All stories by Marianka Swain on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BWW Review: FROZEN, Theatre Royal Haymarket by Marianka Swain

No, it's not that Frozen - although the immortal words 'Let it go' do appear in the second half. Otherwise this is a far cry from the Disney juggernaut. Bryony Lavery's 1998 play deals with …

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

BWW Review: GIRLS & BOYS, Royal Court by Marianka Swain

'It just seems to be a thing that we do, this incomprehensible violence thing.' So says the narrator of Dennis Kelly's new one-woman play, performed in a staggering tour-de-force by Carey Mu…

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Monday, February 12, 2018

LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT Leads February's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From O'Neill and flamencoto punk and Pippin, here are some of this month's most ey…

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BWW Review: LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, Wyndham's Theatre by Marianka Swain

Though a long journey indeed, Richard Eyre's is a vital revival, giving vigour to Eugene O'Neill's mighty, semi-autobiographical work and making all the more poignant this tormented but fast…

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Friday, February 2, 2018

BWW Review: DRY POWDER, Hampstead Theatre by Marianka Swain

Inequality is a hot topic for dramatists, but Sarah Burgess's deliciously dark comedy comes at it from a surprising perspective allowing those high-finance gorgons to have their say. Of cour…

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Friday, January 26, 2018

BWW Review: MARY STUART, Duke of York's Theatre by Marianka Swain

'Heads.' One word, and one coin toss, decides which roles Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams will play on the night the titular Mary, or her rival Elizabeth I. Last night Williams took the la…

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

BWW Review: JOHN, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

Pulitzer-winning American playwright Annie Baker returns to the National where The Flick was a quiet triumph in 2016 with another work that is epic in form three hours and change, but si…

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Friday, January 19, 2018

BWW Review: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, Harold Pinter Theatre by Marianka Swain

It's 60 years since Harold Pinter's play premiered - and flopped - at Lyric Hammersmith, baffling critics with one exception and audiences alike. Now, we expect the sinister subversion of bo…

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BWW Interview: Peter Wight Talks THE BIRTHDAY PARTY by Marianka Swain

Actor Peter Wight's career varies from Robert Icke's recent Hamlet to a range of classical and contemporary work with the National Theatre, Royal Court and RSC, plus multiple Mike Leigh film…

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Girl from the North Country, Noël Coward Theatre review - Bob Dylan fuels a dreamlike drama by Marianka Swain

Conor McPherson's latest play is blowin' in the windThe rolling stone is now at home in the West End, as Conor McPherson’s inimitable dramatic take on Bob Dylan transfers from th…

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Leads January's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a major Pinter revival to Wilde, Schiller and some exciting transfers, here a…

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

BWW Review: HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre by Marianka Swain

Does Hamilton live up the hype - and will it appeal to British audiences Yes, and yes again. It's not like America has a monopoly on national identity crisis, leadership, immigration, parent…

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

BWW Review: PINOCCHIO, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

The puppet who wants to be a real boy is all grown up in this new musical version very much the darker side of Disney. Book writer Dennis Kelly went back to the original 19th-century Itali…

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Friday, December 8, 2017

BWW Review: CELL MATES, Hampstead Theatre by Marianka Swain

Offstage drama infamously hijacked the 1995 premiere of Simon Gray's play, with star Stephen Fry walking out mid-run - hastening the production's early closing. Here, then, is a chance to pu…

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

BWW Review: BARNUM, Menier Chocolate Factory by Marianka Swain

The Menier has a superb track record with breathing new life into classic musicals, but falls short with their latest revival Cy Coleman's 1980 portrait of P.T. Barnum, creator of The Great…

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

HAMILTON: The Ultimate Guide by Marianka Swain

Hamilton finally makes its UK debut at the Victoria Palace Theatre tomorrow night. Need a quick primer on the musical phenomenon Here's the lowdown

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

BWW Interview: Lucie Shorthouse On EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE by Marianka Swain

Actress Lucie Shorthouse stars in new musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie, which transferred from Sheffield to the West End's Apollo Theatre - garnering rave reviews, including plenty of…

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

HAMILTON Leads December's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a feverishly anticipated musical to sci-fi and Shakespeare, here are some of …

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

BWW Interview: Actress Lizzy Connolly Talks THE TWILIGHT ZONE by Marianka Swain

Lizzy Connolly's past work includes On the Town, The Wild Party, Once in a Lifetime and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She's now tackling Anne Washburn's adaptation of TV classic The Twilight Zone…

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre review - inclusive and utterly joyful by Marianka Swain

It's a triumphant West End transfer for this big-hearted British musical Everybody’s been talking about Everybody’s Talking About Jamie since its Sheffield Crucible debut earlier th…

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

BWW Interview: Nicholas Hytner Discusses BALANCING ACTS by Marianka Swain

Nicholas Hytner, former Artistic Director of the National Theatre in London, discusses his memoir BALANCING ACTS and new Bridge Theatre

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BWW Review: NETWORK, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

News as showbiz, entire networks and even a reality TV President fuelled by articulating popular rage, and gradual corporate dehumanisation we are now living Paddy Chayefsky's satirical dyst…

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BroadwayWorld's Top Christmas Picks For London Theatre by Marianka Swain

Christmas is upon us, and the capital, as usual, is serving up a veritable feast of festive offerings. Here are some of London's finest

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Monday, November 13, 2017

BWW Interview: Josie Walker On EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE by Marianka Swain

Josie Walker's work ranges from Matilda the Musical to Husband amp Sons and War Horse. She's now starring in a new musical based on the real story of 16-year-old Jamie Campbell, who wanted t…

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Friday, November 10, 2017

BWW Review: GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, Playhouse Theatre by Marianka Swain

David Mamet's Pulitzer-winning play, which premiered at the National in 1983, in back in London in a star-studded, pugilistic revival from Sam Yates. Though kept firmly in period, it's not h…

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

BWW Review: BIG FISH, The Other Palace by Marianka Swain

Based on Daniel Wallace's novel and Tim Burton's 2003 film adaptation, this musical is quite the oddity. Screenwriter John August has tinkered with the book since its brief Broadway run in 2…

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Friday, November 3, 2017

EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Leads November's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a new British musical to starry Mamet and cheeky burlesque, here are some of …

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

BWW Interview: David Oakes Talks VENUS IN FUR by Marianka Swain

David Oakes's past roles range from The Borgias and Victoria to Shakespeare in Love. He's currently playing opposite Natalie Dormer in dark comedy Venus in Fur at Theatre Royal Haymarket.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

BWW Review: THE SLAVES OF SOLITUDE, Hampstead Theatre by Marianka Swain

We're back in the world of ration books, blackouts and spam fritters, as Nicholas Wright delves into the home front via his adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's 1947 novel. Though there's a cert…

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

BWW Review: YOUNG MARX, Bridge Theatre by Marianka Swain

Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr's enterprise is certainly an historic one The Bridge is London's first new wholly commercial theatre in 80 years. If its opening play isn't the same landmark w…

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Friday, October 27, 2017

BWW Interview: Fenella Woolgar Talks THE SLAVES OF SOLITUDE by Marianka Swain

Actress Fenella Woolgar's work ranges from Handbagged and Circle Mirror Transformation to Home Fires and Doctor Who. She's currently starring in the stage adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's Th…

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