All stories by Michael Billington on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Company review – sex-switch Sondheim proves a heavenly fling by Michael Billington

Gielgud theatre, London Rosalie Craig and Patti LuPone star in Marianne Elliott’s reimagining of the musical about marriage and the single lifeA gender change can work wonders. It is no se…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36PM
Monday, October 15, 2018

The Wider Earth review – Natural History Museum's Darwin spectacular by Michael Billington

Natural History Museum, LondonCharles Darwin’s adventures aboard the HMS Beagle are told through engrossing puppetry and painterly projectionsThis is an unusual enterprise. The museum’s …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:04AM
Friday, October 12, 2018

Measure for Measure review – sex, power and shock as Atwell and Lowden reverse roles by Michael Billington

Donmar Warehouse, LondonJosie Rourke directs an ingenious production starring Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden, giving us Shakespeare’s play twiceThere are no half measures in Josie Rourke’…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:18AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I'm Not Running review – David Hare's Labour play hits political bullseyes by Michael Billington

Lyttelton, LondonHare’s state-of-the-nation drama pricks the mind and is supported by strong performances but it lacks momentumDavid Hare has acute antennae and in his 17th new play for th…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:18AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Height of the Storm review – Pryce and Atkins are magnetic by Michael Billington

Wyndham’s, LondonJonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins excel in Florian Zeller’s beautifully elusive play, translated by Christopher HamptonThe one sure fact about a play by Florian Zeller is…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:12PM

Twelfth Night review – Kwame Kwei-Armah brings carnival spirit to Young Vic by Michael Billington

Young Vic, LondonThe artistic director opens his first season with a festive, expertly choreographed production but it misses Shakespeare’s blend of laughter and sadnessKwame Kwei-Armah op…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:24AM
Monday, October 8, 2018

The Misfits review – fresh take on Miller and Monroe tale of masculinity crisis by Michael Billington

Smock Alley, Dublin Annie Ryan provides a new perspective on Arthur Miller’s short story and film in this brooding, intelligent showAnnie Ryan, who successfully adapted A Girl Is a Half-Fo…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hamlet/Richard III review – Ruth Negga plays the Prince with priceless precision by Michael Billington

Gate/Abbey theatre, DublinYaël Farber’s Hamlet offers freshly minted thrills, while Aaron Monaghan brings demonic glee to the role of Richard IIIShakespeare, unusually, dominates the two …

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Sketching review – James Graham's London landscapes inspired by Dickens by Michael Billington

Wilton’s Music Hall, LondonGraham and eight previously unproduced writers present stories that capture the oddity and excess of the capital Inspired by Charles Dickens’ Sketches by Boz, …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:33AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Pack of Lies review – MI5 wake up the neighbours in sleepy suburbia by Michael Billington

Menier Chocolate Factory, London Finty Williams excels in the role first played by her mother, Judi Dench, in Hugh Whitemore’s slow-burning spy storyThis slow-burning play by Hugh Whitemor…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:04AM
Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hogarth's Progress review – dazzling double bill charts artist's path to woe by Michael Billington

Rose theatre, KingstonKeith Allen excels as the embittered old painter in the second of Nick Dear’s two plays following the life of William HogarthThere is a palpable irony to the umbrella…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:36AM
Friday, September 28, 2018

Pinter at the Pinter review – terrifying, tantalising power games by Michael Billington

Harold Pinter theatre, London Antony Sher, David Suchet and Hayley Squires are among the cast for a compelling set of works by the master playwrightJamie Lloyd has had the bold, bright idea …

Linked From The Guardian at 07:18AM
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Antony and Cleopatra review – Okonedo and Fiennes are a magnificent match by Michael Billington

Olivier, London Simon Godwin directs a terrific and epic National Theatre production, filled with passion and delusionThis is the third production of Shakespeare’s tragedy on the Olivier s…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:48AM
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Rebus: Long Shadows review – Ian Rankin's sleuth fails to arrest by Michael Billington

Birmingham RepCharles Lawson is on fine form as a retired John Rebus but the novelist’s Edinburgh underworld is missingYou can see the temptation to bring Ian Rankin’s rumpled sleuth Joh…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Other Place review – rage, confusion and compassion in dementia drama by Michael Billington

Park theatre, LondonKaren Archer gives a fine performance as a woman experiencing cognitive difficulties in Sharr White’s playHow do you dramatise dementia? Not easily. But Sharr White, in…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Friday, September 21, 2018

Frailty, thy name isn't woman: fresh feminist takes on Shakespeare by Michael Billington

Two productions in Manchester rework five Shakespeare plays so as to put his female characters centre stageFemale writers and directors, impatient with male-dominated Shakespeare, are offeri…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06AM
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tartuffe review – RSC's buoyant satire of modern religious hypocrisy by Michael Billington

The Swan, Stratford-on-AvonThis striking new take on Molière by the writers behind Citizen Khan sends up religious phoniness and secular pretensionThese days, every classic play seems to be…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:54PM
Monday, September 17, 2018

Sylvia review – suffragette musical is a hit in the making by Michael Billington

Old Vic, LondonThis hip-hop-infused story of Sylvia Pankhurst’s struggle and socialism has the audience on its feet in acclamation If you create a musical about (British) history with a pr…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:48PM

Eastern Star review – heroism and journalism in heart of Burmese revolution by Michael Billington

Tara theatre, LondonA survivor of the 1988 uprising meets the ex-reporter to whom he leaked information – for which action he was jailed – in this vital, fascinating dramaPlays in which …

Linked From The Guardian at 05:42AM
Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Village review – teenage firebrand leads resistance against patriarchy by Michael Billington

Theatre Royal, Stratford East, LondonAnya Chalotra is compelling as a 16-year-old who leads the women in her Indian village to stand up to Art Malik’s sadistic, tyrannical cop Nadia Fall b…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:42AM
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Women in Power review – rude, raucous reboot of radical Greek comedy by Michael Billington

NST City, SouthamptonAristophanes’ neglected classic The Assemblymen, which proposes economic and sexual communism – is given an uneven musical updateNo fewer than seven female writers a…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:18PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

For his bounty: theatre world pays tribute to Peter Hall by Michael Billington

Events at Westminster Abbey and National Theatre honour RSC founder who died last yearExactly one year to the day after his death, Peter Hall has been given a double-headed, star-studded tri…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:54PM

Holy Sh!t review – parents go to war over school places by Michael Billington

Kiln theatre, London Alexis Zegerman’s comedy exposes middle-class hypocrisy as couples battle to get their children into the top local primaryProtesters gathered outside this handsomely r…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:04AM
Monday, September 10, 2018

Square Rounds review – Tony Harrison conjures chemistry of good and evil by Michael Billington

Finborough, London This all-female revival of Harrison’s 1992 piece exploring scientific morality is expressively directed and performed‘Duality reigns,” says the German-Jewish chemist…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:36PM
Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Lovely Bones review – sorrowful tale retold with startling verve by Michael Billington

Royal and Derngate, NorthamptonSome of the heartbreak is lost but this adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel, in which a murder victim watches events from the afterlife, is a mesmerising spec…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:48AM
Friday, September 7, 2018

The Humans review – family dinner turns to schlock in uneasy drama by Michael Billington

Hampstead theatre, LondonThe Broadway cast of Stephen Karam’s award-winning play shine, but horror movie tropes detract from real-life fearsStephen Karam describes his play, which arrives …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Sweet Charity review - cracking revival with Rebecca Trehearn a pitch-perfect lead by Michael Billington

Nottingham PlayhouseA strong score, fresh choreography and a spirited cast save Fellini-inspired musical from feeling irredeemably datedI sometimes worry that our regional theatres are over-…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Dance Nation review – angst and ecstasy of cut-throat school contest by Michael Billington

Almeida, LondonClare Barron lifts the curtain on American unease in a show packed with energy, sly satire and first-rate performancesClare Barron’s prize-winning American play is the theat…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Monday, September 3, 2018

Over Kiln: the Tricycle theatre doesn't need a new name by Michael Billington

Indhu Rubasingham has overseen a rebrand for the north London theatre but her exciting programme doesn’t suggest a radical break from its rich history. So why the new moniker?What’s in a…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:04AM
Sunday, September 2, 2018

Caryl Churchill at 80: theatre's great disruptor by Michael Billington

She has made every theatre trip an adventure into the unknown, with a relentless urge to experiment that hasn’t abated over almost 40 playsCaryl Churchill, who will be 80 on 3 September, w…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:12AM
Monday, August 27, 2018

Dazzling drama: the unmissable theatre, dance and comedy of autumn 2018 by Michael Billington

Gender-swapped classics, Hans Christian Andersen’s closet secrets, two giants of US comedy sharing a stage, plus Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as rulers in love More autumn picks: Film …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:18AM

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