All stories by Alun Hood on BroadwayStars

Monday, July 25, 2022

‘The sheer visual beauty of the whole staging is a source of considerable pleasure’: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – National Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Simon Godwin’s new production of Much Ado About Nothing for the National initially seems to be going for the full-on romantic escapism, from the bougainvillea and sun-kissed (Amalfi?) coas…

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

‘Feels immensely immediate & relevant’: PENNYROYAL – Finborough Theatre ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Lucy Roslyn’s Pennyroyal takes Edith Wharton’s 1922 novella The Old Maid as its initial inspiration but feels immensely immediate and relevant. It centres on a very specific theme – Pr…

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Friday, July 1, 2022

‘An undeniably fine piece of theatre’: MAD HOUSE – Ambassadors Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House at the Ambassadors Theatre is a tremendously engrossing and satisfying tragicomedy, given a flawless, blazingly well acted production by Moritz von Stuelpnagel.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

‘Providing some authentic chills’: THE HAUNTING OF SUSAN A – King’s Head Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Mark Ravenhill’s The Haunting Of Susan A is a creditable and often gripping attempt to marry contemporary issues with Islington’s somewhat grim past, and an interesting, evocative way to…

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

’It’s sexy, dark & riveting’: PASSION – Manchester ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Make no mistake, this is a world class Passion, and one which any Sondheim nut, or indeed anybody who wants to see a collection of remarkable talents at the top of their game, would be mad n…

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

‘Likely to infuriate as many people as it enchants’: OKLAHOMA! – Young Vic Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Daniel Fish’s sexed-up, pared-down version of Oklahoma! at the Young Vic Theatre (co-directed for London by Jordan Fein) is less a revival and more a full blown deconstruction of the origi…

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

‘Punchdrunk are back & it’s epic’: THE BURNT CITY – One Cartridge Place, London ★★★★ by Alun Hood

With The Burnt City, Punchdrunk’s biggest show to date, they take on Greek myth, although the aesthetic is anachronistic: boho chic meets old school Hollywood glamour meets monochrome star…

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Friday, April 29, 2022

‘Flawed but mainly fabulous & deeply endearing’: SCANDALTOWN – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★★ by Alun Hood

We knew Mike Bartlett was brilliant, but with this third piece to come to a major London venue in 2022, he displays yet another facet to his virtuosity while staking a claim to be as prolifi…

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Sunday, April 24, 2022

‘An intelligent, emotionally astute new production’: RABBIT HOLE – Union Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Premiered in New York in 2006, David Lindsay-Abaire’s robust yet delicate piece, which considers the fallout from a child’s death, is a compelling tragicomedy.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

‘An original, & splendidly theatrical, take’: Bram Stoker’s DRACULA – Touring ★★★★ by Alun Hood

There have been numerous screen and stage versions of the Dracula legend over the decades, including a couple of musicals ranging from the misconceived to the riotously camp.

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Monday, April 4, 2022

‘A testament to resilience, chutzpah & sheer golden talent’: JEWISH HOLLYWOOD – Upstairs at the Gatehouse by Alun Hood

Any study of the history of popular music would be a very slim tome indeed without the contribution of Jewish songwriters, and that’s doubly true when it comes to considering the greatest …

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Saturday, March 12, 2022

‘Kit Harington combines drop-dead gorgeous with an innate everyman likability’: HENRY V – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

This thrilling Donmar revival comes at a particularly interesting time in global history, where an unchecked leader invading a neighbouring country on which he has no authentic claim is like…

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Tuesday, March 8, 2022

‘Tender yet in-yer-face, raw yet accomplished, it’s unmissable’: BACON – Finborough Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Not since the original 1990 production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing at the Bush (which featured a pre-stardom Jonny Lee Miller) have I seen a new play and young actors that come of…

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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

‘I didn’t feel much like dancing after a couple of hours of this mess’: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER – Peacock Theatre ★★ by Alun Hood

“You should be dancing, yeah!” goes the oft-repeated chorus of the Bee Gees hit that loomed large in the original Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack and closes the first half of this …

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Saturday, February 5, 2022

‘A big fat solid, crowd-pleasing commercial hit’: MOULIN ROUGE! The Musical – West End ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Moulin Rouge is ensconced now at the Piccadilly, probably for the foreseeable future, and it’s a true extravaganza, almost completely lacking any restraint

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Sunday, January 16, 2022

‘It’s naughty & not always nice’: HABEAS CORPUS – Menier Chocolate Factory ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Joe Orton had been dead six years when Alan Bennett’s 1973 Habeas Corpus made its West End debut in a production starring Sir Alec Guinness.

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Sunday, January 9, 2022

‘Beautiful, a bit strange, quite sinister & entirely transporting’: CABARET – West End ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

I’m not sure anything prepared me for quite how earth-shatteringly sensational Rebecca Frecknall’s take on Cabaret would turn out to be.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

‘An enthralling, bewitching new staging with a terrific young cast’: SPRING AWAKENING – Almeida Theatre by Alun Hood

I’m not sure even the greatest admirers of this 2006 Broadway smash will be prepared for the emotional and visceral impact of this jaw-droppingly fine new production by the Almeida’s art…

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

‘The term crowdpleaser was coined for shows such as this’: THE CHOIR OF MAN – Arts Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Big burly men who sing like angels while dispensing free beer….what’s not to love, right?! It isn’t hard to fathom the appeal of The Choir Of Man.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

‘The music provides a haunting, grounding overlay’: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS – Barbican Centre (RSC) by Alun Hood

It might seem a bit odd to come out of a Shakespeare play raving about the singing and music. Yet these elements are part of what lifts Phillip Breen’s captivating new RSC production.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

‘Commendably, it never descends into cliché’: STRAIGHT WHITE MEN – Southwark Playhouse ★★★ by Alun Hood

A long-standing darling of the avant-garde downtown Off-Broadway theatre scene where she has her own company, Young Jean Lee is known for creating plays that are punchy, free-form and advent…

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Friday, November 19, 2021

‘It takes you to that smashing place where you just can’t stop laughing’: PRIDE & PREJUDICE (sort of) – West End ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Every so often a little show comes along pretty much unheralded and without star casting that strikes a chord with audiences and critics alike, and ends up sticking around in the West End fo…

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

‘It’s refreshing to see Australian writing on the London stage’: THE SUGAR HOUSE – Finborough Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Nobody who sees this award-nominated Australian drama is likely to accuse playwright Alana Valentine of lacking ambition.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

‘Devastating, dark & rich’: LOVE & OTHER ACTS OF VIOLENCE – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

The birth of a new star is always a source of theatrical excitement, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen a professional debut as impressive as that of Abigail Weinstock.

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

‘Really a rather marvelous surprise’: INDECENT PROPOSAL – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Unlike the critically mauled Broadway tuner Pretty Woman, Michael Conley and Dylan Schlosberg’s tangy and surprising chamber musical is only “inspired” by, as opposed to slavishly foll…

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

‘An enjoyable evening, superbly acted’: HOW TO SURVIVE AN APOCALYPSE – Finborough Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Jordan Hall’s multi-award-winning Canadian comedy, in a smart staging by Proud Haddock artistic director Jimmy Walters, is so engaging you don’t really need a glass of overpriced wine to…

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

‘Good intentions & a fascinating central figure’: IDA RUBINSTEIN – Playground Theatre ★★ by Alun Hood

Disparaging somebody else’s passion project is a bit like telling a doting parent that their baby is ugly. This stage tribute to Art Nouveau darling Ida Rubinstein is one such endeavour.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

‘Thunderously exciting’: & JULIET — West End ★★★★★(★!) by Alun Hood

A musical that riffs on Shakespeare while plundering the back catalogue of one of the most successful and prolific songwriters in pop history (Max Martin, who is only not a household name be…

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

‘A bonkers theatrical thrill ride’: IS GOD IS – Royal Court ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

One of the Urban Dictionary definitions of “nasty” is a word to describe something that is ridiculously good. Between that and the more traditional meaning of the word, I have no hesitat…

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Monday, September 27, 2021

‘Theatrical comfort food’: BLITHE SPIRIT – West End ★★★ by Alun Hood

Written and premiered in the early 1940s while WW2 raged on and the prospect of losing a precious loved one at short notice felt like a very real possibility, Noël Coward’s ghostly comedy…

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Friday, September 24, 2021

‘This gem of a show’: THE LAST FIVE YEARS – Garrick ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Jonathan O’Boyle’s inspired actor-musician take on Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle-cum-musical felt like an eye-opening reinvention of a fascinating but conflicted piece (one half of t…

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All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards