All stories by Clare Brennan on BroadwayStars

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof review – powerhouse performances by Clare Brennan

Curve, LeicesterAnthony Almeida’s staging is driven by Peter Forbes and Oliver Johnstone, magnificent in the roles of Big Daddy and Brick In this new production of Tennessee Williams’s P…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:54AM
Sunday, September 5, 2021

An Elephant in the Garden review – a tale that will never be forgotten by Clare Brennan

Barn theatre, CirencesterMichael Morpurgo’s story of a family fleeing Dresden in 1945 resonates today, animated by Alison Reid’s uncanny acting Michael Morpurgo’s 2010 story presents a…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Sunday, August 29, 2021

Smoking Is Bad for You review – Chekhov with a breath of fresh air by Clare Brennan

Pitlochry Festival theatreAlan Watt is superb in an adaptation of two Chekhov short stories in this pioneering theatre’s fine new outdoor space Pitlochry Festival theatre has been much in …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:06AM
Sunday, August 22, 2021

Edinburgh theatre round-up: Medicine; Doppler; Screen 9; Burnt Out – review by Clare Brennan

Traverse 1, Edinburgh; Newhailes House and Gardens, Musselburgh; Pleasance; Assembly Roxy, EdinburghDomhnall Gleeson is outstanding in Enda Walsh’s revelatory new play about attitudes to m…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:18AM
Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Seagull review – powerfully atmospheric west of Ireland Chekhov by Clare Brennan

Coole Park, County GalwayDruid Theatre’s fine production of Thomas Kilroy’s adaptation finds rich resonance in the grounds of Lady Gregory’s Coole Park estate Druid Theatre Company is …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:48AM
Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Comedy of Errors review – a descent into farce by Clare Brennan

Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonPhillip Breen’s RSC romp lacks a feel for Shakespeare’s text and fails its female characters – but this new open-air venue …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Sunday, July 25, 2021

Gin Craze! review – raucous fun with a dark chaser by Clare Brennan

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonApril De Angelis and Lucy Rivers bring 18th-century London to scabrous life in their boozy new musical satire with an excellent ensemble The opening number i…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:54AM
Sunday, July 11, 2021

Talent review – Victoria Wood’s first play comes home by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldWood’s trademarks are all in place in her talent-show debut drama, first performed at the Crucible in 1978, though it feels somewhat dated now The talents that made the …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:36AM
Sunday, July 4, 2021

As You Like It review – the setting is the star by Clare Brennan

Watermill, NewburyA green adaptation of Shakespeare’s romcom focuses on the climate crisis, but takes its time to get the blood stirring Duke Senior, banished by his usurping brother, prai…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Jungle Book review – vivid adaptation takes best of book and film by Clare Brennan

Grosvenor Park Open Air theatre, ChesterNeither too Disney nor too Kipling, this witty staging also carries an ecological message Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera – Kipling may have created them b…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:18AM
Saturday, June 19, 2021

Atalanta Forever review – she shoots, she scores! by Clare Brennan

Piece Hall, Halifax; now touringAmanda Whittington’s new play is a stirring account of a Yorkshire women’s football team playing on despite FA opposition in the 1920s The sky above the e…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:18PM
Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Girl Next Door review – Ayckbourn’s inventive time-bending comedy by Clare Brennan

Two sets of neighbours from 2020 and 1942 interact in an entertaining tale of love and endurance If the title leads you to expect hallmark Alan Ayckbourn split set and inventive staging, the…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12AM
Sunday, June 6, 2021

Four Quartets review – Ralph Fiennes meets TS Eliot in a triumphant return by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal Bath and touringThe actor and director gives a compelling performance of the poet’s wartime epic in this solo show What an achievement! Simply to recite TS Eliot’s 1943 poe…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:03AM
Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Russian Doll review – from St Petersburg with hate by Clare Brennan

Barn, CirencesterCat Goscovitch’s gripping play explores the Russian troll factory that used social media to manipulate the Brexit vote Manipulation of public opinion to political ends is …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42AM
Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Greatest Play in the History of the World review – a face-to-face delight by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughJulie Hesmondhalgh recounts a tale of rediscovery and romance in a solo show perfect for live theatre’s return Somewhere in outer space, the Actor tells …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:03AM
Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Sorrows of Satan review – Faustian fun from a stately home by Clare Brennan

Available onlineBased on a fin-de-siecle novel loved by Oscar Wilde, this satanic stage musical has snappy songs and a devilish wit This light, witty, devilishly well delivered “play with …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24AM
Sunday, May 2, 2021

Boland: Journey of a Poet review – a profound portrayal of Eavan Boland’s life by Clare Brennan

Mick Lally theatre, Galway; available onlineDrawing on her early writings, Colm Tóibín captures the essence of the late Irish poet in this transformative livestreamed production Eavan Bo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:03AM
Sunday, January 24, 2021

London international mime festival: 5 Short Films review – now everyone can watch by Clare Brennan

Available onlineAs this year’s event goes virtual, five newly commissioned videos showcase the diversity of its artists My heart went out to Jonathan Agnew, having to commentate on England…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:42AM
Sunday, December 6, 2020

Mustard review – one-woman show doesn't quite cut it by Clare Brennan

Eva O’Connor’s piece about ‘madness, heartbreak and condiments’ loses its bite in this online performance Writer-performer Eva O’Connor describes her latest play, Mustard, as a “…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:32AM
Sunday, November 8, 2020

Here's What She Said to Me review – a hugely ambitious Nigerian-Yorkshire family saga by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldThree fine actors portray more than 35 characters over decades in Mojisola Elufowoju’s impressive production of Oladipo Agboluaje’s new play The bad news is: a second …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Saturday, October 24, 2020

Dr Blood's Old Travelling Show review – devilishly good by Clare Brennan

Leeds PlayhouseA fun-filled tale of local authority corruption This new, outdoor show from the innovative company imitating the dog (ITD) is a sanguinary tale of local authority corruption …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:42PM
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Faith Healer review – this virtual Friel is the stuff of miracles by Clare Brennan

Old Vic, LondonMichael Sheen, Indira Varma and David Threlfall are magnificent in Matthew Warchus’s enthralling livestreamed production of Brian Friel’s 1979 play Does faith healing come…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24AM
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Sweet Mother review – sorrow, joy and self-reliance in Toxteth by Clare Brennan

St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, Liverpool theatre festival Prejudice and passion powers Maria Paul’s oral history of three white women who married black men in Liverpool 8 Performers are th…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:18AM
Sunday, August 30, 2020

Educating Rita; The Comedy of Errors review – a breath of fresh air by Clare Brennan

Minack theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall; Grosvenor Park Open Air theatre, ChesterAn unflappable duo braved the elements in Willy Russell’s comedy drama, while Shakespeare’s crowd-pleaser ch…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:03AM
Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coriolanus review – a vivid, fast-flowing production by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldDirector Robert Hastie makes the most of the now-nostalgic shared space between audience and cast Writing a review, today, feels strange. Coriolanus was the last performan…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:42AM
Sunday, March 15, 2020

Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti review – socialist satire starved of humour by Clare Brennan

Royal Lyceum, EdinburghThe comic talents of Elaine C Smith and Steven McNicoll can’t save Denise Mina’s stilted, gender-switching adaptation of a Bertolt Brecht comedyBertolt Brecht and …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24AM
Sunday, March 8, 2020

Blue Stockings review – terrific energy as the fight goes on by Clare Brennan

Storyhouse, ChesterFour female undergraduates in 1890s Cambridge struggle for equality in this buoyant production of Jessica Swale’s 2013 classroom classicA renowned expert has come to the…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:06AM
Sunday, February 23, 2020

Quality Street review – a box of mixed delights by Clare Brennan

Viaduct theatre, HalifaxThis adaptation of JM Barrie’s 1901 romcom doesn’t always hit the mark, but it roars to the sweetest conclusionTo some readers, the name Quality Street may conjur…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:54AM
Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff review – an extraordinary portrait of a working-class hero by Clare Brennan

Northern Stage, Newcastle upon TyneSet against the upheaval of world events, music from folk trio the Young’uns and animation combine to tell the story of the young anti-fascist activist …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:04AM
Sunday, February 2, 2020

Dr Korczak’s Example review – lessons from the Warsaw ghetto by Clare Brennan

Leeds PlayhouseDavid Greig’s 2001 drama about the doctor who founded an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto continues to educate in this atmospheric production The first thing we see as we ente…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:24AM
Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Gift review – a deft portrayal of prejudice by Clare Brennan

Belgrade theatre, CoventryFine performances carry this tale of a young African girl’s arrival in Queen Victoria’s court interlaced with a modern family’s move from London to Cheshire J…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:18PM