All stories by Rachel Halliburton on BroadwayStars

Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Wise Children review – ravishing vision of Chagall's early life by Rachel Halliburton

An ingenious depiction of the artist's gravity-defying love One of Marc Chagall’s last commissions was for a stained-glass window in Chichester Cathedral, which channelled his characterist…

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Friday, October 23, 2020

The Great Gatsby, Immersive London review – a warm and electric tribute to the book by Rachel Halliburton

It's a true achievement to feel the chemistry of a cast whirring into action again The Prohibition-era setting of The Great Gatsby brings an appropriately illicit feel to this bold decisio…

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Friday, September 11, 2020

The Outside Dog & The Hand of God, Bridge Theatre review - gems of frustration and disquiet by Rachel Halliburton

Alan Bennett's monologues make us reflect on our own little worlds For some of us, it doesn’t take a lockdown to imprison us in our own hellish little world. Since his first series of dram…

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Beat the Devil, Bridge Theatre review – Ralph Fiennes delivers an arresting account of Covid-19 by Rachel Halliburton

Theatre itself become an act of rebellion against the microbe For a riveting, cathartic – and often surprisingly humorous – 50 minutes Ralph Fiennes paces the stage at the Bridge Theatre…

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Amadeus, National Theatre at Home review – wild dance at the edges of sanity by Rachel Halliburton

As Mozart, Adam Gillen erupts onto the stage as a Tourette’s tornado It is 41 years since Peter Shaffer ripped off Mozart’s respectable façade to reveal a foul-mouthed verbally incontin…

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Friday, July 10, 2020

The Deep Blue Sea, National Theatre at Home review - hauntingly elegiac portrayal of Rattigan's world by Rachel Halliburton

Helen McCrory is the broken, irreparable heart of this production Helen McCrory is an actor who can inject a world of feeling into one syllable that many actors would struggle to muster in a…

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Toast, Lawrence Batley Theatre online review - pungent adaptation of Nigel Slater's autobiography by Rachel Halliburton

Food crimes of the Sixties and Seventies are revealed here as Michelin-starred memories I knew what a Howard Hodgkin painting would look like before I ever saw one because of Nigel Slater. T…

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Friday, June 12, 2020

The Madness of George III, National Theatre at Home review – a powerful, elegant depiction by Rachel Halliburton

A story told with the wit and elegance of a tune played on a harpsichord It has been the fate of George III – who on many levels was a visionary and accomplished monarch – to go down in …

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Coriolanus, National Theatre at Home review – gritty 21st century update by Rachel Halliburton

The power of the mob still resonates in a production that speaks powerfully to our times An arrogant leader contemptuous of his people. Could there be a more perfect timing for Josie Rourke…

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Friday, May 29, 2020

This House, National Theatre at Home review – timely revival of brilliant House of Commons drama by Rachel Halliburton

James Graham acutely perceives the obsessions and motivations of our times There is a line of argument that – unfairly – blames playwright James Graham for Dominic Cummings. Would Cummin…

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre at Home review - still lively after all these years by Rachel Halliburton

Barbershop banter and the place it occupies in black male identity Barber shops – as we are all starting to appreciate in this time of lockdown – fulfil an emotional as much as a cosmeti…

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Seven Streams of the River Ota, National Theatre review - theatre at its transcendent best by Rachel Halliburton

Robert Lepage seizes on the fragments of human lives to build an epic If you want to pinpoint the genius of Robert Lepage’s multi-faceted seven-hour epic, that has returned to the National…

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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Not Quite Jerusalem, Finborough Theatre review - theatrical hit from 1980 now feels flat and stale by Rachel Halliburton

Paul Kember's play doesn't sing convincingly any more It may seem strange to watch a play about four English people on a kibbutz in the Seventies, and find yourself thinking about Brexit, bu…

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Friday, February 28, 2020

Women Beware Women, Shakespeare's Globe, review – wittily toxic upgrade of a Jacobean tragedy by Rachel Halliburton

In the #Metoo era, the exploitation of the female characters is particularly resonant This raunchy, gleefully cynical production takes one of Thomas Middleton’s most famous tragedies and t…

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Monday, February 10, 2020

On McQuillan's Hill, Finborough Theatre review - timely glance at Northern Irish myths and tensions by Rachel Halliburton

Joe Crilly believed in skewering the romance surrounding sectarian violence The news that the Continuity IRA created a bomb destined for England on Brexit Day has added to the timeliness of …

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Monday, December 23, 2019

Girl From The North Country, Gielgud Theatre review – poignant collaboration between Conor McPherson and Bob Dylan by Rachel Halliburton

Raw depiction of a community where dreams go to die Despair hangs like mildew over the small iron-ore mining town of Duluth, Minnesota, where dreams go to die, and the living haunt the clapp…

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Monday, December 16, 2019

Swive, Shakespeare's Globe review – pacy, dagger-sharp rewriting of history by Rachel Halliburton

An interrogation of power, womanhood and the mythologies with which we surround ourselves History has corseted Elizabeth I with the title of “Virgin Queen” for centuries, but in Ella Hic…

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, National Theatre review - terrifying, magical coming of age story by Rachel Halliburton

A stunning tribute to the wild and wonderful life of the mind This scary, electrically beautiful adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book about living on the faultline between imagination and real…

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Bridge Theatre review – spellbinding narrative of parallel worlds by Rachel Halliburton

An electric interpretation in which the White Witch – like the devil – has all the best tunes We all remember that moment when we walked through the back of the wardrobe: the heaviness o…

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Stray Dogs, Park Theatre review – no fire in this historic encounter by Rachel Halliburton

The script misses all that was distinctive about Berlin and Akhmatova's meeting How do you begin to dramatise one of the most extraordinary conversations of the 20th century between two of i…

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Death of a Salesman, Piccadilly Theatre review - galvanising reinvention of Arthur Miller's classic by Rachel Halliburton

Wendell Pierce confirms a performance as exciting as any this theatrical year It is 70 years since Willy Loman first paced a Broadway stage; 70 years since audiences were sucked into the vor…

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

As You Like It, Barbican review – uneven comedy lacks bite by Rachel Halliburton

  RSC transfers works best when it engages with the complex emotions of the play Even the most ardent Bardophile has to admit that most of the time the Fool doesn’t shine in a Shakespeare…

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Translations, National Theatre review - stunning revival of poignant tragicomedy by Rachel Halliburton

A potent anatomy of how words and power intertwine At a point in history where – yet again – a few misplaced words from English politicians could wreak havoc with Irish lives, this is a …

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Either, Hampstead Theatre review - funny, ingenious investigation of gender and love by Rachel Halliburton

First-time playwright Ruby Thomas is a daring and exciting new voice This ingenious short work deftly investigates themes of love and identity with a breezy assurance that marks first time …

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Friday, September 20, 2019

The Permanent Way, The Vaults review – devastating resurrection of play tackling corporate greed by Rachel Halliburton

Incisive, intelligent and deeply moving The Permanent Way first roared its way into the national consciousness in 2003 when, after a triumphant opening in York, it toured the UK before tran…

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Friday, September 6, 2019

A Very Expensive Poison, Old Vic review – bold evocation of a post-truth world by Rachel Halliburton

The evening is as devastatingly moving as it is bitingly funny If Russia is, as Winston Churchill once so memorably said, “a riddle, wrapped inside a mystery, wrapped inside an enigma”, …

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Secret River, National Theatre review - turbulent tale of Australia's past by Rachel Halliburton

A resonant tragedy of mutual incomprehension, fresh from the Edinburgh Festival Neil Armfield’s resonant, turbulent production of Kate Grenville’s classic Australian novel The Secret Riv…

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Whitewash, Soho Theatre review - a wild-at-heart linguistic joy-ride by Rachel Halliburton

Energetic two-hander offers a sparky portrait of a transforming city This witty street-smart play about a white-skinned boy born to a mixed-race mother deploys its narrative with the dexteri…

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Dark Sublime, Trafalgar Studios review – sci-fi tribute is less rocket, more Reliant Robin by Rachel Halliburton

Navigating the script is a bit like going in a car with a driver who's just passed their test This lovingly lo-tech visit to galaxies far far away is a curious proposition, which, while neit…

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bridge Theatre review – gender-juggling romp by Rachel Halliburton

Nicholas Hytner's vivacious 21st-century take shines like a disco glitterball Nicholas Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre is a feat of exuberant brilliance, a gende…

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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Our Town, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review – small-town tale that raises profound existential questions by Rachel Halliburton

A moving antidote to fast-paced narratives and rampant individualism Our Town was written shortly before World War Two about a small town in America in the years leading up to World War One,…

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