All stories by Johnny Fox on BroadwayStars

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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Monday, November 20, 2017

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS – West End ★★★ by Johnny Fox

Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross – not a tartan bonnet in sight, it’s an All-American play set in Chicago in the 80’s – is about ruthless competition between real estate salesmen, paid …

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

THE RED LION – Trafalgar Studios by Johnny Fox

Two old muckers run a semi-professional club in the Northern League – John Bowler‘s wonderfully poetic Yates, a deeply loyal ex-player with the stamp of Nobby Stiles, is the ‘kit man…

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

AM I DEAD YET? – Soho Theatre by Johnny Fox

Hoping to contribute to the ‘conversation’ about death in a time of rapid medical advancement, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe’s Am I Dead Yet? will leave you asking yourself the same que…

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

THE DIARY OF A NOBODY – King’s Head Theatre ★★ by Johnny Fox

The Diary of a Nobody is one of those books you’re convinced you’ve read, until you see it staged and realise that either you’ve forgotten it, or the director had a completely differen…

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

YOUNG MARX – Bridge Theatre by Johnny Fox

It’s a clever idea by Richard Bean, to envision a story set when Karl Marx was an impecunious migrant living in the ‘squalor’ of Dean Street in Soho, caught between the pawnbrokers and…

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN – West End ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

It might be too early for pantomime, but it’s never too soon to see Mel Brooks’ ingenious updating of Young Frankenstein delivered as a spoof both of the horror movie genre and of the th…

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION – County Hall ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

The first crime uncovered in Witness for the Prosecution is that this amazing space, the glorious council chamber of the LCC then GLC at County Hall has not been pressed into service for sit…

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Monday, October 23, 2017

OF KITH & KIN – Bush Theatre ★★★ by Johnny Fox

It doesn’t help that everyone’s so unlikeable – younger Oliver (Joshua Silver) is a self-centered underachieving queen with Disney fantasies, partner Daniel (James Lance) is an ex-hete…

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE – West End ★★★ by Johnny Fox

A Woman of No Importance is the most Shavian of Wilde’s plays – in fact with a slight reshuffling of the cast the same company could present Bernard Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession al…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LABOUR OF LOVE – West End ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

James Graham is on an electoral roll: There’s certainly a surfeit of election nights in Labour of Love and Martin Freeman’s bright boy Blairite David Lyons

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Monday, October 16, 2017

HAIR – The Vaults ★★★ by Johnny Fox

No ‘turn’ unstoned? The fourteen young performers in Hair certainly give a credible impression of being out of their skulls on psychedelic substances while still managing to deliver som…

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – London Coliseum ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

A starry home team enthusiastically play up the comedy. Sarah Tynan is one of ENO’s most technically perfect sopranos but she’s also their wittiest actress and her Rosina is effortlessly…

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Friday, September 8, 2017

FOLLIES – National Theatre by Johnny Fox

We should never be afraid to attack sacred cows. And when sacred cows are also cash cows, we should never be afraid to kick them in their milky udders

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

LOOT – Park Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Filth, farce and absurdism are individually difficult to pull off so combining all three in a ripely uncensored 50th-anniversary version of Joe Orton’s Loot is high risk, but when it works…

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LATE COMPANY – Trafalgar Studios ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Jordan Tannahill’s taut, 75-minute darkly comic real-life social drama Late Company draws two Toronto couples into God of Carnage country as they attempt to broker closure over the suicide…

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