All stories by Tom Bolton on BroadwayStars

Friday, August 12, 2022

‘Elements of the story connect in ways that surprise’: PATRIOTS – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Peter Morgan’s new play Patriots at the Almeida Theatre is a history lesson, filling in the gaps in our understanding of how we ended up where we are now. Specifically, it connects events …

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

‘It is definitely the kind of theatre we need’: THE DANCE OF DEATH – Arcola Theatre by Tom Bolton

Lindsay Duncan and Hilton McRae reveal the full depths of The Dance of Death’s ambiguity in production that is funny and strangely touching. Directed by the Arcola’s own Mehmet Ergen, th…

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Thursday, July 14, 2022

‘Tightly choreographed & highly absorbing’: THE LESSON – Southwark Playhouse by Tom Bolton

It says something about national cultures that the French equivalent of The Mousetrap is Eugène Ionesco’s short play, The Lesson. It has been running at Théâtre de la Huchette in Paris …

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Friday, June 24, 2022

‘Kirkwood’s ambition is admirable’: THAT IS NOT WHO I AM – Royal Court Theatre by Tom Bolton

That Is Not Who I Am by Dave Davidson – Royal Court Theatre, London (This review consists almost entirely of spoilers) The nudge-nudge cover story for this play – that it’s the debut…

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Monday, June 13, 2022

‘An exceptional piece of theatre’: GIRL ON AN ALTAR – Kiln Theatre by Tom Bolton

An exceptional piece of theatre, Girl on an Altar at the Kiln Theatre remakes a story that is part of Western cultural heritage, with deceptive ease, as though it could have happened yesterd…

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

‘An alarmingly current piece of work’: THE FATHER & THE ASSASSIN – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

Anupama Chandrasekhar’s new play The Father And The Assassin about Nathuram Godse, the man who murdered – assassinated – Mohandas Gandhi in 1948, is an alarmingly current piece of work…

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

‘Judged just right’: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – Globe Theatre by Tom Bolton

The Globe’s main, outdoor theatre has not staged shows with a full audience since the summer of 2019, so the opening of its summer season with Lucy Bailey’s production of Much Ado About …

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

‘The real reason to see the play is for Walker’: THE CORN IS GREEN – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

However, Dominic Cooke’s production of Emlyn Williams’ play The Corn Is Green makes a good case for reviving it but the real reason to see the drama is for Nicola Walker.

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Sunday, April 17, 2022

‘Ralph Fiennes is in his element as a man whose tragic flaw will clearly be his downfall’: STRAIGHT LINE CRAZY – Bridge Theatre by Tom Bolton

David Hare’s new play is a history lesson. New York city planner Robert Moses shaped the modern city by supplying it with expressways and parkways.

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Thursday, March 31, 2022

‘Sets a new standard for future productions of Shakespeare’s problematic play’: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by Tom Bolton

The Merchant of Venice is seen as a problematic play but, increasingly, it seems that the problems are with us, as much as they are with Shakespeare.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

‘Lyndsey Turner’s production is expertly crafted’: AFTER THE END – Theatre Royal Stratford East by Tom Bolton

Dennis Kelly’s 2005 play After The End is set inside a nuclear fallout shelter, so it is not surprising that it deals with situations beyond the boundaries of what passes for normality.

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Sunday, March 20, 2022

‘A spirited combination of personal & global histories’: MUGABE, MY DAD & ME – Touring by Tom Bolton

Tonderai Munyevi is a charming performer. His experiences include different types of marginalisation, growing up as a gay man and a Zimbabwean immigrant in London.

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Saturday, March 12, 2022

‘An intellectually rigorous re-examination of a tale taken for granted’: A TALE OF TWO CITIES – Touring by Tom Bolton

There are very few companies who do what Lost Dog does so well – seamlessly combining theatre and contemporary dance, as though this was an obvious way to tell a story.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

‘A confused approach manifests itself in a very uneven set of performances’: HAMLET – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by Tom Bolton

Sean Holmes’ new production of Hamlet in the Globe’s indoor space opens with a snatch of “Oh mother I can feel the soil falling over my head”, from The Smiths’ song ‘I Know It’…

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Friday, February 18, 2022

‘The kind of work that, in ten years’ time, people will still be wondering at’: THE GLOW – Royal Court Theatre by Tom Bolton

The concept is like a Doctor Who plot opened up beyond the confines of a genre, to encompass limitless possibilities. It is both enthralling and disturbing.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

‘Dynamic, energetic & paced like an 800m race’: FAIR PLAY – Bush Theatre by Tom Bolton

Ella Road’s new two-hander is set in the world of track athletics, but the two characters, Ann (NicK King) and Sophie (Charlotte Beaumont) are not just any runners.

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Saturday, January 1, 2022

‘Director Michael Longhurst brings ski slopes to Covent Garden’: FORCE MAJEURE – Donmar Warehouse by Tom Bolton

Adapted from Ruben Östlund’s film, Force Majeure is an exercise in family breakdown set among a group of well-off Swedes on a skiing holiday.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

‘Always compelling to watch’: MEASURE FOR MEASURE – Shakespeare’s Globe by Tom Bolton

For her last production at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Blanche McIntyre expertly conjured the life of a city onto a tiny stage. Her Measure for Measure is another city play, but of a very diffe…

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Monday, December 20, 2021

‘A triumphant evening’: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS – Barbican Centre (RSC) by Tom Bolton

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare – Barbican Theatre, London Like all theatre companies, the Royal Shakespeare Company has experienced a tough 18 months, so it is fortunate that…

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Saturday, December 18, 2021

‘Michael Pennington’s voice is remarkable’: THE TEMPEST – Jermyn Street Theatre by Tom Bolton

The Jermyn Street Theatre is a tiny place to stage a play that is more usually seen filling all the space on offer at the RSC or the National Theatre, but the scale gives Tom Littler’s pro…

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

‘A well-chosen & beautifully cast pair of plays’: FOOTFALLS & ROCKABY – Jermyn Street Theatre by Tom Bolton

In the tiny, pub theatre-esque Jermyn Street Theatre Samuel Beckett’s two monologues, Footfalls and Rockaby, exert a powerful hold.

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

‘It’s hard to take your eyes off Cush Jumbo’: HAMLET – Young Vic Theatre by Tom Bolton

Cush Jumbo’s Hamlet has been a long time in the making. In fact, what with the pandemic and the Young Vic’s long lead times for shows (which allow for some serious forward planning), I b…

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

‘A sad & elegaic play that seems to have gained significance’: HOME – Chichester Festival Theatre by Tom Bolton

Although David Storey is a somewhat forgotten writer, wildly successful from the late 1960s to the late ’70s as both a playwright and novelist, but then just as suddenly out of fashion, Ho…

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

‘Raw history not yet ready to be consigned to the past’: THE NORMAL HEART – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

First staged in 1985, just before the AIDS epidemic had fully entered public consciousness, Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart rails against the refusal of US authorities to acknowledge anythin…

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

‘A ridiculous – & ridiculously enjoyable – show that boasts the finest score in musicals’: ANYTHING GOES by Tom Bolton

As soon as the title number’s patter chorus kicks in, there’s a smile on every face at the Barbican Centre, where Cole Porter's Broadway classic Anything Goes runs until 6 November 2021.

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Sunday, August 1, 2021

‘Charming performers fill the stage heroically’: CHANGING DESTINY – Young Vic Theatre by Tom Bolton

The Young Vic is configured in the round for Changing Destiny, Ben Okri’s adaptation of a 4,000 year old Egyptian myth.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

‘A powerful play from an author we need to hear’: LAVA – Bush Theatre by Tom Bolton

The lava in the title of Benedict Lombe’s new, fierce, autobiographical play is anger. It flows over the stage, filling the crevasses of the set, and through Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo’s smou…

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

‘In most respects a treat to watch’: UNDER MILK WOOD – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

The National Theatre’s staging of Under Milk Wood is far from the first time Dylan Thomas’ poem has been adapted for the stage. It’s easy to see the temptation to perform a work so pac…

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Friday, June 18, 2021

‘One of the most absorbing & significant plays every written’: HAPPY DAYS – Riverside Studios by Tom Bolton

Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days is, as Lisa Dwan observes, often described as ‘the female Hamlet’. Dwan has played every other female Beckett lead but even she was intimidated by a role pr…

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Monday, February 22, 2021

‘The writing is nuanced & structured’: HYMN – Almeida Theatre (Online review) by Tom Bolton

In an empty Almeida Theatre, two heavyweight actors – Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani – bring serious male energy to Lolita Chakrabati’s new play Hymn.

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

‘Powerful, funny & thoroughly engaging’: NAKED – Cockpit Theatre (Online review) by Tom Bolton

NAKED is a powerful, funny and thoroughly engaging piece of physical theatre. It is the first show from performers Luke Vincent and Paige-Marie Baker-Carroll of the NAKEDpresents queer colle…

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