All stories by Michael Billington on BroadwayStars

Friday, August 23, 2019

Appropriate review – Branden Jacobs-Jenkins pushes everything to the limit by Michael Billington

Donmar Warehouse, LondonDark secrets emerge as three siblings gather at their late father’s old plantation home in this daring drama Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a subversive writer. In An Oc…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:48AM
Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Weatherman review – a glimpse into the sex trade's grisly reality by Michael Billington

Park theatre, LondonAn array of disturbed characters are cogs in the grimmest of machines in Eugene O’Hare’s frustrating but well-written debut Sex trafficking is a big and serious subje…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:54AM
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Doctor review – Robert Icke offers brilliant diagnosis of modern ills by Michael Billington

Almeida, LondonJuliet Stevenson delivers one of the peak performances of the theatrical year in Robert Icke’s striking reimagining of Schnitzler As a director and writer, Robert Icke speci…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24AM
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Argument review – no winners emerge from William Boyd's couple at war by Michael Billington

Theatre Royal, BathA whole set of relationships unravel in a shrewdly observant play showing the ripple effect of marital hostilities This is only the second play by the admired novelist Wil…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24PM
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Actually review – two sides of the story about a date gone wrong by Michael Billington

Trafalgar Studios, LondonPhotograph 51 playwright Anna Ziegler returns with a problematic two-hander that asks us to decide where the truth lies In Photograph 51, Anna Ziegler attacked the …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:24AM
Monday, August 12, 2019

Edinburgh festival 2019: the shows we recommend by Brian Logan, Alex Needham, Catherine Love, Michael Billington, Chris Wiegand, Mark Fisher, Anna Winter and Kate Wyver

Plan your schedule with our roundup of top shows, ordered by start time. This page will be updated daily throughout the festival BoutSummerhall, 10.20am, until 25 AugustAn exploration of bro…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:12PM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Go Bang Your Tambourine review – family, faith and Oedipal feuds by Michael Billington

Finborough theatre, LondonA grieving father and son lock horns over an alluring visitor in a magnetically acted revival of Philip King’s Freudian drama Philip King is best known for See Ho…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:36AM
Thursday, August 8, 2019

8 Hotels review – Paul Robeson drama lifts curtain on a racist America by Michael Billington

Minerva, Chichester Based on a true story, a new play tracks a backstage affair with big repercussions for Robeson, played perfectly by Tory Kittles Nicholas Wright’s compelling new play i…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:33AM
Monday, August 5, 2019

How Not to Drown review – an adolescent adventure story of a Kosovan refugee by Michael Billington

Traverse, EdinburghDritan Kastrati’s journey as an 11-year-old to the UK with people smugglers is a survival story that speaks to what it is like to be caught between two cultures Dritan K…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:42AM

The Secret River review – pinpointing a crucial moment in Australian history by Michael Billington

King’s theatre, EdinburghAndrew Bovell’s adaptation of Kate Grenville’s novel about the collision between settlers and Indigenous Australians combines masterly storytelling with metaph…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:42AM
Sunday, August 4, 2019

Enough review – the unstoppable force of women by Michael Billington

Traverse, EdinburghStef Smith’s latest production depicts the two female leads rejecting male classification and raising themselves up Stef Smith wrote a fascinating dystopian drama in Hum…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:32PM

La Reprise: Histoire(s) du Theatre (I) review – compassion and curiosity in recreation of a murder by Michael Billington

Royal Lyceum, EdinburghDirector Milo Rau asks disturbing political questions while attempting to honour the real-life victim of a senseless homophobic crime This is exactly the kind of show …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:06AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Bridges of Madison County review – sober musical take on tale of late-flowering love by Michael Billington

Menier Chocolate Factory, London With two excellent lead performances at its heart, Trevor Nunn’s production of the musical version of the bestselling love story is focused and honest Firs…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:48AM
Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Actor's Nightmare review – it's just a stage they're going through by Michael Billington

Park theatre, London Christopher Durang’s breezy sextet of plays takes the cast from pique to panic as he explores the insecurities of performing life To complement its main-house product…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Vienna 1934-Munich 1938 review – Vanessa Redgrave's portrait of antifascism by Michael Billington

Ustinov Studio, BathThe star mines her family history in this passionate but haphazard ride through socialist resistance to the Nazis This is a show unlike any other. Subtitled “A Family A…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:48PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Whodunnit (Unrehearsed) review – secret celeb shines in murder mystery by Michael Billington

Park theatre, LondonA quick-witted Gyles Brandreth, one of 22 stars in action during the run, sleuthed stylishly in this fundraising spoof This is all very jolly. Jez Bond and Mark Cameron h…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:18PM
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Night of the Iguana review – Clive Owen joins menagerie of lost souls by Michael Billington

Noël Coward theatre, LondonOwen is a disgraced priest, Anna Gunn a widowed hotel keeper in Tennessee William’s languorous hymn to human endurance ‘Nothing human disgusts me unless it’…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:54PM
Friday, July 12, 2019

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat review – stunning debutant steals a starry show by Michael Billington

London PalladiumSheridan Smith and Jason Donovan bring charisma to a jubilant revival – but neither can match the young dreamer at its centre I first saw this show in 1972 when it was a mo…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:33AM
Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Fountainhead review – Ivo van Hove hypnotises with Ayn Rand's nonsense by Michael Billington

The Lowry, SalfordInternationaal Theater Amsterdam present a constantly inventive, four-hour staging of the overheated 1943 polemic Ivo van Hove is the most ubiquitous of modern directors. B…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:18AM
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Peter Gynt review – David Hare brings modern madness to Ibsen's epic by Michael Billington

Olivier, LondonHare updates Ibsen’s 1867 dramatic poem with wit and ingenuity, resulting in a sharp satire on contemporary mores This play is credited as “by David Hare after Henrik Ibs…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:54AM
Sunday, July 7, 2019

Measure for Measure review – the best RSC show of the summer by Michael Billington

Royal Shakespeare theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonGregory Doran’s assured production offers a perfectly judged portrait of public hypocrisy and seething sexuality Gregory Doran is not the firs…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:54PM
Friday, July 5, 2019

Tree review – Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah dance with identity by Michael Billington

Family and politics collide as a British man sets out to unearth his South African roots – and get the audience off their seats This show has the aura of a big event. It helps kickstart th…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Thursday, July 4, 2019

The End of History ... review – Jack Thorne surveys the death of radical England by Michael Billington

Royal Court, LondonBeautifully staged by John Tiffany, Thorne’s new drama explores the pitfalls of socialist parenting How does one cope with being reared by radical parents? It’s a them…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:24PM
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Noises Off review – Frayn's chaotic farce as thrilling as ever by Michael Billington

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonMichael Frayn’s witty parody of backstage antics endures in an entertaining production that hit a real-life on-stage glitch What irony! Just as Michael Frayn’s f…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:36AM
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Xanadu review – psychedelic circus evokes summer of love by Michael Billington

Chiswick House, LondonCal McCrystal brings a woozy vibe to Giffords Circus, though these hippies are versatile performers and formidable athletes We expect a display of random skills. But th…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:42AM
Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Deep Blue Sea review – Rattigan's furious tide of doomed passion by Michael Billington

Minerva, Chichester Nancy Carroll is magnificent as a woman shamed by a failed affair with a younger man, in a play that seethes with postwar English anger Two critics, a Young Turk and an O…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:36AM
Friday, June 28, 2019

Europe review – refugees shelter in train station as a continent frays by Michael Billington

Donmar Warehouse, London David Greig’s 1994 play about yearning for a united Europe as fascists gather strength is deeply resonant Refugees desperately seek shelter, neo-fascist thugs roa…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Hunt review – false accusation unleashes small-town savagery by Michael Billington

Almeida, LondonRupert Goold directs a taut adaptation of Thomas Vinterberg’s film about an innocent man falling prey to clannish locals Back in 2004 the Almeida had a big hit with a stage …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:03PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Present Laughter review – Andrew Scott dazzles in Coward's enduring classic comedy by Michael Billington

Old Vic, London Scott is richly funny as a peacocking Peter Pan whose theatrical bohemia is threatened by outsiders Andrew Scott gives a virtuosic performance in Noël Coward’s imperishabl…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:18AM
Sunday, June 23, 2019

After Dark review – a deliciously dank vision of Victorian London by Michael Billington

Finborough, LondonDion Boucicault’s convoluted melodrama is elevated by the earnestness and imagination of Phil Willmott’s canny revival “Spare me the theatricals,” pleads a characte…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:33AM
Friday, June 21, 2019

Three Sisters review – stunning Russian staging of Chekhov classic by Michael Billington

Vaudeville theatre, LondonLev Dodin’s masterly production allows the actors to truly inhabit their roles and presents a familiar play afresh We live in an age of director’s theatre. But …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:36AM

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