All stories by Laura Kressly on BroadwayStars

Monday, January 21, 2019

‘Stellar performances & a stunning soundscape’: OUTLYING ISLANDS – King’s Head Theatre by Laura Kressly

There are some stellar performances and a stunning soundscape from Atticist in Outlying Islands at the King’s Head Theatre.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

‘A perfect play for our troubled times’: WAR OF THE WORLDS – New Diorama Theatre by Laura Kressly

Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast of The War of Worlds caused widespread panic with its reports of an alien invasion in New Jersey. Or did it? Did the newspapers exaggerate the reaction to sell…

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

‘The cast is electric’: TIME IS LOVE / TIEMPO ES AMORE – Finborough Theatre by Laura Kressly

By the last ten minutes, the energy of the language and the characters’ burning need for meaningful relationships in Time is Love has set the place alight.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

‘A witty comedy of reconciliation & acceptance’: CHASING BONO – Soho Theatre by Laura Kressly

Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais turn the serious premise of Chasing Bono into a witty comedy of reconciliation and acceptance.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

‘The leads are exceptional in all the roles they take on’: MURDER FOR TWO – The Other Palace by Laura Kressly

Ed MacArthur and Jeremy Legat are exceptional in all the roles they take on in Murder For Two. Both pianists and triple threats, they charm their way through the story that tries so hard for…

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Friday, December 21, 2018

‘Some of the best of this year show anger, fear, uncertainty’: Top Ten productions of 2018 by Laura Kressly

Growing global discontent has been the hallmark of 2018, and 2019 is looking even worse. The last few years have marked a rise of the far-right, but theatremakers in opposition are letting a…

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

‘Diverse, accessible & fun’: Snow White & the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon – Ovalhouse by Laura Kressly

Snow White & the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon is a great take on a classic Christmas show and despite a few narrative shortcomings, it charms, entertains and gently addresses some of t…

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

‘A real Christmas treat’: GUYS & DOLLS – Sonning by Laura Kressly

With the definitive MGM film never far from mind, it can be hard to find an original spin to put on Guys & Dolls. Joseph Pitcher’s production doesn’t stray far from the 1955 version…

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

‘Exploration of feminine rage performed by a diverse ensemble’: HOLE – Royal Court Theatre by Laura Kressly

Leaving the Royal Court after watching Ellie Kendrick’s new play Hole, I overhear another audience member describe feeling like she has just been “hit over the head with a sledgehammer…

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

‘A good alternative to more typical Christmas theatre’: BURKE & HARE – Jermyn Street Theatre by Laura Kressly

Burke & Hare, a story of two men who murder people in order to sell their corpses to doctors in 1820s Edinburgh shouldn’t work as a dark character comedy with music. But largely work …

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

’Seventy-five minutes of loud noises & bright colours’: SEUSSICAL – Southwark Playhouse by Laura Kressly

It’s difficult to work out who the musical Seussical is for and why it’s been revived. Trying to imagine how a 10-year-old might watch this show doesn’t help answer these questions.

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Friday, November 30, 2018

‘Plenty of camp Christmas cheer’: PLAID TIDINGS – Bridge House Theatre by Laura Kressly

Excellently sung vintage tunes by great singers deliver plenty of camp Christmas cheer in Plaid Tidings at the Bridge House Theatre.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

‘Unique, engaging & thought-provoking’: THE DARK – Ovalhouse by Laura Kressly

The Dark is an exhilarating and personal journey through the dusty backroads of Uganda in 1979. Jumping between then and present day, Michael Balogun tenderly tells author Nick Makoha’s st…

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

‘A refreshing & necessary take on singledom’: THE EX-BOYFRIEND YARD SALE – Camden People’s Theatre by Laura Kressly

Haley McGee’s The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is an intimate work that draws on numerous techniques that both move and surprise, and the effect is one of warmth and care.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

‘Will leave audiences uncomfortable, nostalgic & heartbroken’: CUCKOO – Soho Theatre by Laura Kressly

Cuckoo by Lisa Carroll has all the elements of a wonderful coming-of-age story. Set in a small Irish town, this play packs many a punch, giving us a raw look at what it means to not fit in, …

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

‘The two plays are starkly different’: PINTER FOUR – West End by Laura Kressly

Pinter Four continues Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinter season with the Lyndsey Turner-directed Moonlight starring Robert Glenister as a dying patriarch who bemoans his family’s absence…

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Friday, November 16, 2018

‘The first score since Hamilton to earn a place on my regular playlist’: HADESTOWN – National Theatre by Laura Kressly

Hadestown is certainly a welcome contribution to London’s musical theatre. The excellent score and unrelenting criticism of corporate systems that enslave the poor in awful conditions and …

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

‘Jamie Lloyd varies the tone, pace & style’: PINTER THREE – West End by Laura Kressly

Pinter Three features 11 plays, allowing director Jamie Lloyd to vary tone, pace and style with shorter, more amusing sketches bookended by two more heavyweight works; Landscape and A Kind o…

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

‘Energy & chemistry fizzes throughout’: BEAUTY & THE BEAST – King’s Head Theatre by Laura Kressly

Fat Rascal Theatre Company has created magic in its gender-swapped, musical parody of Beauty and the Beast.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

‘A story of war with an original twist’: BURY THE DEAD – Finborough Theatre by Laura Kressly

Bury the Dead by Irwin Shaw paints a reality where soldiers refuse to be buried by standing up from their graves. Since soldiers, especially in WWI, were treated like currency the concept gi…

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Monday, November 5, 2018

‘Maddie Rice’s talent as a performer is the overriding highlight’: PICKLE JAR – Soho Theatre by Laura Kressly

A masterclass in one-woman storytelling, Pickle Jar is delicately told in the intimate setting upstairs in Soho Theatre.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

‘It’s a tale that needs telling’: FORGOTTEN – Arcola Theatre by Laura Kressly

Forgotten at the ArcolaTheatre is a considered story serving an important function on the British stage, but the scope of this history is too big for the current length and structure.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

‘Thrilling from start to finish’: TAP DOGS – Peacock Theatre by Laura Kressly

Dance shows can be a tough sell, especially those that are strictly tap dancing shows. Luckily for them, Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs is far from an ordinary dance show. Full of tricks, energy an…

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

‘This show – vocally – absolutely flies’: THE DISTANCE YOU HAVE COME – Cockpit Theatre by Laura Kressly

Scott Alan is a long-standing cult favourite amongst musical theatre enthusiasts and his most recent song cycle The Distance You Have Come weaves in his most popular numbers with some newer …

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

‘The script is tight & provocative’: WAR WITH THE NEWTS – Bunker Theatre by Laura Kressly

This adaptation of Karel Čapek’s 1936 novel War with the Newts is set in a dystopian near-future where an intelligent animal species is first exploited by mankind, then rebels against the…

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

‘One of the best design concepts I’ve seen for this play’: THE PAPER CINEMA’S MACBETH – Battersea Arts Centre by Laura Kressly

I’m a sucker for inventive adaptations of Shakespeare plays, so Paper Cinema’s Macbeth, a live-action, silent movie version, is hugely appealing.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

‘Surreal & very funny’: Elephant & Castle – Camden People’s Theatre by Laura Kressly

Elephant and Castle is a joy, quizzical and gently thought-provoking, delivering sound performances from Tom Adams and Lillian Henley, underscored witty lyricism, retro sounds and daft, brow…

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

‘Emotionally engaging & a rallying cry’: I’M A PHOENIX, BITCH – Battersea Arts Centre by Laura Kressly

Drawing on myth and bodily strength in an ending that encapsulates her fight, Bryony Kimmings inspires us to keep going through the rough times that try to drown us in I‘m A Phoenix, Bitch.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

‘Still works as a bright satire of the art world’: HOGARTH’S PROGRESS – Rose Theatre, Kingston by Laura Kressly

Hogarth’s Progress is an ambitious production that, although not entirely flawless, alternates moments of great fun with thought-provoking, timeless questions on the arts, life and politic…

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

‘A difficult play to reconcile with’: THE ART OF GAMAN – Theatre503 by Laura Kressly

The moments of pleasure are carefully balanced against the moments less satisfying, making The Art of Gaman at Theatre503 a difficult play to reconcile with.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

‘Packs a punch’: THE SWEET SCIENCE OF BRUISING – Southwark Playhouse by Laura Kressly

Joy Wilkinson’s The Sweet Science of Bruising, about ‘lady boxing’ in Victorian times, feels like such a riotous shock to the system. Best of all, it nails this with a story that break…

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