All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

GOLDA Tabernacle, W11 by Libby Purves and Friends

   I don’t usually record anything that’s two-nights-only, but this one I think will flower and fly, so watch out for it.  It’s already looking like turning up in March at TR Haymar…

SOURCE: at 02:32AM
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

ODYSSEY – A HEROIC PANTOMIME          Jermyn Street Theatre WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

BEWARE OF GREEKS BRINGING GAGS    Where does Kylie get her kebabs?  From Jason’s doner van!   If that makes you scuttle away in fright, you have not yet achieved the correct seasonal a…

SOURCE: at 06:02PM
Saturday, November 25, 2023

GHOSTS Wanamaker, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

DARK BEFORE THE DAWN        To emerge with any redemptive sense from Joe Hill-Gibbins’  spare, scorching  rather brilliant production,  it helps to remember that Henrik Ibsen, after…

SOURCE: at 09:21AM
Friday, November 24, 2023

THE WITCHES Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

ANY TOIL AND TROUBLE WAS WELL WORTH IT Everything a child could want is here:   the dark thrill of imagined orphanhood, a quest,  baddies , jeopardy and jokes, bouncy musical spectacle,  …

SOURCE: at 05:30AM
Wednesday, November 22, 2023

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER Orange Tree, Richmond by Libby Purves and Friends

GOLDSMITH BEATEN LIGHT AS AIR      Nice symmetry in Tom Littler’s decision to set Oliver Goldsmith’s 1773 comedy in the Wodehousian Jazz Age:  the Georgians, with their boozy monarch…

SOURCE: at 06:43PM
Friday, November 10, 2023

MATES IN CHELSEA Royal Court, SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

FLAT WHITE AND WOEFUL        If you’re going to splash out on a visually arresting finale of assassination, a vivId fire destroying a Norman tower and a lyrical monologue about Lenin,�…

SOURCE: at 07:10AM

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE 1936 by Libby Purves and Friends

ECHOES OF DARKNESS     Jews gather, laughing and chattering, offering a toast as they run down the aisles to settle downstage for a Passover meal with candles, prayers and the ancient ques…

SOURCE: at 03:55AM
Thursday, November 9, 2023

CLYDE’S. Donmar, wC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

FAR MORE THAN A SNACK     Caught this late, and it’s much reviewed and almost sold out. But it’s worth saying in a brief word here that if you buy a return as I did, you are in  luck.…

SOURCE: at 12:58PM
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

BACKSTAIRS BILLY Duke of York’s theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

A QUEEN WHO NEEDED QUEENS     The curtain rises on the Clarence House garden room in 1979,  where the Queen Mother held her eccentric little court.  Much gilding, unreasonably many oil …

SOURCE: at 06:58PM

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD Hampstead Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

      WHEN WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD….       Sometimes you have to rely on a team with multiple comedy awards to  hold a mirror to society and move your heart.  This is by Richard …

SOURCE: at 05:13AM
Thursday, November 2, 2023

THE INTERVIEW. Park Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

DIANA AND THE DECEIVER Jonathan Maitland did a superb play for this theatre about Thatcher and Howe, “Dead Sheep”, and one on Jimmy Savile which was far more telling and cathartic than t…

SOURCE: at 04:42PM
Wednesday, November 1, 2023

THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE. Apollo, W1 by Libby Purves and Friends

SCIENCE FANTASY AND HONEST EMOTION        I don’t normally indulge in first-night anecdotes,  but feel I should mention that in the big wedding scene Joanna Woodward tossed her bouque…

SOURCE: at 08:23PM

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. Richmond & touring by Libby Purves and Friends

AGATHA STRIKES AGAIN       This is Extreme Agatha Christie, her most preposterous (and bestselling) plot and one of the most murderously morbid (NB the final moments of the staging are no…

SOURCE: at 06:59PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

JEFFREY BERNARD IS UNWELL. Coach and Horses, Soho by Libby Purves and Friends

MEMORIES OF A MAVERICK   It’s an immersive show, in that you buy a drink in the cramped saloon of the old pub on Greek Street, find a corner, and ideally fall into conversation with anoth…

SOURCE: at 07:20PM

THE INQUIRY Minerva, Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

WHILE THE REAL ONE RUNS…. With the Covid Inquiry surging along in a froth of accusations and curses and scandalous Whatsappery, it was hard to resist a hasty day-return to Harry Davies’ …

SOURCE: at 02:12PM
Friday, October 27, 2023

THE UNGODLY Red Rose Chain, Ipswich by Libby Purves and Friends

THE FIRST WITCHFINDER, NOT WITHOUT LESSONS FOR TODAY         This is remarkable,  Joanna Carrick’s best and deepest play yet,   following her acclaimed Reformation trilogy. In its sm…

SOURCE: at 07:44AM
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

THE CONFESSIONS Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A MOTHER’S LIFE, A SON’S PERSPECTIVE Sometimes it is almost useful to be a day late (sorry,  tied up yesterday) because it gives a chance to read other people’s take on the play you s…

SOURCE: at 06:25AM
Friday, October 20, 2023

THE SCORE Theatre Royal, Bath by Libby Purves and Friends

GENIUS, REALPOLITIK, RELIGION      In days  of horrifying conflict there was quite a jolt in a confrontation between Stephen Hagan’s  resplendently silver-suited Frederick the Great a…

SOURCE: at 06:16AM
Tuesday, October 17, 2023

OWNERS Jermyn st Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

PROPERTY RAGE FROM ANOTHER AGE Here’s a curiosity from 1972;  an early , rarely-seen Caryl Churchill play revived  with dashing elegance under the Jermyn’s Artistic director Stella Pow…

SOURCE: at 06:18PM

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Chichester Festival Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

GRIM AND PURE BY THE DOCKS, PITY AND POETRY    The lawyer Alfieri, prowling in memory round Arthur Miller’s stark  tale of immigrant longshoremen on the 1940’s Brooklyn docks,  speak…

SOURCE: at 06:12PM
Monday, October 16, 2023

A VOYAGE ROUND MY FATHER touring by Libby Purves and Friends

A LEARNED FRIEND REMEMBERED      Rumpole of the Bailey is occasional comfort-viewing in our house, thanks to Talkingpicturestv repeats. John Mortimer’s  portrait of the old barrister a…

SOURCE: at 07:12AM
Friday, October 13, 2023

SUNSET BOULEVARD. Savoy theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

ITS THE PICTURES THAT GOT SMALL? Not if Lloyd can help it. It felt  strange to see this in the bowels of a gala-night Savoy, only a week or two after our local arts centre showed the  1950…

SOURCE: at 04:16AM
Sunday, October 1, 2023

PETER PAN GOES WRONG touring by Libby Purves and Friends

IT’S BACK, THROUGH THE NURSERY WINDOW, STILL FLYING       Just to reassure you:  this offshoot from Mischief, the team who brought you the perennial  Play-goes-wrong, is still a lot o…

SOURCE: at 08:50AM
Thursday, September 28, 2023

CLOSE UP Menier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

  THE TWIG WHO BRANCHED OUT      We get up to speed on the period,  with irresistible tracks from the golden age of pop: Beatles, Stones, Animals.   Onstage is a photographer’s white…

SOURCE: at 05:33PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

OCTOPOLIS Hampstead Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

A TANKFUL OF EMOTIONAL TENTACLES       Where better than Hampstead to watch the interplay of cutting-edge science with emotional intensity and philosophical unanswerables?  Upstairs we h…

SOURCE: at 05:38AM
Friday, September 22, 2023

PYGMALION Old VIc, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

PHONETICALLY PHABULOUS      Last time Bertie Carvel was on this stage it was as Donald Trump. Now our best shapeshifter is Henry Higgins: capering, swearing, somewhere on the far side of …

SOURCE: at 05:17AM
Thursday, September 21, 2023

THE WHITE FACTORY. Marylebone theatre, NW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE INFECTION OF WICKEDNESS          The history of the Lodz ghetto in Poland is a part of the Holocaust story worth foxusing on, ot least because the Jewish population there were made …

SOURCE: at 02:04PM

REBECCA Charing Cross Theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

LAST NIGHT I DREAMT I WENT TO MANDERLEY  YET AGAIN…       Daphne Du Maurier’s story is almost a national myth, what with the grand house on the towering cliffs, the terrifying housek…

SOURCE: at 05:18AM
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

ANTHROPOLOGY Hampstead Theatre, NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

LOSS AND GRIEF IN A SILICON WORLD         In a bleak grey minimalist space  Merril (a restlessly gamine Myanna Buring) is grieving her much younger sister Angie,  who has vanished, pre…

SOURCE: at 02:55AM
Friday, September 15, 2023

THE FATHER AND THE ASSASSIN Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

INDIA 1948 , LESSONS FOR ALL TIME      This show  is a happy return, especially if like me you missed it last summer: the National at its best, a modern epic and warning directed with fl…

SOURCE: at 05:56AM
Thursday, September 14, 2023

THE INVINCIBLES Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch by Libby Purves and Friends

SHOOT, SCORE, SPARK!  This is the year of  football plays. First Dear England at the Olivier, now  the women’s turn on another stage,  out East a bit.  Here’s another neon strip lig…

SOURCE: at 06:58AM

All that Chat