All stories by Marianka Swain on BroadwayStars

Saturday, August 19, 2017

BWW Review: AGAINST, Almeida Theatre by Marianka Swain

The incident tent, the police tape a sickeningly familiar sight, made fresh yet again by the tragic events of this week. But that very familiarity, and the tendency of one event to be swiftl…

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Monday, August 7, 2017

BWW Interview: LET IT SHINE Winners Talk Take That Musical THE BAND by Marianka Swain

New Take That musicalThe Band, co-created with Tim Firth, begins its national tour at Manchester Opera House on 8 September. Cast members AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri Isfahani, …

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

BWW Review: APOLOGIA, Trafalgar Studios by Marianka Swain

Back in 2009, Alexi Kaye Campbell followed up his bold first play The Pride with Apologia, which follows the well-trodden path of a fraught family reunion where past grievances stalk the pre…

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

APOLOGIA Leads August's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of theatre temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a starry drama to musical revivals and family-friendly fun, here are …

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Monday, July 31, 2017

BWW Review: ROAD, Royal Court by Marianka Swain

Thirty years on from its birth at the Royal Court, Jim Cartwright's northern, working-class battle cry returns in a revival from John Tiffany which, though initially stodgy, has an accumulat…

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Thursday, July 27, 2017


Britain's most beloved diarist give or take a Bridget Jones comes to London in chamber musical form in a new adaptation created with the late Sue Townsend's blessing. Jake Brunger and Pippa …

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BWW Interview: Emma Hatton On Bringing EVITA To The West End by Marianka Swain

Actress and singer Emma Hatton's previous work includes We Will Rock You and Wicked. She's now starring inAndrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's iconic musicalEvita, which returns to the West En…

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BWW Review: GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY, Old Vic by Marianka Swain

Defiantly rejecting the standard jukebox model, Conor McPherson's much-anticipated new work mining the back catalogue of Bob Dylan is labelled 'a play with songs' - or perhaps that should be…

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BWW Review: MOSQUITOES, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

Olivia Williams and Olivia Colman are shattering as two warring sisters in Lucy Kirkwood's epic

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Monday, July 24, 2017

BWW Interview: Mark Quartley Talks Motion Capture In THE TEMPEST by Marianka Swain

Mark Quartley's previous work includes Written on the HeartandMeasure for Measurefor the RSC,Ghostsat Rose Theatre Kingston,and TV seriesHoff the Record. His latest challenge is a motion-cap…

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

BWW Interview: Freema Agyeman Talks APOLOGIA, Sense8 And The Female Doctor by Marianka Swain

Freema Agyeman rose to fame with roles on TV shows like Doctor Who, Torchwood, Law and Order UK and Sense8. Now, she's making her West End debut in black comedy Apologia at Trafalgar Studios…

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BWW Interview: Bronagh Gallagher Talks GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY by Marianka Swain

Actress and musician Bronagh Gallagher's work ranges fromThe Commitments, Pulp Fiction and Stars Wars on screen to War Horse on stage, as well as touring and recording albums with her band. …

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Monday, July 17, 2017

BWW Interview: Choreographer Anthony Van Laast Talks BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Marianka Swain

Choreographer Anthony Van Laast has worked extensively on both stage and screen, from Mamma Mia and Bombay Dreams to Harry Potter. His latest project, the life action version of Disney's Bea…

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Friday, July 14, 2017

BWW Review: TOUCH, Soho Theatre by Marianka Swain

Neat freaks beware Touch is your ultimate nightmare. This latest offering from DryWrite, the company that launched the now stratospheric Fleabag, centres on another woman with a chaotic pers…

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BWW Interview: Charlotte Wakefield Talks CRAZY FOR YOU by Marianka Swain

Charlotte Wakefield's past work includesThe Sound of Musicat Regent's Park Open Air,Mamma Miain the West End, and the UK tour ofOklahoma. She's back on tour next month, starring inCrazy for …

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

BWW Review: QUEEN ANNE, Theatre Royal Haymarket by Marianka Swain

Game of Thrones returns this weekend, but those hungry for political machinations and manipulations can also find a feast of them in Helen Edmundson's 2015 stealth thriller about a little-kn…

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Monday, July 10, 2017

BWW Interview: Creators Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary Talk The ADRIAN MOLE Musical by Marianka Swain

Playwright Jake Brunger and composer Pippa Cleary have been creating musicals together since they met at Bristol University in 2008. Their work includes Jet Set Go,The Great British Soap Ope…

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Book Review: ALL CHANGE PLEASE, Lucy Kerbel by Marianka Swain

Enter Lucy Kerbel's eminently practical book All Change Please.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

BWW Review: THE TEMPEST, Barbican by Marianka Swain

It's a brave new world for the RSC, collaborating with Intel and Andy Serkis's Imaginarium Studios on a notably high-tech Tempest. But, for all the computer-generated trickery, it's the huma…

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

BWW Review: THE MENTOR, Vaudeville Theatre by Marianka Swain

Bath's Ustinov Studio has become something of a European hub. Visionary director Laurence Boswell and ever-skilful translator Christopher Hampton, who first introduced us to Florian Zeller, …

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Committee review - We're all on trial in a new Kids Company musical by Marianka Swain

Investigation into the charity's downfall is slickly dramatised at Donmar WarehouseA memorable 2015 parliamentary select committee hearing asked Kids Company CEO Camila Batmanghelidjh a…

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Friday, June 30, 2017

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Leads July's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of theatre temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a Tennessee Williams revival and Bob Dylan-scored drama to royal poli…

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BWW Review: INK, Almeida Theatre by Marianka Swain

James Graham's portrait of Seventies politics,This House, recently enjoyed a West End outing, and his latest epic venture into Britain's past may well follow suit. If slightly weighed down b…

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BWW Review: LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL, Wyndham's Theatre by Marianka Swain

One American great inhabits another in this superior cabaret, as the Broadway legend Audra McDonald slips into the skin - and unforgettable voice - of jazz icon Billie Holiday. The emotional…

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Friday, June 23, 2017

BWW Interview: Ashley Gilmour Talks MISS SAIGON Tour by Marianka Swain

Ashley Gilmour's previous work includes Link Larkin inHairsprayand the ensemble of the original revival cast of Miss Saigon. Now, he's graduated to playing Chris in the UK and Ireland tour o…

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

BWW Review: GLORIA, Hampstead Theatre by Marianka Swain

American playwright Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins asserts that the nightmarish workplace depicted in Gloria bears no resemblance to his time at the New Yorker, but that tension between truth and im…

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BWW Interview: Ella Spira and Pietra Mello-Pittman Talk VOICES OF THE AMAZON by Marianka Swain

Sisters Grimm, a company founded by composer Ella Spira and choreographer Pietra Mello-Pittman, is following up hit show INALA with new dance musical Voices of the Amazon. Fusing ballet, con…

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Monday, June 19, 2017

BWW Interview: Sara Poyzer, New West End Donna, Talks MAMMA MIA! by Marianka Swain

Sara Poyzer, whoseprevious work includesBilly Elliot, has been starring as Donna Sheridan on theMamma Miatour and now takes the role in the West End production at the Novello Theatre.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

BWW Review: HAMLET, Harold Pinter Theatre by Marianka Swain

Following a sold-out Almeida run, Robert Icke's thoughtfully contemporary take on Shakespeare hits the West End, with its original cast mainly intact Derbhle Crotty succeeds Juliet Stevenson…

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BWW Interview: Playwright Jon Brittain On The West End Return Of ROTTERDAM by Marianka Swain

Jon Brittain's Rotterdam, the 2017 Olivier Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, has played at Theatre503, Trafalgar Studios and 59E59 Theaters in New York. The b…

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

BWW Interview: Stars Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington Talk BAT OUT OF HELL by Marianka Swain

Relative newcomers Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington were thrilled to landthe lead rolesin Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman musicalBat Out of Hell. Several decades in the making, the show isno…

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