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London Reviews

Superstar – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Nicola Wren Director: Sadie Spencer Reviewer: Richard Maguire In short, Superstar is a show, written and performed by Chris Martin’s sister, about being Chris Martin’s sister. It was hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, but perhaps is too earnest and self-indulgent for a London audience. While at drama school Nicola Martin decided to change her name to Nicola Wren ...

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Candida – Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

Writer: George Bernard Shaw Director: Paul Miller Reviewer: Stephen Bates Paul Miller’s five-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre has been marked by programming that contrasts challenging contemporary works and revivals of classics by writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Terence Rattigan to satisfy traditionalists. Candida is Miller’s fourth production of a play by Shaw, a ...

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The Arrival – Bush Theatre, London

Writer/Director: Bijan Sheibani Reviewer: Scott Matthewman There is something about a circular stage, of a play performed in the round, which feels particularly appropriate for the examination of sibling relationships. Think of Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes, for example, with Olivia Williams and Olivia Colman circling each other before colliding together like super-accelerated particles. Or Ogun and Oshoosi in The Brothers Size, ...

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My Brilliant Friend – National Theatre, London

Writer: April De Angelis based on the books by Elena Ferrante Director: Melly Still Reviewer: Richard Maguire Based on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, this five-hour epic first seen at Kingston’s Rose Theatre in 2017 now comes to the National. Tracing the friendship between two women who first meet as schoolchildren, Ferrante’s tale stretches 60 years over four books but while ...

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The Lady Vanishes – Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Writer: Antony Lampard based on the screenplay by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder Director: Roy Marsden Reviewer: Scott Matthewman There’s something about the isolated confines of a railway train that makes for a great setting for a mystery. There’s Murder on the Orient Express, of course, but Alfred Hitchcock’s 1938 film The Lady Vanishes works just as well. Originally a ...

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The Entertainer – Richmond Theatre, London

Writer: John Osborne Director: Sean O’Connor Reviewer: David Guest Updating a classic play might be regarded by some as theatrical and artistic suicide, especially when the work in question is widely thought of as one of the greatest dramas written in the 20th Century. However, the classy production of John Osborne’s The Entertainer, which finishes its first ever UK tour ...

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Curtains – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Book: Rupert Holmes Lyrics: Fred Ebb Music: John Kander Director: Paul Foster Reviewer: Dan English Curtains up, or is it? The Jason Manford-fronted musical Curtains is full of fun as it reaches Dartford’s Orchard Theatre ahead of its run in London’s West End. The premise is reasonably straightforward in this musical murder-mystery mashup. The cast of ‘Robbin Hood’ are begrudgingly ...

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Dear Evan Hansen – Noel Coward Theatre, London

Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Book: Steven Levenson Director: Michael Greif Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The musical really is a contemporary art form yet the setting and inspiration for many of the biggest hits over the past few years all seem to look to the past. In the last year alone, we’ve had the 80s-set Only Fool s ...

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