All stories by Marianka Swain on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre review - Tom Hiddleston anchors a bold, brooding revival by Marianka Swain

Jamie Lloyd locates the radical soul of a classic work The grand finale to Jamie Lloyd’s remarkable Pinter at the Pinter season is this starry production of one of the writer’s greatest …

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

BWW Review: ADMISSIONS, Trafalgar Studios by Marianka Swain

News emerged today that Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 50 wealthy people charged in a college cheating scam dumbed 'Varsity Blues', in which they allegedly…

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Monday, March 11, 2019

CD Review: FOLLIES, 2018 National Theatre Cast Recording by Marianka Swain

The meticulous care of the National Theatre's production is continued in the soundtrack recording, demonstrating the collaborative brilliance of orchestrations from Jonathan Tunick and Josh …

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

BWW Review: WAITRESS, Adelphi Theatre by Marianka Swain

Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson's 2015 musical adaptation of Adrienne Shelly's film, about a small-town waitress who processes her feelings via her skilful baking, brings its sugar and spic…

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BWW Review: ALYS, ALWAYS, Bridge Theatre by Marianka Swain

Harriet Lane's memorably unsettling 2012 novel, about an overlooked sub-editor who infiltrates the literary elite, has been adapted for stage by Lucinda Coxon. Its combination of psychologic…

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

BETRAYAL Leads March'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 starry Pinter and tasty musical treat to a portrait of grief, here are some…

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Follies, National Theatre review - the Sondheim spectacular returns, better than ever by Marianka Swain

★★★★★ FOLLIES, NATIONAL THEATRE The Sondheim spectacular returns, better than ever New cast members beautifully complement this definitive production This is a golden age of London…

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

BWW Interview: The West End Cast Talk Hit Musical SIX by Marianka Swain

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss's hit concert-style musical SIX, which gives fresh, 21st-century girl power voice to the wives of Henry VIII, has returned to the Arts Theatre in the West End. The …

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Monday, February 18, 2019

BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY, Phoenix Theatre by Marianka Swain

A remarkable true story birthed this modest Canadian musical, which went on to storm Broadway in 2017, and now makes it West End debut at a time when its heartfelt message seems more necessa…

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL, Savoy Theatre by Marianka Swain

In a programme interview, Patricia Resnick - writer of both the original 1980 film and this 2008 musical adaptation - notes that Jane Fonda wanted to convey a political message about workpla…

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

The American Clock, Old Vic review - Arthur Miller's musical history lesson drags by Marianka Swain

Rachel Chavkin's creative revival can't quite tame this sprawling epicThis year’s unofficial Arthur Miller season – following The Price and ahead of All My Sons at the Old Vic …

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

BWW Review: ALL ABOUT EVE, Noel Coward Theatre by Marianka Swain

Fasten your seatbelts Ivo van Hove has taken on the ultimate quotable backstage melodrama Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1950 Oscar-winning film about a celebrated actress and her young wannabe assi…

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Friday, February 8, 2019

BWW Interview: Justine Mitchell Talks SHIPWRECK at the Almeida by Marianka Swain

Already admired in the industry for her impressive range of work, actress Justine Mitchell enjoyed a breakout hit recently with David Eldridge'sBeginning, which transferred from the National…

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

PINTER SEVEN, Harold Pinter Theatre by Marianka Swain

Jamie Lloyd's outstanding season of Pinter shorts - chock-full of mini revelations, innovative stagings, and a thrilling range of work from both actors and creatives - finishes on a high not…

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

BWW Review: JENNA RUSSELL WITH SETH RUDETSKY, Leicester Square Theatre by Marianka Swain

West End favourite Jenna Russell made a surprisingly belated solo concert debut at Leicester Square Theatre, but, judging by this entirely winning performance, she's a natural. Seth Rudetsky…

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BWW Interview: Natalie McQueen Talks 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL by Marianka Swain

Natalie McQueen's past work includes Kinky Boots,Wicked,Les MiserablesandMurder Ballad. She's now starring as Doralee - Dolly Parton's role in the film version - in9 to 5 the Musical, curren…

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

COME FROM AWAY 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 a hit Canadian musical to showbiz satire and a classic sitcom reborn, here ar…

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Friday, February 1, 2019

BWW Interview: ALADDIN's Matthew Croke Discusses His Debut Album by Marianka Swain

Matthew Croke is currently starring in the title role ofAladdin in the West End. He's also found the time to record his debut album,Only Dreaming, featuring a collection of classic songs fro…

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BWW Review: COST OF LIVING, Hampstead Theatre by Marianka Swain

Hampstead hosts the UK premiere of Polish-American playwright Martyna Majok's 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning work, which explores - with thoughtful tenderness and a refreshing lack of schmaltz …

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Step away from the returns queue. The rare presence of Hollywood star Cate Blanchett on a London stage has caused a box office frenzy, but sadly this would-be provocative vehicle - Martin Cr…

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Monday, January 21, 2019

Violet, Charing Cross Theatre review - Jeanine Tesori's faith musical is a gentle pleasure by Marianka Swain

This intimate work unveils the miracle of acceptanceFollowing Caroline, or Change and Fun Home, the UK is blessed with another work from American composer Jeanine Tesori – this the British…

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Aspects of Love, Southwark Playhouse review - discourse keeps passion at bay by Marianka Swain

An intimate Andrew Lloyd Webber revival lays bare both strengths and weaknesses“Love Changes Everything”, as immortalised by Michael Ball, is the most enduring feature of Andrew Lloyd We…

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

BWW Review: PINTER FIVE and PINTER SIX, Harold Pinter Theatre by Marianka Swain

Jamie Lloyd's star-studded season of short Pinter plays continues with two more intriguing productions one directed by Patrick Marber, the other by Lloyd himself. Among the subjects this tim…

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

ASPECTS OF LOVE 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 Cate Blanchett's UK stage debut to a reborn Andrew Lloyd Webber, here are som…

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory review - family matters in this sensitive musical revival by Marianka Swain

Trevor Nunn's intimate staging provides a soulful seasonal outingThere’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the bi…

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

TRUE WEST 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. We've already posted our Christmas picks, and now here are some of this month's mo…

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Book Review: DRAMATIC EXCHANGES, ed. Daniel Rosenthal by Marianka Swain

This fascinating tome offers an insider's history of the National Theatre, via some 800 letters exchanged between Artistic Directors, actors, directors, playwrights, politicians, agents, cri…

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

BWW Interview: Robert North Talks THE SNOWMAN by Marianka Swain

It's a record-breaking 21st year at the Peacock Theatre forThe Snowman, based on Raymond Briggs' beloved creation, with music from Howard Blake including the iconic 'Walking in the Air', cho…

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Monday, November 19, 2018

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

There are plenty of seasonal treats served up in the capital this year, from pantos and plays to opera and dance. Here are some of the tastiest morsels for the 2018-19 festive period.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Hadestown, National Theatre review - new folk musical is hotter than hell by Marianka Swain

An alternative take on a classic myth produces sizzling resultsThe road to full musical theatre production has been a long one for Hadestown. It began back in 2006, with Anaïs Mitchell’s …

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BWW Interview: Hayden Tee On Playing Miss Trunchbull in MATILDA THE MUSICAL by Marianka Swain

Hayden Tee's extensive musical theatrework includes playing both Marius and Javert inLes Miserables, as wellas South Pacific,TitanicandLittle Women. He's currently starring as Miss Trunchbul…

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