Reviews

  • Review

The Creation, Garsington Opera, Wormsley, review

The natural world flows through Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation, from new-made landscapes to darting birds and a roaring lion. In Garsington Opera’s new staging, a collaboration with Rambert dance company, dancers flit through the music, evoking animals or rippling through abstract patterns.

  • Review

Into the Woods, Menier Chocolate Factory, review

If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a rather delightful surprise.  Fiasco, a US-based ensemble theatre company, specialise in playfully pared-down productions that put the emphasis firmly on performance, text and story.  A few years ago, they brought their wildly inventive account of Shakespeare's unclassifiable Cymbeline, which employed just half-a-dozen actors and a trunk of props, to Stratford-upon-Avon. Now the Menier Chocolate Factory has imported from Off-Broadway their charming stripped-back version of the 1987 Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical about the revealing tropes and psychological truths in fairy tales. 

  • Review

The Kreutzer Sonata, Arcola Theatre, London

The motion of a train loosens the tongue, opines Pozdnyshev, the local government bureaucrat who is our garrulous travelling companion for the 100 minutes of this horribly compelling monologue that the playwright Nancy Harris has based on Tolstoy's notorious, warped novella. Directed by John Terry and starring the mesmeric Greg Hicks, the show holes us up with this fastidious, elegant figure who proceeds – as if out of some purgatorially recurring need – to try to explain why he was driven to murder his wife.  

  • Review

Unreachable, Royal Court, theatre review

If you're drawn to the dark and taboo-breaking side of Anthony Neilson's imagination, as exemplified by plays such as The Censor and Relocated, then the chances are that you'll feel disappointed by Unreachable. As is his habit, the dramatist has devised the piece during the rehearsal process with input from the cast, but what they’ve produced comes across as strangely conventional and cut off from the momentous happenings in the outside world.  

  • Review

Queens of Syria, Young Vic, review: 'a compelling and humbling show'

An all-female cast of thirteen Syrian refugees takes to the stage for this remarkable venture. They weave their own personal stories into an eloquent modern re-working of an ancient text -- Euripides' Women of Troy (415 BC) with its eponymous captives waiting to shipped from the sacked city into slavery.

  • Review

The Go-Between, Apollo Theatre, review: 'Enthralling'

Michael Crawford returns to the West End, after a five-year break, in a piece that's appreciably different from the kind of shows (Barnum, The Phantom of the Opera) that rocketed him to stardom. There's no danger of mistaking The Go-Between for a noisy blockbuster but that doesn't signify any shortage of ambition in this enthralling, beautifully textured chamber-musical version of the LP Hartley novel about a boy's loss of innocence during a country house visit in the scorchingly hot summer of 1900.  

  • Review

Jekyll and Hyde dance review

Drew McOnie’s new Jekyll and Hyde both confirms him as a strong theatrical talent, while suffering from a lack of emotional depth. This production zips along, danced with gusto by a stylish cast. It’s just happier playing with 1950s imagery than with getting its teeth into the story.