All stories by Rachel Williams on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 23, 2019

View From The Circle’s Top Ten Shows of the Year by Rachel Williams

It’s that time of year again... here’s View From the Circle’s Top Ten shows of 2019.

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Friday, December 20, 2019

‘Fascinating & engaging piece of theatre’: THREE SISTERS – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

Inua Ellams’ writing is always so multifaceted and beautiful and this interpretation of Three Sisters is no exception, whether you have strong feelings on Chekhov or not.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

‘The best thing is its pitch perfect cast’: THE ANTIPODES – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

The Antipodes is certainly not the play for you if you want an easy, purely entertaining night at the theatre. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort and have something to chew ov…

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Friday, October 25, 2019

‘If you’re a Sam Shepard fan, it’s a must’: AGES OF THE MOON – The Vaults by Rachel Williams

You’d be hard pressed to see a better version of Sam Shepard’s play Ages Of The Moon.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

‘Positively bounces along on a wave of its own madness’: PETER GYNT – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

Peter Gynt, a new adaptation of Ibsen’s apparently unstageable Peer Gynt by David Hare, is a great success as a piece of writing and so much fun.

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

‘An absolute marvel’: SWEAT – West End by Rachel Williams

I really can’t recommend Sweat highly enough. It’s not just a great play, and a great production, it’s an actually important one.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

‘Fantastic piece of writing’: HEDGEHOG – Lion & Unicorn Theatre by Rachel Williams

The writing is brilliant, the production is brilliant and it is brilliantly performed. I would love it if Hedgehog at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre were picked up a venue like The Bush and …

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

‘The play is a wonderful thing’: SMALL ISLAND – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

Small Island is an absolute joy and an overdue, no reservations at all, win for Rufus Norris at the NT. There’s nothing else to say. Well except this: you must see it, immediately.

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Sunday, June 2, 2019

‘An absolute belter of a thriller’: ANNA – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

ANNA is such a great little show. It’s a curiosity, certainly, and it is worth seeing for the technical bravado alone. But it’s also an absolute belter of a thriller too, something which…

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

‘If this show is saved at all, it’s by some of the acting’: RUTHERFORD & SON – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

Rutherford and Son is not my cup of tea. No cup of tea has ever been as boring as this play is for one thing. The acting does just about salvage it, or at least stop it from being a complete…

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

‘Best Arthur Miller production I’ve ever seen’: DEATH OF A SALESMAN – Young Vic by Rachel Williams

Directed by Marianne (actual genius) Elliott and Miranda Cromwell and featuring an African American Loman family, this Death of a Salesman is the clearest, most moving and profound vision of…

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

‘Punchy, funny & ultimately quite uplifting’: SAD ABOUT THE COWS – Tristan Bates Theatre by Rachel Williams

First things first, how good a title for a play is Sad About The Cows? Pretty bloody good I would argue. It’s also a pretty bloody good play, as it happens.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

‘Emotional impact comes from a genuinely great production’: ALL MY SONS – The Old Vic by Rachel Williams

All My Sons may not be my favourite Arthur Miller play but The Old Vic’s production of it is undeniably brilliant, especially the heavyweight and stunningly good cast.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

‘An absolute masterpiece of writing’: DOWNSTATE – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

Downstate at the National Theatre is a remarkable thing. An absolute masterpiece of writing, performed so sensitively and with such bravery.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

‘Just a beautiful thing’: GOING THROUGH – Bush Theatre by Rachel Williams

Overall Going Through is just a beautiful thing. Gorgeous writing, a stonkingly good production and a brilliant cast. Seventy-five minutes of humanity and joy. Highly recommended.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

‘Demands to be seen’: EMILIA – West End by Rachel Williams

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s script for Emilia at the Vaudeville Theatre is spectacularly good: funny, poignant, angry and inspiring. It’s an amazing piece of theatre, yes, but it’s also som…

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

‘Probably about as good as it could be’: ADMISSIONS – Trafalgar Studios by Rachel Williams

I’m genuinely not sure Admissions could be done much better than it’s done here. If you come expecting an entertaining comedy that will make you occasionally go ‘oh actually that’s a…

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Friday, March 8, 2019

‘Worth your time & more so than the book’: ALYS, ALWAYS – Bridge Theatre by Rachel Williams

Look, as a piece of drama Alys, Always isn't the best thing you'll ever see. It's unlikely to be troubling the Olivier nominations next year I wouldn't think. But, actually, I sort of don't …

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Monday, February 18, 2019

‘A really fascinating piece of historical storytelling’: THE AMERICAN CLOCK – The Old Vic by Rachel Williams

I really enjoyed and was really technically impressed with The American Clock. A decent play, in an amazing production by a truly visionary director, brought to life by a brilliant cast.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

‘Lots of trial, not so much laughter’: TRIAL BY LAUGHTER – Touring by Rachel Williams

There's a line in Trial By Laughter, the new touring production of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s play about freedom of the press, where one of the main characters says to the other: “But …

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Friday, January 25, 2019

‘A really clever & successful piece of musical storytelling’: VIOLET – Charing Cross Theatre by Rachel Williams

The way that the story of Violet is told elevates it to something really quite lovely, with huge emotional impact and a surprising timeliness.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

‘A straight up great piece of writing’: ANOMALY – Old Red Lion Theatre by Rachel Williams

Anomaly is a really exciting play. For all that it’s hard to watch and challenging to process, it is immensely rewarding and a great hour of theatre all round. It’s also an amazing showc…

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

‘Just absolute genius’: WAR HORSE – Touring by Rachel Williams

Somehow, despite the fact it’s been around for about a billion years, it’s taken me until 2019 to finally see War Horse on stage. Weird right? It’s done the National Theatre, it’s do…

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Monday, December 24, 2018

The Best Theatre & Performances of 2018 by Rachel Williams

Normally I do two of these – Top Ten Shows and Top Ten Performances – but this year I’m combining the two – plus some sundry other awards.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

‘A distinct, innovative & raw telling’: THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD THE SECOND – Almeida Theatre by Rachel Williams

Currently my favourite partnership of Simon Russell Beale and Shakespeare is at work in The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (or Richard II if you prefer, and as the person typing this I v…

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

‘Shows exactly why we need more women directing in London theatre’: SUMMER & SMOKE – West End by Rachel Williams

Summer & Smoke, the latest Almeida Theatre West End transfer, is the first thing I’ve experienced in a while where the theatre audience is really, properly engaged in a play. It’s l…

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

‘Top drawer cast, top drawer production’: PINTER FOUR – West End by Rachel Williams

Like ripping off a dramatic plaster, now that I’ve done one show’s worth of Harold Pinter it’s time to plunge headfirst into another. Pinter Three down, Pinter Four to go.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

‘Extremely pleasant surprise’: PINTER THREE – West End by Rachel Williams

Overall, I really rated Pinter Three. Whether you know your Pinter or not, I’d wager there’s something new for you here. Funny, touching, and staged and performed with real class. Solidl…

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Friday, November 9, 2018

‘Definitely worth your time if you like your theatre experimental’: LANDS – Bush Theatre by Rachel Williams

If you like your theatre more experimental than I do, then Lands it’s definitely worth your time. And, as ever, you can’t fault The Bush’s bravery in commissioning it.

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Monday, November 5, 2018

‘Unlike anything else in London at the moment’: ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING – Bush Theatre by Rachel Williams

Yet another pat on the back is due for the Bush Theatre who has knocked things out of the park once again with its latest main house show. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, written by Luke …

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

‘Gives both politics & theatre a bad name’: I’M NOT RUNNING – National Theatre by Rachel Williams

I’m Not Running is, for my money, the sort of political theatre that gives both politics and theatre a bad name.

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue