All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Thursday, February 29, 2024

NACHTLAND. Young Vic SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

AN ATTIC WARNING      Fasten your seat belts for a bracingly odd German play by Marius von Mayenburg; hold on tight as it veers  in a switchback weirdness, which  I for one ended up tho…

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

CABLE STREET Southwark Playhouse SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THEY SHALL NOT PASS    Given the current swell of antisemitism there was a heartstopping moment from Jez Unwin as Yitzhak Scheinberg,  patriarch of a hardworking East End Jewish family wh…

SOURCE: at 03:26PM

THE HUMAN BODY Donmar, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

1948 AND ALL THAT    Right now, the birth of the NHS in 1948 is more than appropriate to write about (there’s another play about Nye Bevan next week).  For as the most jaded doctor pred…

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

DOUBLE FEATURE.     Hampstead Theatre  by Libby Purves and Friends

WANNA BE IN MOVIES? REALLY? BRRRR! We open in a chilly Suffolk cottage in the rain (I  am tonight probably the only person here to have come direct from a chilly Suffolk cottage, in rain. C…

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Friday, February 16, 2024

DEAR OCTOPUS.      Lyttelton, SE1  by Libby Purves and Friends

TENTACLES  STRETCHING INTO PAST AND FUTURE     Electricity is coming to the village but the elderly Randolphs wont bother, preferring the paraffin lamplight of their forebears.  Their ho…

SOURCE: at 02:46PM
Thursday, February 15, 2024

JUST FOR ONE DAY.  Old vic. SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

WHEN THE BOOMERS WERE ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD...     “We were there!” cry the cast of John O’Farrell’s jukebox tribute to the 1985 Live Aid concert. Memories undimmed nearly f…

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.       Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

FAIRYTALE AS FESTIVAL      “The lunatic, the lover and the poet”  are all served in any Midsummer Night’s dream.   Here the first two get most traction,  the poetry least (until …

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Monday, February 12, 2024

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Coliseum, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

    LYRICAL, FARCICAL, PERFECT Figaro, rascally wigmaker and foam-flinging wet-shaver, is  basically the first rapper, isnt he? Staccato eloquence at speed, braggart confidence in breech…

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

THE HILLS OF CALIFORNIA Harold Pinter Theatre, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

 AMERICAN DREAMS IN FADING BLACKPOOL     Suddenly within a fortnight come two very classy new plays,  funny and thoughtful and moving beyond the ordinary. Moreover, in a tiny revolution …

SOURCE: at 07:11PM
Friday, February 2, 2024

BRONCO BILLY Charing Cross Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

THAT OL’TIME WESTERN DREAM OF 1979 I have a weakness for this  little theatre under the arches and its Players’ Bar.  Honouring a music-hall history, and with some of the cheapest stal…

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

TILL THE STARS COME DOWN Dorfman, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SMALL PEOPLE,  BIG PLAY          A hot summer wedding-day.  The bride Sylvia is a bag of nerves, big sister Hazel competently combing and marshalling her  teenage and smaller daught…

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

THE FROGS. Royal and Derngate, Northampton by Libby Purves and Friends

UNFROGGETTABLE MOMENTS IN THE UNDERWORLD    Aitor Basauri does not need to be framed in a 20ft-high giant puppet frog in order to be funny,  but blissful overkill is part of the pleasure …

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

NORTHANGER ABBEY Orange Tree, Richmond by Libby Purves and Friends

A DANCE AROUND AUSTEN’S LEGACY The book is known and loved enough: Jane Austen’s first full novel,  written with satirical youthful wit but long laid aside unpublished. It gleefully sho…

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

THE MOST PRECIOUS OF GOODS Marylebone Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

LEST ANYONE FORGET..    Storytime!  Before a tangled treescape  Samantha Spiro sits with a book on her lap.   Across the simple stage a few notes from Gemma Rosefield’s ‘cello settl…

SOURCE: at 06:31PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2024

KIN Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

BORDERS AND BRUTALITIES, Maybe I shouldnt review what is essentially physical-theatre. I have no dance-cred, and I was pleased to be warned years ago by the great Benedict Nightingale, when …

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Tuesday, January 16, 2024

DON’T DESTROY ME Arcola, Dalston by Libby Purves and Friends

WAR’S LONG SHADOW            I have a taste for  “Forgotten” plays of  well-made realism, illustrating  how it actually felt to live in Britain through now-distant decades.  …

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Friday, January 12, 2024

THE GOOD JOHN PROCTOR Jermyn St Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

BEFORE THE SALEM TERROR       This week, to little acclaim,  the Ambassadors opened Tbe Enfield Haunting,  a play centred on the spooky hysteria of troubled teenage girls.. The followi…

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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

THE ENFIELD HAUNTING Ambassadors, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

GRIEF, CLASS, AND THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT           Press night having moved about and gone incommunicado, this is from when I bought a preview ticket at Richmond..same cast an…

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Thursday, December 21, 2023

PACIFIC OVERTURES. Menier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

JAPAN MEETS THE NOISY WEST        This is exquisite, and not only in Paul Farnsworth’s dreamy set and Ayako Maeda’s costumes, from peasant fishermen to Shogun magnificence.  The Men…

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

THIS MUCH I KNOW Hampstead, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

BRAINS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM USEFUL      Clearly it is the mission of Hampstead Downstairs to broaden our education,  no bad ambition.  Not long ago I learned a lot about the life and em…

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

ROCK ’N ROLL           Hampstead Theatre, NW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A BLAST FROM THE PAST TO INSPIRE OR IRRITATE       By the interval I was mournfully unconvinced that there was any point at all in reviving Tom Stoppard’s 17-year-old play , about Commu…

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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

RED RIDING HOOD AND THE BIG BAD PIG JW3, London by Libby Purves and Friends

  CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SPIRIT      Can this really be the first Jewish pantomime?  Oy vay, surely this culture with its musical genius,  ironic jokes , family warmth,   tall tales and…

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PANDEMONIUM Soho Theatre, Dean Street by Libby Purves and Friends

ANOTHER KIND OF INQUIRY    I suppose we will have to wait a few years for the dust to settle and James Graham to write a nuanced play about the Boris-Covid-Tory-pocalypse. Meanwhile this 8…

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Sunday, December 10, 2023

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: IN CONCERT           Touring  by Libby Purves and Friends

DICKENS IN RIOTOUS RHYME AND BAGPIPES – ON TOUR      Wouldn’t be right to get through December without Dickens, would it?   But I have seen the magnificent Old Vic adaptation by Jack…

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

GOLDA Tabernacle, W11 by Libby Purves and Friends

   I don’t usually record anything that’s two-nights-only, but this one I think will flower and fly, so watch out for it.  It’s already looking like turning up in March at TR Haymar…

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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

ODYSSEY – A HEROIC PANTOMIME          Jermyn Street Theatre WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

BEWARE OF GREEKS BRINGING GAGS    Where does Kylie get her kebabs?  From Jason’s doner van!   If that makes you scuttle away in fright, you have not yet achieved the correct seasonal a…

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Saturday, November 25, 2023

GHOSTS Wanamaker, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

DARK BEFORE THE DAWN        To emerge with any redemptive sense from Joe Hill-Gibbins’  spare, scorching  rather brilliant production,  it helps to remember that Henrik Ibsen, after…

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Friday, November 24, 2023

THE WITCHES Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

ANY TOIL AND TROUBLE WAS WELL WORTH IT Everything a child could want is here:   the dark thrill of imagined orphanhood, a quest,  baddies , jeopardy and jokes, bouncy musical spectacle,  …

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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER Orange Tree, Richmond by Libby Purves and Friends

GOLDSMITH BEATEN LIGHT AS AIR      Nice symmetry in Tom Littler’s decision to set Oliver Goldsmith’s 1773 comedy in the Wodehousian Jazz Age:  the Georgians, with their boozy monarch…

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Friday, November 10, 2023

MATES IN CHELSEA Royal Court, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

FLAT WHITE AND WOEFUL        If you’re going to splash out on a visually arresting finale of assassination, a vivId fire destroying a Norman tower and a lyrical monologue about Lenin,�…

SOURCE: at 07:10AM

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE 1936 by Libby Purves and Friends

ECHOES OF DARKNESS     Jews gather, laughing and chattering, offering a toast as they run down the aisles to settle downstage for a Passover meal with candles, prayers and the ancient ques…

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All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards