All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Paradise review – Kae Tempest’s unruly take on Sophocles by Arifa Akbar

Olivier theatre, LondonLesley Sharp stars in a tragedy that interrogates notions of military machismo and the performance of masculinity Kae Tempest’s reworked Sophoclean tragedy is the st…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Windsors: Endgame review – a right royal disaster by Arifa Akbar

Prince of Wales theatre, LondonThe sharp Channel 4 comedy becomes a lumbering stage show sending up King Charles and a band of boo-worthy buffoons For fans of the TV series, watching The Win…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:06PM
Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Twelfth Night review – impeccable staging of Shakespeare’s merriest romp by Arifa Akbar

Globe Theatre, LondonImaginative directorial tweaks and an expert cast bring out the full effects of a text stuffed with double-meanings, gender-swapped disguises and dextrous language Post-…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24PM

Carousel review – takes the shine off its fairground attraction by Arifa Akbar

Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, LondonTimothy Sheader’s production relocates the musical from New England to the north of England and dismantles the fatal romance at its heart It is no s…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:42AM
Monday, August 9, 2021

Alexandra Burke: ‘I got asked to bleach my skin after X Factor’ by Arifa Akbar

Her career has taken her from pop success to Strictly and the stage. She discusses the pain of racist comments, the joy of duetting with Beyoncé – and the enduring influence of her late m…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:24AM
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Wonderville review – pick ‘n’ mix variety show loses its magic by Arifa Akbar

Palace theatre, LondonThis confusing concoction of cabaret, holiday camp entertainment, panto and pub act fails to showcase its talented illusionists The first thing to say about Wonderville…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:54AM
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Changing Destiny review – Ben Okri’s sketchy foray into ancient Egypt by Arifa Akbar

Young Vic, LondonKwame Kwei-Armah’s adaptation of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian poem is ambitious and visually stunning, but Ben Okri’s script is too broadbrush Two towering pyramids dominat…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Friday, July 30, 2021

My Night With Reg review – a listless revival of Elyot’s masterly Aids comedy by Arifa Akbar

Turbine theatre, LondonDespite heartfelt intentions and some energetic performances, this production doesn’t do justice to the brilliance of Kevin Elyot’s 1994 script Kevin Elyot’s 199…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Bagdad Cafe review – a kooky cabaret on Route 66 by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonEmma Rice’s version of the 1987 movie is an outrageously sentimental ode to friendship and oddballs meeting amid Californian tumbleweed Just as Wim Wenders’ road movie p…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:48AM
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat review – firing on all cylinders by Arifa Akbar

London PalladiumAlexandra Burke, Jason Donovan and Technicolor coat-wearer Jac Yarrow are among a cast whose performances ooze personality and mischief While Andrew Lloyd Webber bumpily stee…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24PM
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Two Character Play review – hermetic sibling psychodrama by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, London Tennessee Williams’s play within a play uses ingenious artifice, as its actor brother and sister perform their way into madness, but locks out the audience There …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:03AM
Thursday, July 22, 2021

Gin Craze! review – a bawdy feminist history lesson with anarchic spirit by Arifa Akbar

Royal and Derngate, NorthamptonThis rousing Gin Lane musical by April De Angelis and Lucy Rivers has working-class women at its heart Gin Craze! enacts a lesser-remembered piece of 18th-cent…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:48AM
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hamlet review – Ian McKellen’s risky prince reveals method in the madness by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal WindsorThe actor brings brilliant nuance and daring to his part in an age-blind production marred by some eccentric decisions This Hamlet, starring 82-year-old Ian McKellen as …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24PM
Monday, July 19, 2021

‘We know that anger’: the return of David Mamet’s incendiary Oleanna by Arifa Akbar

What does Mamet’s 1992 play about a college professor accused of sexual harassment say in the wake of #MeToo? Lucy Bailey, director of its West End revival, discusses its power Director Lu…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:54AM
Saturday, July 17, 2021

Anna X review – sound and vision steal the show in ‘fake heiress’ tale by Arifa Akbar

Harold Pinter theatre, LondonEmma Corrin and and Nabhaan Rizwan give excellent performances in Joseph Charlton’s two-hander which has a fizzing hi-tech design Damien Hirst’s conceptual a…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:06PM
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Last Easter review – a lovable drama about life, death and theatre by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree theatre, LondonBryony Lavery’s play, revived by director Tinuke Craig, celebrates friendship with truths, humour and good punchlines A play about serious illness and the search…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:54AM
Sunday, July 11, 2021

Niqabi Ninja review – rape-revenge promenade loses its way by Arifa Akbar

Toynbee Studios, LondonWritten in response to sexual violence in Tahrir Square, this mobile adaptation of Sara Shaarawi’s polemic becomes confusing Niqabi Ninja is a revenge fantasy origin…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:42PM

The Dumb Waiter review – Thewlis and Mays’s supreme double act beefs up Pinter’s menace by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic: In CameraDavid Thewlis and Daniel Mays add rich new shades to the over-familiar 1957 two-hander in this filmed adaptation It takes theatrical alchemy – and talent – to turn a pl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:36AM
Saturday, July 10, 2021

Wayne McGregor: ‘Dancers are believing their voices can be heard, and I love that’ by Arifa Akbar

Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor had no access to elite ballet schools growing up. But he did have John Travolta and disco to spark a lifelong obsession. Now he wants to make dancer…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:48PM
Friday, July 9, 2021

Romeo and Juliet review – a bold rewiring with no room for romance by Arifa Akbar

Shakespeare’s Globe, LondonDirector Ola Ince’s take on Shakespeare’s tragedy is clever, energetic and doesn’t have a single smooch This is not the first major production of Romeo and…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12PM
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Notes on Grief review – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie essay sketched on stage by Arifa Akbar

Exchange Auditorium, Manchester CentralThe novelist’s article about her father’s death was expanded into a book and has now become a play but it feels limited Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, July 4, 2021

Extinct review – firenadoes, melting ice and one hour to halt apocalypse by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Stratford East, LondonFeaturing plague and shootouts in M&S, XR supporter April De Angelis’s dystopic climate drama is a powerful, urgent polemic During Extinction Rebell…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Friday, July 2, 2021

Constellations review – a stellar revival for Nick Payne’s high-concept romance by Arifa Akbar

Vaudeville theatreThe stories of string theorist Marianne and beekeeper Roland are told forwards, backwards and sideways as we explore their theatrical multiverse How many ways can the same …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Thursday, July 1, 2021

As You Like It review – eco-Shakespeare makes case for rewilding by Arifa Akbar

Watermill theatre, NewburyWith Paul Hart’s production blending into the theatre grounds, the pastoral comedy here becomes an effective vehicle to reflect on our relationship with nature I…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:03PM
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Hairspray review – unstoppably joyous musical lights up the West End by Arifa Akbar

Coliseum, LondonThis maelstrom of a show based on the 1988 John Waters film has a dizzy energy and a stunning turn from Marisha Wallace “You have to think big to be big,” declares Tracy …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:03PM
Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Bach & Sons review – study of the man and his music hits a flat note by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonSimon Russell Beale stars in a visually impressive production of Nina Raine’s play that never quite gets off the ground It is tempting to compare Bach & Sons with…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:48PM
Friday, June 25, 2021

Shedding a Skin review – a warm, funny, wondrous weepie by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThe platonic love between thirtysomething Myah and her elderly landlady moves and empowers in Amanda Wilkin’s one-woman show “I would rather be anywhere. Anywhere els…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:18PM

Out West review – compelling trio of dramas reframes place and race by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonTanika Gupta sends Gandhi overseas, Simon Stephens sees devastation in locked-down London and Roy Williams lightens the mood with a local hero story The monologue be…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:12PM
Thursday, June 24, 2021

J’Ouvert review – the history of Notting Hill carnival comes to life by Arifa Akbar

Harold Pinter theatre, LondonIn Yasmin Joseph’s play, three girls wind their way through the streets, guided by the spirit of the activist who founded the carnival J’Ouvert evokes the sp…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:54PM
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Under Milk Wood review – Michael Sheen steps into Dylan Thomas’s bygone world by Arifa Akbar

National Theatre, LondonLyndsey Turner’s production is a charming albeit emotionally distanced retreat into nostalgia Dylan Thomas’s drama, broadcast on radio in 1954 , has been recited …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42PM
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

and breathe… review – powerful tale of family grief is poetry in motion by Arifa Akbar

Almeida, LondonYomi Ṣode’s startling play about death, mourning and young masculinity is intensified by its weight of emotion and sensational stagecraft This is a strange and startling …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:03AM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre