Review: Best of 2012 Theatre

The end of the year and time to once again reflect on the year’s theatrical offerings and try to assemble a list of highlights. In many ways this was a year where sport interrupted the theatrical calendar with the Olympic and Paralympic Games eating into the theatre going and providing their own unique, and hard […]

Review: Aladdin – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Aladdin seems to be the pantomime of choice this year, with magic lamps being rubbed up and down the country. It’s easy to see why; the spectacle and exotic settings providing a sumptuous backdrop to the onstage clownery. The Orchard Theatre’s production, though, has added a new twist to the Eastern setting, mixing the Orient […]

Review: Dial M For Murgatroyd – Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich

The whodunit is a theatrical staple. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has recently celebrated its 250,000th performance over 60 years in the West End but in Eastern Angles marvelous mad murder mystery the genre has been given an anarchic makeover. The traditional ‘whodunit’ cry of ‘the butler did it’ doesn’t last long here as the menservants […]

Review: People – National Theatre, London

“People, People who need people”… Barbara Streisand’s famous song wasn’t the inspiration for Alan Bennett’s latest play for the National Theatre. In fact if Bennett’s theme is understood it’s more a case of people who don’t want people. In a large, crumbling Georgian pile Lady Dorothy Stacpole is confined to one room, the leaking roof, […]

Feature: Theatre UK Award predictions

While many theatre awards focus on London, the Theatre Management Association’s Theatre Awards UK, being held later this week, look further afield and covers the entire country. Perhaps the awards don’t quite hit the headlines in the way the Olivier Awards do but it’s an important area to celebrate and one we need to support. […]

Review: Without You – Menier Chocolate Factory, London

Actors are often advised to draw on their own life experiences to shape their performances. When that life experience includes the death of two of your closest friends and the raw emotion of the death of your own mother to cancer you might expect an actor to shy away from digging too deep into their […]

Review: Hard Places – Mercury Theatre Studio, Colchester

We think as national borders as a permanent feature, something immovable and solid. In reality though borders frequently shift as political factions come and go. What happens when one such border devides a community and a family? Farhad Sorabjee’s Hard Places, receiving its UK premiere at the Colchester Mercury, looks at one such border. Although […]

Review: Starlight Express – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend On Sea

It can’t be often that a small child has a West End musical dedicated to them. It’s even rarer when that child ends up writing a new song for the show’s revival a couple of decades later. When your surname, though, is Lloyd Webber such things shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. As […]

Review: Haunting Julia – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

One doesn’t normally associate Alan Ayckbourn with horror. The prolific writer, normally more familiar with suburban comedy, has though turned his hand to a chilling thriller. First performed in 1994 and revived in Lichfield and London in 2011, Haunting Julia now stretches its spectral legs on a first ever national tour. While the territory may […]