tom Littler: a revival of all nine of Noel Coward’s one-act plays, written in 1935 as…

Linked From at 03:56AM
Saturday, April 21, 2018

THE MODERATE SOPRANO returns; Duke of York’s , WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

MORE THAN A PICNIC       I could tell you that it is worth going up West for the transfer of Hampstead’s fine play just to see Roger Allam (his fine quiff sadly suppressed under…

Linked From at 04:37PM
Friday, April 20, 2018

BAT OUT OF HELL Dominion, W1 by Libby Purves and Friends

BAT’S BACK…        In a remarkably quick return after its Coliseum outing , Jim Steinman’s barmy musical is storming onto the Tottenham Court Road, rocking on.  Few cast chang…

Linked From at 11:17AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TITANIC  THE MUSICAL              Mayflower, Southampton and touring by Libby Purves and Friends

A LATE NIGHT TO REMEMBER             At twenty to midnight, 106 years to the day after the collision,  an audience gathered in this big theatre to mark and remember the disaster.…

Linked From at 10:15AM
Monday, April 16, 2018

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CORRECT ASSEMBLY Royal Court, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SCI-FI AND SORROW   We begin with a tiny proscenium box, an almost Punch-and-Judy window, framing Harry and his wife Max: nice middle-aged people, evoked to sitcom perfection by a beard…

Linked From at 04:35AM
Thursday, April 12, 2018

CHICAGO Phoenix, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

   THE JOINT IS JUMPING!  AGAIN…         Openings are running in themed  sets – three Restoration comedies coming along like No.11 buses, and now  two nights running…

Linked From at 04:35AM

All that Chat