All stories by Michael Davis on BroadwayStars

Friday, February 8, 2019

‘Sheds light on the dark corners of human behaviour’: THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR – Hope Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

During the sixties, Orton’s plays such as Loot and Entertaining Mr Sloane showed an hitherto unseen side of British society on the stage and challenged the double standards of the ‘moral…

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

‘Perceptive & well-developed’: THE SHY MANIFESTO – Touring ★★★★ by Michael Davis

How often have you heard: “He’s a bit on the shy side.” “She doesn’t say much does she..?” Directed by Cat Robey, Michael Ross’ The Shy Manifesto looks at the way the world tre…

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Friday, February 1, 2019

‘About stillness in a chaotic world’: SALAAM – Vault Festival ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Taking a female perspective on racial tensions in modern day Britain, Sara Aniqah Malk’s Salaam takes place during the Muslim fasting season of Ramadan. Mariam (Yasmin Wilde) is a devout M…

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

‘The draw is Christie’s deft writing’: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION – County Hall ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Everyone loves an Agatha Christie tale. Unlike the films and programmes involving Ms Marple or Poirot that are often repeated on television, Witness For The Prosecution (which is directed by…

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Monday, January 28, 2019

‘Leaves an indelible smile on the face’: THRILLER LIVE – West End ★★★★ by Michael Davis

This summer will mark the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. Has it really been that long? On a more positive note, this month marks the 10th anniversary of the Thriller Live mus…

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Friday, January 25, 2019

‘Has much to say about sexual politics’: GENTLEMAN JACK – Brockley Jack Studio Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written and directed by Ross McGregor, Gentleman Jack looks at the truth behind a woman who was a pioneer in entrepreneurship, mountaineering and in some ways ‘a modern lesbian’.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

‘The emotions are universally relatable’: THE UNRETURNING – Theatre Royal Stratford East ★★★★ by Michael Davis

“Four years since we lost Darren. But a vet doesn’t have to die at war for us to lose them, do you get what I mean?” – The Unreturning All photos © Tristram Ken…

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

‘The natural growth of the characters can be keenly felt’: OUTLYING ISLANDS – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by David Greig and directed by Jessica Lazar, Outlying Islands explores the dichotomy between civilisation and nature, celibacy and longing, captivity and freedom…

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

‘The beauty of the play is the way it gets at the truth’: THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW – Arcola Theatre by Michael Davis

Known for classic novels about human relationships such as Sons and Lovers, Women In Love and The Rainbow, DH Lawrence also tried his hand at writing plays. The Daughter-In-Law – which was…

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

‘All the actors deliver top-notch performances’: ANOMALY – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Liv Warden and directed by Adam Small, Anomaly is informed by recent events and the multifaceted accounts of women.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

‘Very much a labour of love’: DREAM OF A KING – Playground Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

This week (15 January) marks what would have been Martin Luther King Jr’s 90th birthday. Commemorating this, Christopher Tajah’s solo show Dream Of A King (which is directed by Bernie C.…

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‘Nixon gives a tour-de-force performance’: ORIGINAL DEATH RABBIT – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★★ by Michael Davis

Anything on the internet stays there forever – or so they say. For the ‘Original Death Rabbit’, being at the wrong place at the wrong time has meant that she’s trapped in the past, l…

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Monday, January 14, 2019

‘As refreshing as it is timely’: WAR OF THE WORLDS – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Isley Lynn and devised by Rhum & Clay, War Of The Worlds uses the original broadcast as jumping off point to ask certain questions – particularly in relation to the veracit…

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Friday, January 11, 2019

‘The audience is left to decide who is right’: LOOP – Lion & Unicorn Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Peter Mulligan and directed by Zoey Alexis Boyd, Loop examines different philosophical outlooks one might have and how they ‘help’ (or not) with expectations of life.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

‘Places the audience into the heart of wartime operations’: ILLICIT SIGNALS BLETCLEY – CoLab Factory ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written and directed by Christopher Styles, Illicit Signals Bletchley is an immersive, theatrical experience that places the audience into the heart of wartime operations.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

‘It is as an ode to music itself that the show really succeeds’: ORPHEUS – Battersea Arts Centre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

If Orpheus was simply a re-telling of this myth, it would be over very quickly. Instead, music features heavily in the show – some of which are original compositions and some are well-know…

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

‘Shines a light on mental health care’: HEAD–ROT HOLIDAY – Hope Theatre by Michael Davis

In Sarah Daniels’ Head-rot Holiday (which is directed by Will Maynard) we’re privy to the goings-on in Penwell Special Hospital (‘Head-rot Hotel’) – a psychiatric prison for women …

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

‘Thought-provoking & naturally entertaining’: BORDERS & GAMES – Arcola Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Plays that show a number of perspectives are generally more nuanced, thought-provoking and naturally entertaining. With this in mind, the double bill of plays by Henry Naylor at Arcola Theat…

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Monday, December 10, 2018

‘What brings the show to life are the well-defined characters’: THE BOX OF DELIGHTS – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★★ by Michael Davis

For those seeking an alternative to pantos and Peter Pan for family entertainment over Christmas, look no further than this enchanting tale: The Box of Delights at Wilton’s Music Hall.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

‘Caters for young & old’: A CHRISTMAS STORY – Waterloo East Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Directed by Gerald Armin, A Christmas Story looks at the festive season through the eyes of Ralphie – a nine-year-old boy in Hohman, Indiana. But as well as the show having a child’s per…

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

‘Will resonate today’: JEANNIE – Finborough Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

One of the most successful playwrights in the interwar years, Aimée Stuart has recently been ‘rediscovered’ – leading to Nicolette Kay’s revival of the 1940 play Jeannie.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

‘Asks pertinent questions’: THE EX-BOYFRIEND YARD SALE – Camden People’s Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

In The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, Haley McGee not only re-examines eight former relationships but assesses the potential of assigning a monetary value to items that have an emotional connection.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

‘Everyone gets their moment to shine’: THE RECRUITING OFFICER – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Possessing the wit of Wilde and the sexual frankness of a Restoration play, George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer has been a firm favourite since its first performance in 1706. Jenny Ea…

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

‘The relevance of the issues it raises screams out to the audience’: INDEBTED TO CHANCE – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Charlotte Ryall and directed by Jenny Eastop, Indebted To Chance follows the life of Charlotte Charke (née Cibber), a forgotten 18th-century pioneer who showed that not only can …

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Friday, November 16, 2018

‘It might not be Fight Club, but it’s no less subversive’: CHUTNEY – Bunker Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Reece Connolly and directed by Georgie Staight, Chutney is a black comedy that examines the ‘less-civilised’ aspects of human nature and whether we can – or should – curb …

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

‘Innovative reinterpretation’: THE PIT & THE PENDULUM – Omnibus Theatre by Michael Davis

The work of Edgar Allan Poe wouldn’t be the most obvious choice for such an innovation, but Christopher York has adapted Poe’s short story The Pit & the Pendulum and transposed it t…

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

‘The audience can’t help but feel empathy’: GILDED BUTTERFLIES – Hope Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Devised by theatre company Tormented Casserole and directed by Kathryn Papworth-Smith, Gilded Butterflies looks at two women who are on death row in the United States.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

‘Accentuates the emotional reality of the situation’: BURY THE DEAD – Finborough Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

The heart of Bury The Dead is the army using the loved ones to emotionally manipulate the soldiers to ‘obey orders’ – or at least try to.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

‘Exploring how to find one’s musical ‘voice’: A PUPIL – Park Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Jesse Briton and directed by Jessica Daniels, A Pupil explores what happens when someone who is ‘broken’ and the help they might need to find their musical ‘voice’.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

‘Highlights a seldom-explored piece of local history’: THE GREATER GAME – Waterloo East Theatre by Michael Davis

Written by Michael Head and directed by Adam Morley, The Greater Game has as its centre the friendship between Richard McFadden (James Phelps) and William Jonas (Steven Bush).

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

‘Visual treat’: THE WIDER EARTH – Natural History Museum ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written and directed by David Morton, The Wider Earth looks at the early years of Charles Darwin and how a fateful voyage to the Southern Hemisphere became the catalyst for On the Origin of …

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue