All stories by Helen Hawkins on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 4, 2023

Dreaming and Drowning, Bush Theatre - dense and intense monologue about Black queer identity by Helen Hawkins

Terrific showcase for writer-director Kwame Owusu and his performer Kwame Owusu’s 55-minute one-hander does just what it says on the tin: it features a young student who dreams he is drow…

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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Infinite Life, National Theatre review - beguiling new comedy about a world of pain by Helen Hawkins

Annie Baker delivers a richly satisfying piece about hungry women A sun deck with seven pale-green padded loungers is the latest setting for the latest National Theatre premiere from Ameri…

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Friday, December 1, 2023

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Lyric Theatre review - adult panto delivered as jolly chaos by Helen Hawkins

Mischief Theatre’s sight gags are faultlessly timed, though the verbals need a trim Mischief Theatre set themselves a big challenge when they evolved their brand of knowing slapstick. And…

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Thursday, October 26, 2023

Clyde's, Donmar Warehouse review - high-octane comedy with a soft-centre by Helen Hawkins

Lynn Nottage and Lynette Linton reunite to deliver a rollicking evening Lynn Nottage’s second London opening this year, the Donmar premiere of Clyde’s, is a comedy about a sandwich, the…

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Confessions, National Theatre review - rich mix of the personal and the epic by Helen Hawkins

Alexander Zeldin creates a complex portrait of a woman's struggle for self-esteem How to describe Alexander Zeldin’s latest, The Confessions? It is almost a kitchen-sink drama, but also a …

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Friday, October 20, 2023

Dear England, Prince Edward Theatre review - still a winner in its new West End home by Helen Hawkins

James Graham's play works like a big joke that a whole nation is in on It was interesting, in the same week that the England football team trounced Italy 3-1 in a Euros qualifier, to see Dea…

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Thursday, October 19, 2023

Meetings, Orange Tree Theatre review - three-hander that chews on big issues by Helen Hawkins

Mustapha Matura's 1981 play set in modern Trinidad is superbly served up Mustapha Matura’s 1981 play, Meetings, is still a knockout. Supply the characters with mobile phones and it could …

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Hamnet, Garrick Theatre review - conventional adaptation of the bestseller drains its poetry away by Helen Hawkins

Maggie O'Farrell's inventive retelling of the Shakespeares' love story needs a more inventive production The RSC apparently has a hit on its hands with its West End transfer of Hamnet. Box o…

SOURCE: at 04:49AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends, Gielgud Theatre review - exuberant gala of nonstop virtuosity by Helen Hawkins

Big Broadway show with a pleasing British accent The Sondheim gala show Old Friends is a must for fans of the master, naturally, but its quality would knock anybody who loves musical theatre…

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Close-Up: The Twiggy Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory review - a tourist's view of a Sixties icon by Helen Hawkins

Ben Elton has written an odd musical-documentary, part comic-strip, part lecture The Biba dresses are way too colourful, the shop’s interior about 10 times too bright… and did anybody re…

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Friday, September 22, 2023

It's Headed Straight Towards Us, Park Theatre review - indigestible mix of fact and fiction by Helen Hawkins

Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer have muddled aims for a tale of warring actors An impressive performance by Samuel West as one of two warring hams stuck on-set in a trailer over a not-so-d…

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Mlima's Tale, Kiln Theatre review - simple, powerful tale about the rape of Africa by Helen Hawkins

Lynn Nottage’s 2018 play gets an exquisite staging with moving performances The work of the double Pulitzer-winning Black American dramatist Lynn Nottage has thankfully become a fixture in…

SOURCE: at 08:49AM
Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Old Man and the Pool, Wyndham's Theatre - Mike Birbiglia makes a big splash by Helen Hawkins

The affable American humourist proves death becomes him Few comedians are such good company that you never want them to stop. The young Billy Connolly was one such; affable American Mike Bi…

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Saturday, September 9, 2023

God of Carnage, Lyric Hammersmith review - a dark piece is lightened with slapstick by Helen Hawkins

Yasmin Reza's savage study of the middle-classes becomes a farce lacking in danger Yasmin Reza’s God of Carnage (2008), like her British megahit, 1994’s ART, is not strictly a comedy. Th…

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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse review - terrific cast in a punchy musical by Helen Hawkins

Twin miseries of bipolar disorder and grief are given an unusual treatment The journey from off-Broadway to central London has taken 15 years, but the multi-award-winning musical Next to N…

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Odyssey: The Underworld, National Theatre review - community effort with real heart and a great staging by Helen Hawkins

The Public Acts project creates a model mix of high and low for a modern ensemble One of the great wonders of Western literary history is one of the earliest, Homer’s The Odyssey, an epic …

SOURCE: at 04:55AM
Saturday, July 22, 2023

Grenfell: In the Words of Survivors, National Theatre review - verbatim theatre delivered to wrenching effect by Helen Hawkins

Gillian Slovo's incendiary play points a finger at the bureaucrats at the heart of the tragedy The shadow of Grenfell Tower has already produced Nick Kent and Richard Norton-Taylor’s dispa…

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Tuesday, July 4, 2023

A Playlist for the Revolution, Bush Theatre review - idealism meets reality head-on by Helen Hawkins

Two students clash over changing the world with a playlist The revolution in the title of AJ Yi’s new play at the Bush is the one activists hoped to set in motion in Hong Kong in 2019, whe…

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Monday, July 3, 2023

Song from Far Away, Hampstead Theatre review - gentle monologue from a man grappling with grief by Helen Hawkins

Will Young brings sweetness to a thin scenario Lucky Will Young: the production of the Simon Stephens monologue Song from Far Away that he is delivering at the Hampstead Theatre is directed…

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Saturday, July 1, 2023

A Strange Loop, Barbican review - Black queer musical with confusing concept but an excellent lead by Helen Hawkins

Michael R Jackson's writing talent finds a claustrophobic outlet If you are going to see A Strange Loop, the new American musical trailing a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize that has arrived …

SOURCE: at 01:07AM
Thursday, June 22, 2023

Mrs Doubtfire, Shaftesbury Theatre review - bold musical makeover of the hit comic film by Helen Hawkins

A star turn from Gabriel Vick powers a lively but loud adaptation The heart sinks (mine does, anyway) as the latest film-to-musical adaptation rolls into town, all with similar sound-worlds,…

SOURCE: at 08:55PM
Tuesday, June 20, 2023

School Girls, Lyric Hammersmith review - an African Mean Girls with added bite by Helen Hawkins

Pupils at an elite Ghanaian school learn home truths about their country The alternative title of Jocelyn Bioh’s 2017 play School Girls, The African Mean Girls Play, might indicate that it…

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Friday, June 16, 2023

Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image The Musical, Phoenix Theatre review - more crude than cruel by Helen Hawkins

Easy targets and predictable jibes let down an ambitious production There are flashes during Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image The Musical of the old mordant humour from the show's heyday,…

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Southwark Playhouse Elephant review - superbly performed folksy musical by Helen Hawkins

A winning ensemble led by Jamie Parker deliver a refreshing piece The short story F Scott Fitzgerald wrote as a challenge, of a man born 70 years old whose body gets younger as the years pas…

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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Groundhog Day, Old Vic review - Tim Minchin’s musical returns in full-on style by Helen Hawkins

A bravura turn from Andy Karl propels a tricky piece over its self-created speed bumps Groundhog Day, appropriately, is back where it started. The hit film about a TV weatherman’s endlessl…

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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Yours Unfaithfully, Jermyn Street Theatre review - resonant debate about open marriage from 1933 by Helen Hawkins

Forgotten Miles Malleson play deserves its revival Miles Malleson, known as an inter-war character actor who popped up in numerous small roles on stage and screen, was also a surprisingly p…

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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Mad About the Boy review - entertaining cradle-to-grave Noel Coward documentary by Helen Hawkins

The Master's life seen close up but with no warts Devoted fans may not learn anything that new about Noel Coward from Barnaby Thompson’s documentary Mad About the Boy, but they will doubtl…

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Re-Member Me, Hampstead Theatre review - wittily staged but poignant lip-syncing by Helen Hawkins

Dickie Beau creates a tribute to past Hamlets, one in particular Lip-syncing has become the hobby of many a young TikToker, but only an intrepid professional would contemplate using the tech…

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Invisible, Bush Studio review - engaging monologue about Brown cultural identity by Helen Hawkins

Nikhil Parmar delivers his play with passion and wit The Bond film theme plays and the lights go up at the Bush’s Studio space to reveal, not a tuxedoed superspy, but a slim figure in cas…

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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre review - high-octane musical comedy hits the big time by Helen Hawkins

Five actors plus loads of silly hats and accents add up to a hilarious evening It’s back yet again, Operation Mincemeat, a gift of a story that goes on giving. It surfaced as the 1956 film…

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Monday, May 8, 2023

August in England, Bush Theatre review - Lenny Henry monologue lands a painful one-two by Helen Hawkins

The Windrush scandal embodied with wrenching power Reggae hits are already playing over the speaker system at the Bush when the audience enters, some jigging to the sounds as they find their…

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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
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