All stories by John Chapman on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

‘There’s a big rush of energy any time the quartet of actors enter the space’: THE DWARFS – White Bear Theatre by John Chapman

Harold Pinter’s The Dwarfs is a fascinating glimpse into the development of one of the major playwrights of the 20th century and this production does it full credit.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Friday, May 6, 2022

’An interesting addition to the audio theatre scene’: FIZZY SHERBERT (Online Show) by John Chapman

All three of the short plays that feature in Fizzy Sherbet’s audio series centre on writer/performers who, not unnaturally, bring a depth of emotion to their own work.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Saturday, April 23, 2022

‘Phoebe Marshall & Kieran Dee are a classy double act’: Jo & Sam Find Themselves In Woking – Hen & Chickens Theatre by John Chapman

I’m not sure whether I’ve actually been to Woking. It’s that sort of place – although how I’d know that if I’ve never actually been there, I really couldn’t say. I suppose it…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

‘Sondheim’s songs are the saving grace of this rather purposeless musical’: ANYONE CAN WHISTLE – Southwark Playhouse by John Chapman

One of Sondheim's earliest works Anyone Can Whistle has just opened at Southwark Playhouse. Notoriously a flop back in 1964, many have tried but few have succeeded in reviving its fortunes.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Friday, April 8, 2022

‘George Kemp is excellent as Joe Orton’: DIARY OF A SOMEBODY – Seven Dials Playhouse by John Chapman

Diary Of A Somebody is credited to John Lahr, though technically he might be said to be the arranger/editor. For the actual words are those of Joe Orton as recorded in a journal that he deci…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Thursday, April 7, 2022

‘A real cheerer-upper of a show’: HMS PINAFORE – Wilton’s Music Hall by John Chapman

After a trying day (don’t ask), it was particularly pleasing therefore to unwind with Sasha Regan’s All-Male HMS Pinafore at Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Saturday, April 2, 2022

‘A gripping account with some knife-edge will-he-won’t-he moments’: THE RED – Original Theatre (Online show) by John Chapman

Having seen Marcus Brigstocke’s name attached to it, I instantly assumed this would be a broadly comic play that was strong on laughs and reasonably light on subject matter.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Friday, March 18, 2022

‘Like visitors at a zoo, we watch intently as the family’s background is forensically examined’: THE ANIMAL KINGDOM – Hampstead Theatre by John Chapman

Animal behaviour but within a human framework. This is a powerful new play from Ruby Thomas at Hampstead Theatre.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 08:00AM
Saturday, February 12, 2022

‘A show that examines class quite candidly’: KIPPS – The New Half a Sixpence Musical (Online review) by John Chapman

Kipps – The New Half A Sixpence Musical is “new” in the sense that it’s an updated version of a musical first performed in the early 1960s to showcase the singing, dancing and banjo …

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Thursday, January 20, 2022

‘This ensemble piece is exceptionally well cast & full of energy’: EAST IS EAST – National Theatre At Home (Online review) by John Chapman

East Is East is a recent addition to National Theatre's At Home catalogue and only appeared as a live production back in October.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Thursday, January 13, 2022

‘Ruth Wilson is strong casting in the central role’: HEDDA GABLER – National Theatre At Home (Online review) by John Chapman

Ruth Wilson is strong casting in the central role with a, for once, restrained Ivo van Hove directing.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Monday, January 10, 2022

‘Relentlessly upbeat & cheerful to watch’: ANYTHING GOES (Online reviews) by John Chapman

Light as a souffle but such a delight. It’s doubtful whether there has ever been a classier bit of froth than this Cole Porter show.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Wednesday, January 5, 2022

‘A modern fairy tale with attitude’: SHREK THE MUSICAL (Online review) by John Chapman

The Shrek franchise opts for a modern-day spin on the traditional form, undermining expectations and undercutting some of the more winsome aspects with one-liners and witty put-downs.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Thursday, December 30, 2021

‘I would like to see how this audio drama would play out onstage: WINTER SOLSTICE – BBC Sounds (Online review) by John Chapman

The holidays have always been a time of rich pickings for dramatists, bringing together people (pre-Covid at least) who probably avoid each other for the rest of the year.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Monday, December 20, 2021

‘What is unquestionably fabulous is the whole area of design’: DOCTOR WHO: Time Fracture – Unit Headquarters by John Chapman

A full-on immersive event - part play, part museum exhibit, part theme park ride and part party.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 09:00AM
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

‘Enhanced by crisp editing & two towering performances’: DEATH OF ENGLAND: FACE TO FACE – National Theatre (Online review) by John Chapman

The Death Of England sequence by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams has had an interesting history. Starting life as a ten-minute microplay film courtesy of the Royal Court.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Sunday, December 12, 2021

‘After The Hairy Ape, I approached this with a degree of trepidation’: ANNA CHRISTIE (Online review) by John Chapman

Anna Christie, which predates The Hairy Ape, won the 1922 Pulitzer prize for drama and therefore had to have something going for it.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Friday, December 3, 2021

‘Absolutely outstanding in just about every single aspect’: LIFE OF PI – West End by John Chapman

It’s only happened a handful of times in my theatregoing life, but at Wyndham's Theatre, I had the urge to leap to my feet and instigate a standing ovation. In fact, I felt that way as the…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 05:00AM
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

‘Great writing can be interpreted & reinterpreted in any number of ways’: CONSTELLATIONS – Donmar Warehouse (Online review) by John Chapman

There's a world (indeed, a universe) of possibilities in this intriguing play about decisions and repercussions.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 11:00AM
Sunday, November 14, 2021

‘A fine octet of actors work well as an ensemble’: INTO BATTLE (Online review) by John Chapman

Remembrance Day seemed a perfect moment to review a production set just before and during the First World War, Hugh Salmon's finely rendered Into Battle.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Saturday, November 6, 2021

‘It’s a joyful piece of theatre to take us out of the misery of lockdown’: DOING SHAKESPEARE – Bridewell Theatre by John Chapman

The live version of Northern Comedy Theatre's lockdown Zoom hit sees Shakespeare diced, sliced and put through the mincer at the Bridewell Theatre.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 06:00AM
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Doing the interview with Doing Shakespeare’s comedy duo creatives by John Chapman

After becoming a fan of their online comedies during lockdown, I chat with Northern Comedy Theatre artistic director Shaun Chambers and writer David Spicer as they transfer their Zoom hit Do…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 12:00PM
Friday, October 29, 2021

‘Edgar Allan Poe’s original texts are honoured in a solo tour de force’: ONE MAN POE – Online & touring by John Chapman

Stephen Smith of Threedumb Theatre is something of a Gothic horror aficionado, especially when it comes to the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

‘The power to make memories is fundamental to being human’: TIMELESS (Online review) by John Chapman

Following a brief run at London's The Space and ahead of a tour, Brian Coyle’s 2018 one-man play Timeless was made available as an on-demand stream.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

‘Ensemble comedy in the British up-against-the-odds tradition’: GOING THE DISTANCE (Online review) by John Chapman

This latest star-studded digital offering from Henry Filloux-Bennett and the Lawrence Batley Theatre is a pleasing comedy about the tribulations of putting on a post-pandemic production.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 09:00AM
Friday, October 8, 2021

‘Sombre mood, visual distortions, intense emotions’: THE HAIRY APE — Online by John Chapman

I remember a student I was once trying to get to read more saying “What’s the point, there are just too many books”. Perhaps I’m beginning to have the same reaction to digital theatr…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 05:00AM
Thursday, September 30, 2021

‘Deals with some important issues’: MY BOY DANNY (Online review) by John Chapman

New online theatre material keeps popping up all the time – or at least it eventually comes to my attention which amounts to much the same thing; this latest one did so by a somewhat circu…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 05:00AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

‘Far from the traditional’: SLEEPING BEAUTY ‘DREAM ON’ – Chickenshed Theatre (Online review) by John Chapman

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed one of the many shows which youth theatre Chickenshed put out during the pandemic. In fact, their last released piece came out in May so apologies t…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 07:00AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

‘The monk playing an electric guitar is a more recent invention’: THE YORK MYSTERY PLAYS – BBC Sounds (Online Review) by John Chapman

It is not with a little sense of surprise that I found myself yesterday experiencing my 800th online production which is the subject of this review. Back in April 2020 I, probably along with…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 09:00AM
Monday, September 27, 2021

‘I didn’t find that this production ever really took off’: MY NIGHT WITH REG — Online / Turbine by John Chapman

One of the huge advantages of online theatre over the last eighteen months or so has been being able to catch up with plays that any self-respecting reviewer should have seen but for whateve…

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 09:00AM
Sunday, September 26, 2021

‘The Greek legend is more or less intact’: ORPHEUS (Online review) by John Chapman

The Greek myths have endured across the centuries partly because they are timeless stories that can be endlessly updated and reinvented.

SOURCE: mytheatremates.com at 10:00AM