All stories by Matt Merritt on BroadwayStars

Thursday, August 30, 2018

‘There’s not a weak link on display’: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG – Touring ★★★★★ by Matt Merritt

In a wonderful case of life imitating art I have now, at the third time of trying, finally made it along to see The Play That Goes Wrong, a show that has done its best to elude me both in th…

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Monday, July 30, 2018

‘We are in the presence of the queen of insult comedy’: BLAME IT ON BIANCA DEL RIO – Touring ★★★★★ by Matt Merritt

Bianca Del Rio made her name on season six of Ru Paul’s Drag Race nearly five years ago, but she’s been performing for far longer and it shows.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

‘You can sit back & smile from ear to ear’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★★ by Matt Merritt

In Sheffield Daniel Evans made a name for himself with dazzling musicals that were, for all the razzamatazz, full of heart and he’s done the same here, taking a show so familiar and findin…

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

‘You should do everything in your power to see it’: TITANIC THE MUSICAL – Touring ★★★★★ by Matt Merritt

It’s not often you see a touring production greeted with a standing ovation but as one of the many on their feet I can say it was thoroughly deserved for Titanic the Musical. Shows like th…

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

‘A delight to take in’: THE COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY – West End ★★★★ by Matt Merritt

It’s a happy 2nd birthday to Mischief Theatre’s The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, the laugh-a-minute farce has just announced an extension that will see it into its third year entertainin…

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Antony Sher – Year Of The Mad King by Matt Merritt

If you enjoyed Antony Sher’s Lear, his Willy Loman or any of his previous books this is a must read, and if you have any interest in the inner thoughts of a performer at the top of their p…

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

‘Truly excellent play’: THE WEIR – Touring ★★★★ by Matt Merritt

The Weir is a piece of theatre that will remind you that at its best all you need are a few good voices with some well-chosen words for a thoroughly enthralling evening.

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NEWS: cast revealed for Titanic The Musical first UK & Ireland tour by Matt Merritt

Casting has been confirmed for the first ever UK and Ireland tour of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s Titanic The Musical.

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Monday, January 29, 2018

‘Gloriously current & utterly timeless’: #HamiltonLDN – West End @HamiltonWestEnd ★★★★★ by Matt Merritt

Hamilton is everything you might hope for. Lin-Manuel Miranda has written a piece that is at once gloriously current and utterly timeless. The cast at the Victoria Palace Theatre gleans ever…

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

‘Ria Jones gives a powerhouse performance’: SUNSET BOULEVARD – Touring ★★★★ by Matt Merritt

Ria Jones, so resplendent when she stepped into Norma’s shoes at the Coliseum in 2016 (we were lucky enough to be at one of those shows is once again in the title role and she gives a powe…

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

‘Consistently exquisite comic timing’: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG – Touring ★★★★ by Matt Merritt

It’s all too easy, as you enter the auditorium, to be sucked into The Play That Goes Wrong before it even begins. The cast, deep in character, intermingle with the audience to such effect …

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

CORIOLANUS – Barbican Theatre by Matt Merritt

Angus Jackson bookends the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rome season, his traditional dress Julius Caesar having opened it he now caps it off with a modern set Coriolanus.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

KING LEAR – Chichester ★★★★★ by Matt Merritt

Ian McKellen immediately makes the intimate space his own, the dialogue almost conversational and his Lear a warm-hearted soul with a twinkle in his eye. This is surely as good as it gets, a…

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Friday, August 18, 2017

KING LEAR – Shakespeare’s Globe by Matt Merritt

It’s somehow fitting that the last Shakespeare of Emma Rice’s final (summer) season is King Lear. A play that shows us how the established world can change based on one rash decision wil…

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Monday, July 31, 2017

THE FERRYMAN – West End by Matt Merritt

Jez Butterworth and Sam Mendes are names pretty much guaranteed to make any theatregoing regular pay attention, both are synonymous with high quality productions (Butterworth’s Jerusalem r…

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

BLONDEL – Union Theatre by Matt Merritt

As a regular theatre goer I’m often asked by friends what plays and musicals I’d most like to see a production of… not the shows I just haven’t had a chance to catch but the ones tha…

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Friday, June 23, 2017

TOUCHED – Havant by Matt Merritt

Stephen Lowe’s Touched is a curious play… flat on the page, it comes alive on the stage! Lowe’s story of a trio of sisters, their friend and family and the curious time between VE day …

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Monday, June 12, 2017

SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH – Chichester by Matt Merritt

There’s a reason it’s a lesser known play, all of the usual Tennessee Williams tropes are here; lust abounds, there are layers of manipulation and the sweltering south is almost a charac…

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

JULIUS CAESAR – Stratford by Matt Merritt

It’s an accepted cliché that, whatever the prevailing political mood there is a Shakespeare play that adequately reflects, comments on or holds a mirror up to it. Like all the best clich…

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

FORTY YEARS ON – Chichester by Matt Merritt

Alan Bennett’s Forty Years On is a curious play. His first outing as playwright (back in 1968) is charmingly eccentric, wonderfully witty and every bit a Bennett play. In fact it comes acr…

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Friday, March 31, 2017


Having read the book a few years ago, I was quite curious to see how Mark Haddon‘s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would translate to the stage and Simon Stevens adaptati…

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

THE RED SHOES – Touring by Matt Merritt

It’s a rare thing, when you’re a regular theatregoer, to see something that is truly fresh and wonderfully new! Matthew Bourne seems to have knack for it though and his adaptation of The…

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Friday, February 10, 2017

BILLY ELLIOT – Touring by Matt Merritt

Built around the acclaimed film and with music by Elton John, Billy Elliott seemed destined for success but I’ll admit I was a little surprised to realise it had run for 11 years in London…

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… RSC actor (& producer) Alex Waldmann by Matt Merritt

Alex Waldmann is a veteran of the RSC and of Shakespeare productions in general so it was fascinating to get his insight - he's also the founder of theatre company SEARED, whose premiere of …

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TEMPEST – RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon by Matt Merritt

There’s no better way to kick the post-Christmas blues than an early January trip to the theatre, so this year we decided to go an extra step and head to Stratford upon Avon for a short br…

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year in Review: Matt Merritt’s top shows of 2016 by Matt Merritt

From Chichester to Charing Cross, the Globe, Southampton, Menier Chocolate Factory, the Union and the RSC - for those of you who’ve already read our roundup of our favourite performances f…

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

PETER PAN – Chichester by Matt Merritt

The stage is largely bare when we enter the auditorium, three dolls houses are dotted across the space with a large window filling the rear of the space. It’s a simple but effective way to…

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Year in Review: Matt Merritt’s performances of 2016 by Matt Merritt

2016 is nearly over and, despite not getting to see nearly as much theatre as we’d like at Sitting in the Cheap Seats, we’ve seen lots of performances that we will long remember. We coul…

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Friday, November 25, 2016

RELATIVELY SPEAKING – Touring by Matt Merritt

If you’re an Ayckbourn fan, there’s plenty to enjoy here, and if you’ve not seen his work before – well where better to start than at the beginning?

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

KING LEAR – RSC, Barbican Centre by Matt Merritt

For many actors Lear is the ultimate role, hence the proliferation of productions that appear every year. In 2016 alone we’ve had Timothy West, Don Warrington and Michael Pennington all po…

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS – Touring & West End by Matt Merritt

Kenneth Grahame’s story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and the irrepressible Toad have been a favourite of many for longer than they can remember – I grew up delighting in the stop-motion versio…

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