All stories by Ian Foster on BroadwayStars

Monday, August 6, 2018

‘A cracking piece of writing & a thoroughly enjoyable new play’: HOME, I’M DARLING – National Theatre by Ian Foster

Katherine Parkinson is simply spectacular as Judy, a vision in froufy frocks and pin-up hair, a woman who has entirely reinvented herself, right down to the way she holds herself.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

‘There are zero complaints about the acting, it’s the play that is on life support’: ALLELUJAH! – Bridge Theatre by Ian Foster

In some ways, Allelujah! is perfectly symptomatic of the problem I have with the Bridge Theatre. Does London really need any new theatres, no matter how much people think they want interval …

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

‘Delivered with a real warmth & a nicely flirty eye for the audience’: BURY THE HATCHET – Hope Theatre by Ian Foster

Out of the Forest Theatre’s contribution to the genre comes in the form of Bury the Hatchet, self-described as a “true crime podcast meets bluegrass musical” and all sorts of fun with …

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

‘A striking, sideways examination of death’: EXIT THE KING – National Theatre by Ian Foster

And as an absurdist drama, Exit the King suggests a bit of different thinking. On the face of it, it’s a simple enough tale – a man is told he only has a day left to live and struggles t…

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

‘A bold attempt to move a classic musical into contemporary times’: SWEET CHARITY – Watermill Theatre, Newbury by Ian Foster

You can never have too much charity it would seem, and as Rebecca Trehearn prepares to take on the role of Charity Hope Valentine in Nottingham next month, Gemma Sutton tackles it here at th…

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Revisiting two musicals: All change on the Strand for Dreamgirls & Kinky Boots by Ian Foster

Come mid-January, the Strand will look a fair bit different for theatregoers as both Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls have posted advance closing notices, leaving the Adelphi and the Savoy respect…

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Film Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again by Ian Foster

I was lucky enough to see an early screening of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again last week and I thought it was fricking fantastic.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

‘It’s all so relentless and random’: PITY – Royal Court Theatre by Ian Foster

As strong as the cast is (Abraham Popoola and Siobhán McSweeney stand out), the hyperactive knowing style in which they deliver Pity also grates.

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

‘Engagingly & captivatingly staged’: THE WHITE ROSE – Brockley Jack Theatre by Ian Foster

For all the weight of the subject, The White Rose is engagingly and captivatingly staged, losing none of the visual inventiveness that has characterised so much of Arrows & Traps’ pre…

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

‘There’s something a little special here’: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – St Albans by Ian Foster

The prospect of a Much Ado About Nothing drenched in 1950s Americana was one that piqued my interest, even if the well-realised shiny set design sits a little incongruously among the Roman r…

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

’One of the most daring things I’ve ever seen on stage’: JELLYFISH – Bush Theatre by Ian Foster

Almost impossibly tender and true, Ben Weatherill’s Jellyfish is a minor-key masterpiece at the Bush Theatre.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

‘A thrilling production’: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY – National Theatre by Ian Foster

The Lehman Trilogy is a tale of boom to bust: Stefano Massini’s epic play, adaptedby Ben Power, takes a generational viewpoint to move us through 170 years of American history and three ge…

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

‘Points towards a possible way forward through all this pain’: FAT JEWELS – Hope Theatre by Ian Foster

Joseph Skelton’s writing in Fat Jewels layers in a dark vein of comedy which adds an additionally discomfiting level but crucially, it also points towards a possible way forward through al…

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

‘More Hollyoaks than Henry V’: KNIGHTS OF THE ROSE – Arts Theatre by Ian Foster

The website for Knights of the Rose leads with the quote “is this the most epic rock musical?” and bold as that is, well, the answer is most definitively no.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

‘Has a real thrill factor’: IMPERIUM I – CONSPIRATOR – West End by Ian Foster

First seen at the RSC last winter, Mike Poulton’s adaptation of Robert Harris’ Cicero novels have a suitably epic feel to them and, anchored by an excellent lead performance from Richard…

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

‘Ingenious & imaginative’: KNOCK KNOCK & LUCID– RADA Festival by Ian Foster

The 2018 RADA Festival kicks off in fine style with the extraordinary physical work of New Public’s Lucid and the enchanting charm of Hot Coals’ Knock Knock.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

‘Remains impressively exciting & gripping’: IMPERIUM II – DICTATOR – West End by Ian Foster

Imperium II: Dictator continues a compelling look at (Roman) politics at the Gielgud Theatre but I do feel obliged to point out just how male-heavy the piece skews.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

‘Reminding us of how much we stand to lose’: THE GREATEST WEALTH – The Old Vic by Ian Foster

Paying tribute to the NHS in its 70th year, the specially-commissioned monologues of The Greatest Wealth made for a great night at the Old Vic.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

‘All-too-pertinent’: WICKED – West End by Ian Foster

As Wicked powers towards its 13th year on the West End, Alice Fearn’s Elphaba ensures visitors to the Apollo Victoria won’t be disappointed.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

‘Bittersweetly funny, powerfully emotive & superlatively performed’: FUN HOME – Young Vic by Ian Foster

It’s fitting that Fun Home should open in Pride month, not least because it is an all-too-rare show that focuses on the L in LGBT+. But as stirring and gratifying and significant as it is …

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‘Unafraid to reflect a cold & unfeeling world’: MACHINAL – Almeida Theatre by Ian Foster

Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 play Machinal may be the story of one woman battling societal pressure but Natalie Abrahami’s production for the Almeida Theatre teases out a more elemental strug…

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

‘It feels a problematic choice to stage’: KISS ME, KATE – West End by Ian Foster

Under the glossy veneer of amazing choreography, the fulsome sound of Opera North’s orchestra and some spectacular performances, its gender politics are simply presented as they are. And p…

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Monday, June 25, 2018

‘We’re in the palm of Scott’s hand’: SEA WALL – The Old Vic by Ian Foster

Key to Sea Wall’s effectiveness is Andrew Scott’s ability to connect so entirely with his audience. Laughing and joking, we’re totally with him in the anecdotes of his ideal life.

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

‘I have fallen hard for its charms’: Album Review: Broken Wings by Ian Foster

Written by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, the concept album of new musical Broken Wings marks an ambitious debut and an impressive arrival.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

‘Impossible not to appreciate it on most levels’: THE COUNTRY WIFE – Chichester by Ian Foster

How many productions does it take for a playwright to have a moment? We could be on the cusp of a William Wycherley wave, with the second production of The Country Wife to arrive this year (…

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Friday, June 22, 2018

‘A couple of hours of something really quite moving’: IT’S ONLY LIFE – Union Theatre by Ian Foster

The US composer and lyricist John Bucchino is the man of the moment here, but it is tempting to consider director Tania Azevedo the real star, leading a superb company of cast and creatives …

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

‘This is one classroom you’ll yearn to stay in’: THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE – Donmar Warehouse by Ian Foster

Based on the novel by Muriel Sparks, David Harrower’s new stage adaptation of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie not only marks the 100th anniversary year of Spark’s birth but provides a scor…

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘A refreshing take on the genre’: GUY – A NEW MUSICAL: Bunker Theatre by Ian Foster

On the one hand, it is really great to see a gay rom-com being unashamedly romantic and comedic in such an inclusive manner. On the other, I couldn’t help but wish that Sam Ward’s produc…

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Monday, June 18, 2018

‘A fascinating piece full of potential’: KISS CHASE – Bunker Theatre by Ian Foster

The idea of Kiss Chase is an intriguing one, as it promises “a part-interactive, part-verbatim speed dating event” in the confines of the Bunker Theatre, with the bar staying open throug…

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

‘Delicately heartbreaking’: COCKAMAMY – Hope Theatre by Ian Foster

In the world of Cockamamy, a Lustrum Award-winning play, Louise Coulthard uses her own experiences to depict the experience of how dementia can affect a household.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

‘Intelligent & uncompromising interrogation of a nation’s past’: I AM OF IRELAND – Old Red Lion Theatre by Ian Foster

I Am Of Ireland is a challenging play to be sure, and one which rightfully provides no easy answers, but it is an intelligent and uncompromising interrogation of a nation’s past that Engli…

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All that Chat