All stories by Johnny Fox on BroadwayStars

Saturday, April 7, 2018

‘Delivered with style and class’: THE COUNTRY WIFE – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

I have history with The Country Wife. As a drama student I learned the role of Harcourt in 24 hours when illness devastated the cast at the Nuffield Theatre Lancaster. The reviewer from the …

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

‘Bernadette Robinson has an extraordinary voice’: SONGS FOR NOBODIES – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Fearing ‘yet another’ one-woman show about Judy Garland, I almost missed out on Songs for Nobodies, but three things conspired to make it rather special.

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‘A format which has long passed its sell-by date’: A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN – Touring by Johnny Fox

Side by Side, Sondheim on Sondheim, A Spoonful of Sherman, a Shovelful of… Schwartz, Songs from the Shows, a somewhat unenchanted evening with – may the gods preserve us from compilatio…

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

‘May have redefined the gay writing genre for a new generation’: THE INHERITANCE – Young Vic ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

It would be hard to imagine a play about young gay lives that speaks more eloquently to older gay men than the moving, informative and often hilarious The Inheritance at the Young Vic.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

‘When misguided concept meets slapdash production’: RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL – Arts Theatre ★ by Johnny Fox

Ruthless! The Musical is a self-styled camp cult event in which the musical theatre genre, and several popular musicals, are spoofed. That they are ancient camp favourites such as Mame and G…

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Monday, March 26, 2018

‘Feeling trapped’: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN – Menier Chocolate Factory ★★ by Johnny Fox

Has the Menier Chocolate Factory come to the end of the road? If you want to know how it feels to be trapped in some nightmare prison with no prospect of release, sit in the middle of a row …

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

‘Struggles to rise above the pastiche’: MISS NIGHTINGALE – Hippodrome by Johnny Fox

At the Hippodrome Casino, in an unusual move from cabaret to a six-week run of a staged musical, Matthew Bugg’s Miss Nightingale comes up for air for at least the third time after taking t…

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

‘It’s a classic’: BRIEF ENCOUNTER – Empire Cinema Haymarket ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

The interactive movie footage in Brief Encounter is well done, there are trains enough to satisfy the most diligent railway enthusiast, and the breaking waves motif is clever. Maybe it’s a…

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Monday, March 12, 2018

‘As a piece of vintage theatre, it may well be worth a look’: THE DOG BENEATH THE SKIN – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

The Dog Beneath the Skin is like nothing else you’ll see in London at the moment, and as a piece of vintage theatre, as well as vintage poetry, may well be worth a look.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

‘A good old-fashioned play about good old-fashioned politics’: THE BEST MAN – West End ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

A good old-fashioned play about good old-fashioned politics. Gore Vidal’s 1960 satire The Best Man is based around the Democratic convention where in reality JFK won his nomination.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

‘It’s the performances that drive this marvellous production’: FANNY & ALEXANDER – Old Vic Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

It may be better not to have seen the movie Fanny & Alexander. Coming to the stage version untainted you’ll have a stronger chance to enjoy an exuberant energy and ribald theatricalit…

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

‘Barrel-scraping wit’ – PIPPIN – Southwark Playhouse ★★★ by Johnny Fox

What shafts this production of Pippin royally in its fishnet and suspender-clad buttocks is its slavishly dated adherence to Fosse style costume and choreography as though no other interpret…

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Friday, March 2, 2018

‘A third dimension of pure class’: Harold & Maude – Charing Cross Theatre by Johnny Fox

This new stage version of Harold & Maude says more about modern attitudes to ageing, about feminism, migration and seizing opportunities than the current slew of angry Fringe diatribes.…

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

‘A random act of theatre’: A PRINCESS UNDONE – Park Theatre by Johnny Fox

Despite Felicity Dean’s fine glint-in-the-eye portrayal of both the camp and the stern Princess, there are no fresh insights in Richard Stirling’s script for A Princess Undone.

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

‘Doesn’t quite know which way to turn’: FOUL PAGES – Hope Theatre ★★★ by Johnny Fox

If the conflicting obsessions of the characters and the murkiness of the plot in Foul Pages at the Hope Theatre were more brightly illuminated, this could be a sustained and hilarious evenin…

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Monday, February 12, 2018

‘Cold, comfortless farm’: GUNDOG – Royal Court Theatre ★★ by Johnny Fox

It’s conspicuously worthy to try to combine elements of poverty, migration, feminism, dysfunction and dementia but neither Simon Longman’s tedious time-skipping script nor Vicky Feathers…

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

‘An ever-cresting wave of invention’: CARMEN – Royal Opera House ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

The gilt and red velvet box of Covent Garden, the austerity of the set, the wit of the production and the clarity of the voiceover narration clash magnificently with the romantic music to ma…

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

‘Collapse is something of a theme’: JULIUS CAESAR – Bridge Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Julius Caesar really isn’t Shakespeare’s best play, there’s very little poetry in the lines and after the assassination, the plot’s far from clear, but this production makes it acces…

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

‘Anyone with a taste for puzzles will have an absolute blast’: THE GRIFT – Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green by Johnny Fox

It’s impressively well executed – some of the performances are a bit breathless and the plot based on the illegitimate offspring of Michael Caine and Marilyn Monroe is barmy – but the …

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‘Robert Cuccioli is a vocally charismatic addition to London’s leading men’: ROTHSCHILD & SONS – Park Theatre by Johnny Fox

I wanted to know more what happened to the boys’ differing careers – banking houses in London, Paris, Vienna, Naples – and how did they get into wine? Actually, that’s a fabulous sto…

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Shock or schlock? THE EXORCIST – West End ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

It is a complicated logistical exercise to put on stage all the elements familiar from the film, and to deliver them with an authentic sense of menace. Often it works, the bed shaking and 3…

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

DICK WHITTINGTON – West End by Johnny Fox

Following critical and commercial success with last year’s Cinderella, QDOS Entertainment have again invested millions to make Dick Whittington the biggest, boldest and glitziest pantomime…

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

‘A glorious parade of movement & dance’: HAMILTON – West End ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Hamilton is slick, and lavish, and a glorious parade of movement and dance: Andy Blankenbuehler’s seamless choreography is a constant athletic cavalcade.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

THE TIN DRUM – Shoreditch Town Hall ★★★ by Johnny Fox

The Tin Drum is the ultimate ‘Marmite’ show – anyone who’s read the 1959 Günter Grass novel will thrill to this enthusiastic and explosive production, as will devotees of Kneehigh…

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‘Technically excellent’: A CHRISTMAS CAROL – London Musical Theatre Orchestra ★★★ by Johnny Fox

It’s wonderful to see conductor Freddie Tapner with the haircut and enthusiastic shoulder action of a young Andre Previn, urging them to greater and greater heights. But, to misquote Dicke…

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

THE BOX OF DELIGHTS – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

We should applaud productions brave enough to kick against the seasonal schmaltz. From exciting trap doors in floors and cupboards, to a talking disembodied head and spectacular floods, Tom …

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Monday, December 11, 2017

THE WOMAN IN WHITE – Charing Cross Theatre by Johnny Fox

The trouble with The Woman in White is that if you dissect the elements Andrew Lloyd Webber fused into the show, they’re all perfectly fine. You could also add that Thom Southerland’s p…

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Friday, December 8, 2017

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Old Vic Theatre ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

It takes a lot to put me in the mood for Christmas. But if anything can, this inventive A Christmas Carol does, pulling together tip-top modern stagecraft, a venerated story, and our proude…

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

KING TUT – King’s Head by Johnny Fox

Everything good rests on the broad shoulders and Borat-like moustache of director, writer, star and Sheffield export John Savournin. Not only does he have the best jokes and costumes as ‘L…

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Friday, December 1, 2017

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE – West End ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

The actors playing the teens are very fine, but top of the class are John McCrea as a spectacularly well-sung and well-observed Jamie, and Josie Walker as his mum with the only really heartf…

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Monday, November 27, 2017

WICKED – West End ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Eleven years since opening at the Apollo Victoria, Wicked is a well-oiled machine but the newest cast show the same enthusiasm and energy as at that unusual first night in 2006 when so many …

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