All stories by Marianka Swain on BroadwayStars

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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Monday, June 12, 2017

BWW Interview: Killian Donnelly On Playing Jean Valjean In LES MISERABLES by Marianka Swain

Killian Donnelly's stellar musical career includesKinky Boots, Memphis, The Commitments, Billy Elliot and The Phantom of the Opera. From tonight, he becomes the new West End Jean Valjean in …

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BWW Review: ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE, Royal Court by Marianka Swain

'My mother says you're tragedy personified,' reports a precocious child to Carol, who recently attempted suicide. It's typical of Alice Birch's harrowing new play, which wrings blistering hu…

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Political Is Personal This Tony Season: THE GREAT COMET and SWEAT by Marianka Swain

In this febrile climate, do we want societal critique from our theatre or pure escapism As I experienced when I recently swapped BroadwayWorld UK Editor duties for a New York trip, both thea…

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

BWW Review: ANNIE, Piccadilly Theatre by Marianka Swain

Has there ever been a time when we're more in need of irrepressible optimism The orphan who convinces everyone around her that 'the sun will come out tomorrow' has certainly hit the West End…

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BWW Interview: Simon Lipkin Talks THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Marianka Swain

Simon Lipkin's numerous credits include Avenue Q, Rock of Ages, The LoraxandGuys and Dolls.He's currently starring as Rat in a new musical version of The Wind in the Willows, which begins it…

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

BWW Review: COMMON, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

It's entirely possible that there will one day be a fascinating Heart of Darkness-esque documentary about the making of Common. We can only hope, because the creation of something so extraor…

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Monday, June 5, 2017

BWW Interview: Gary Trainor Talks Leading SCHOOL OF ROCK by Marianka Swain

Actor Gary Trainor, whose past work includes the West End productions ofBeautiful The Carole King Musical,I Can't Singand The Shawshank Redemption, has been playing the role of alternate Dew…

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

BWW Interview: Janique Charles On Joining THE LION KING by Marianka Swain

Actress Janique Charles was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the UK to join the touring cast ofThe Lion Kingin 2013, and is now playingNala in the West End production.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

ANNIE Leads June'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 classic musical and acclaimed Shakespeare tobuzzy history plays, he…

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Friday, May 19, 2017

BWW Interview: Drew McOnie Talks ON THE TOWN by Marianka Swain

Directorchoreographer Drew McOnie's work includes In the Heights, Strictly Ballroom, The Wild Party and Jesus Christ Superstar. He's now back at Regent's Park helming On the Town - the class…

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BWW Interview: Alex Bourne Talks West End ANNIE by Marianka Swain

Actor Alex Bourne's past musical work ranges fromKiss Me, Kateto ChicagoandWe Will Rock You.After playing Daddy Warbucks on tour, he's now back in the role for the West End run ofAnnie, whic…

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour review - 'West End transfer hits all the right notes' by Marianka Swain

Lee Hall's sublimely foul-mouthed choristers storm the Duke of York's TheatreSacred and profane, trivial and profound blissfully combine in this irresistible, Olivier Award-winning…

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Friday, May 12, 2017

BWW Interview: Matthew Croke On Becoming The New West End Aladdin by Marianka Swain

Following UK tours of West Side Story and Singin' in the Rain, plus several ensemble and understudying roles in shows like Wicked and Grease, Matthew Croke takes on his first West End lead w…

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

BWW Review: SALOME, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

Salome, that dancing seductress who demanded the head of John the Baptist, has been reclaimed by Yael Farber in this new feminist interpretation the RSC stages Oscar Wilde's more familiar ta…

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CD Review: DREAMGIRLS, Original London Cast Recording by Marianka Swain

The hit West End revival of Dreamgirls is rumoured to be heading over to Broadway next year. In the meantime, fans on both sides of the pond can be content with this excellent double-CD cast…

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Monday, May 8, 2017

BWW Interview: Edward Fox Talks Betjeman Play SAND IN THE SANDWICHES by Marianka Swain

Edward Fox's stellar stage and screen career ranges from HamletandThe Go-Betweento The Day of the Jackal. He's currently performing one-man John Betjeman play Sand in the Sandwiches, which c…

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Friday, May 5, 2017

BWW Review: ANGELS IN AMERICA, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

Tony Kushner's landmark two-part play begins at a funeral, with a rabbi solemnly naming a woman's surviving relatives partway through the interminable list of grandchildren, he stops and sig…

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui review - 'Lenny Henry covers Trump's greatest hits' by Marianka Swain

The Donmar Warehouse targets a modern monster via Brecht's Hitler satire It’s a bigly Trump-fest over at the Donmar, with adaptor Bruce Norris determined to make Brecht great again …

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WOYZECK Leads May'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 new takes on Brecht and Buchner to Jez Butterworth's latest and a cla…

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

BWW Review: THE TREATMENT, Almeida Theatre by Marianka Swain

Martin Crimp's 1993 play feels sharply contemporary in this slick revival from Lyndsey Turner, with its layered deconstruction of the way that we treat both art and life as commodities - and…

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BWW Interview: Actress Dawn Sievewright Talks OUR LADIES OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR by Marianka Swain

Lee Hall's Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of Alan Warner's novelThe Sopranos, about a raucous group of teenage girls in Edinburgh for a choir competition, arrives in the West Endfoll…

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BWW Review: OBSESSION, Barbican by Marianka Swain

'Everybody wants passion,' says Ivo van Hove in the programme interview for his latest show, but in both tone and aesthetic, his take on this doomed romance is less red-hot fire of ardour, m…

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BWW Interview: Carrie Hope Fletcher Talks THE ADDAMS FAMILY by Marianka Swain

Carrie Hope Fletcher has starred in numerous musicals, including Les Miserables, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and has also published two books. She's currently playing Wednesday…

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Friday, April 21, 2017

BWW Review: THE PHILANTHROPIST, Trafalgar Studios by Marianka Swain

Christopher Hampton's 1969 take on Moliere's The Misanthrope is often played with actors older than their characters, but director Simon Callow has recruited some of TV's bright young things…

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

BWW Interview: Kirsty Bushell On Playing Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe by Marianka Swain

Unusually, actress Kirsty Bushell comes to Juliet later in a stellar career her work includes everything from the title role inSalisbury Playhouse's Hedda GablertoDisgraced at Bush Theatre a…

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