All stories by Lyn Gardner on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

National v regional theatre cuts: why all roads should lead to fair funding by Lyn Gardner

With the outcome of funding applications imminent, let's hope the Arts Council has tackled inequalities across the countryOn 30 March the Arts Council will announce the outcome of national p…

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Great Apes review – Will Self's Swiftian satire puts chimps in charge by Lyn Gardner

Arcola, London This inventive adaptation of the novel set in an ape-dominated world pokes fun at human assumptions of evolution Will Self believes the novel is doomed. But the Arcola theatre…

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Great Expectations – review by Lyn Gardner

Bristol Old VicThis clever, unsettling Dickens played out on an almost bare stage is storytelling theatre at its bestNeil Bartlett has produced impressive adaptations of Oliver Twist and A C…

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Lyn Gardner: Are solo plays staging a comeback? by Lyn Gardner

Audible has recently announced the first wave of writers to receive commissions for new one and two-person plays for its platform. The

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Our Country's Good review – new voice for the silenced in Wertenbaker's penal colony drama by Lyn Gardner

Nottingham PlayhouseRamps on the Moon uses sign language and captioning brilliantly in a striking update of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s historical humanist play‘People who have no imaginati…

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lyn Gardner: Is British theatre guilty of failing the working-class? by Lyn Gardner

Critics accuse the sector of becoming increasingly dominated by middle-class sensibilities, neglecting the tastes of many in favour of ‘high art’. Working-class

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Buggy Baby review – beware the bazooka-toting bunnies by Lyn Gardner

The Yard, LondonJosh Azouz’s horror-tinged play, with an eight-month-old baby played by an adult, comes over like surrealistic Harold PinterNur (Hoda Bentaher) and Jaden (Noof McEwan) have…

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Brief Encounter review – Emma Rice's bittersweet romance is a great night out by Lyn Gardner

Empire Cinema, LondonBack in the West End after 10 years, Rice’s heart-stopping adaptation cuts seamlessly from theatre to cinema It’s billed as Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, but thi…

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Lyn Gardner: Theatres won’t grow new audiences if they stick young people in the cheap seats by Lyn Gardner

I loved Nicholas Hytner’s Julius Caesar at London’s Bridge Theatre, and one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hard Times – review by Lyn Gardner

Murrays' Mills, Manchester"The mills lead us to no further destination than death," says the weaver Stephen Blackpool in Charles Dickens's novel, set among the misery and ignorance of Coketo…

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Lyn Gardner: It’s time to discuss protecting performers in immersive shows by Lyn Gardner

Alexander Wright is about to open a new version of his successful immersive production of The Great Gatsby in a disused pub

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Frost/Nixon review – Peter Morgan's showdown fits the fake news era by Lyn Gardner

Sheffield CrucibleMorgan’s play on the clash between the chatshow host and the US president gets a timely, entertaining revival​This 12-year-old play by The Crown writer Peter Morgan pro…

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Love from a Stranger review – Agatha Christie chiller is glorious tosh by Lyn Gardner

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonAudience expectations are gleefully derailed as Lucy Bailey directs this creepy tale of love and liesSneered at for so long as a dramatist, Agatha Christie i…

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Harold and Maude review – a honking seal can't save this clunky adaptation by Lyn Gardner

Charing Cross theatre, LondonThere’s witty live music and convincing performances by Sheila Hancock and Bill Milner but this staging of the cult movie feels coy and dated‘I can never und…

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Lyn Gardner: Spoiler alert – sometimes theatre reviews need to give the game away by Lyn Gardner

Attending the first preview of Dennis Kelly’s gut-wrenching Girls and Boys at London’s Royal Court Theatre was hugely enjoyable, especially as I

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hard Times review – Northern Broadsides make Dickens a laugh factory by Lyn Gardner

Viaduct, HalifaxDeborah McAndrew adapts the classic novel about facts and feelings but comedy drowns out subtlety“Is it possible that, despite all precautions, a storybook could have got i…

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Dennis Kelly on Girls and Boys: 'I was shocked Carey Mulligan did it' by Lyn Gardner

The Matilda playwright has written a shattering solo drama that he didn’t think his star would read. He talks about fear, masculinity and burying secrets“It’s a really, really tough pl…

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Elephant review – sparky family drama from Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti by Lyn Gardner

Birmingham RepEveryone has something to hide in this funny yet serious examination of cultural values, blood ties and atonementIn 2004, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti wrote Behzti (Dishonour), a produ…

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wonderland/Chicken Soup review – mining dramas dig deep in Nottingham and Sheffield by Lyn Gardner

Nottingham Playhouse / Sheffield Crucible Studio Beth Steel gives a clear-eyed account of 1984 strike while Ray Castleton and Kieran Knowles focus on its legacy for womenThe rock glistens in…

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Angry review – six blasts of rage and fantasy from Philip Ridley by Lyn Gardner

Southwark Playhouse, LondonGeorgie Henley and Tyrone Huntley star in a swaggering production that seldom deepens into anything meaningfulThere’s so much to be angry about in the world that…

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Lyn Gardner: It’s time to reconsider what theatre programmes are for by Lyn Gardner

“Why are actors’ biographical details in theatre programmes so universally rubbish – just a long list of past plays and films?” asked

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Prince of Denmark – review by Lyn Gardner

Ambassadors, LondonThis Hamlet prequel is not on a par with Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but it has some artful momentsEverything is rotten in the state of Denmark. The young…

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Still Alice review – dementia drama aims for the heartstrings by Lyn Gardner

West Yorkshire Playhouse, LeedsIn this adaptation of Lisa Genova’s bestselling novel, it’s the subject rather than the staging that moves the emotionsBest known from the 2014 movie and J…

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Almighty Sometimes review – vivid take on teenage mental health by Lyn Gardner

Royal Exchange, ManchesterKendall Feaver’s striking debut pits a daughter who wants to give up medication against the mother who wishes to keep her safeWhen Anna (Norah Lopez Holden) was s…

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Lyn Gardner: Emerging talent will suffer if critics are allowed to vanish by Lyn Gardner

While at Edinburgh in 2009, I reviewed a play called A Western staged at Forest Fringe by a young company called Action

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Modern theatre relies too much on technology by Lyn Gardner

Increasingly, the technology has become the show, rather than in service of the showBack in the 1980s as new technologies began to make their mark in theatre we still marvelled at West End s…

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The Drill review – a fragmented study of our modern fears by Lyn Gardner

Battersea Arts Centre, LondonPost-9/11 anxieties come to the fore in a muddled show that likens rehearsing for a play to preparing for a disaster There are plenty of writers and academics ex…

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The pram in the hall is no enemy of good art – it inspires great theatre by Lyn Gardner

From Frances Poet’s Gut to Monica Dolan’s The B*easts, new plays about parenthood raise vital questions about societyWhen playwright Frances Poet ventured out alone as a child she knew h…

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Gundog review – a family fights to survive in mud-spattered drama by Lyn Gardner

Royal Court, LondonVicky Featherstone’s bleakly beautiful production of Simon Longman’s play is a compelling tale of rural lifeNature is cruel in Simon Longman’s play, which is set on …

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Satyagraha director Phelim McDermott: ‘Sadly, there won’t ever be a moment when this opera isn’t relevant.’ by Lyn Gardner

With a body of experimental work behind him, the maverick director and founder of Improbable has embraced opera and is helping lead

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dublin Carol review – Conor McPherson's devastating portrait of loneliness by Lyn Gardner

Sherman, Cardiff McPherson’s prose glimmers and glows in his richly understated tale of an undertaker seeking salvation on Christmas EveIn A Christmas Carol, Scrooge encounters three ghost…

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