All stories by Alun Hood on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

‘Classy staging & nicely judged mood’: WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS – Sonning by Alun Hood

This is the sort of fare that might have run for years on Shaftesbury Avenue in the mid- 20th century and, despite references to Brexit and the internet, and the use of mobile phones, We’l…

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

‘A rare dark delight’: We Didn’t Come To Hell For The Croissants – Riverside Studios ★★★★ by Alun Hood

As it turns out, Jemma Kahn’s We Didn’t Come To Hell For The Croissants, the South African, multi-authored one woman riff on the Seven Deadly Sins, offers rather more than just a whimsic…

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Saturday, January 21, 2023

‘At its most engaging, it’s genuinely captivating’: AND THEN THE RODEO BURNED DOWN – King’s Head Theatre by Alun Hood

Existentialism, absurdism, clowning, vaudeville, country music and a gentle queer romance all collide in this strange but rather lovely show. And Then The Rodeo Burned Down is sometimes remi…

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Sunday, January 15, 2023

’An illuminating, inventive revitalisation of a familiar piece’: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE – Almeida Theatre ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

However, Rebecca Frecknall’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre is an unusually youthful reading of a play usually marinated in the disappointments of middle age…

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Monday, January 9, 2023

‘A tangy, ambitious, thoroughly engrossing piece’: PARADISE NOW! – Bush Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

“It could be worse” observes Baby, one of the pair of Irish sisters who open and close Margaret Perry’s richly enjoyable new play Paradise Now! at the Bush Theatre, as she contemplates…

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Friday, December 30, 2022

‘Live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar’: Alun Hood celebrates his Top 20 new theatre shows of 2022 by Alun Hood

As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has co…

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

‘It’s pretty hard not to be won over’: NEWSIES – Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre by Alun Hood

This London premiere of Newsies at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre has already extended bookings until next spring and, if the ecstatic – verging on hysterical – first night reaction was…

SOURCE: at 11:00AM
Saturday, December 3, 2022

‘A biting fury that feels raw & authentic’: AIN’T NO MO’ – Broadway ★★★★ by Alun Hood

AIN’T NO MO’ by Jordan E Cooper Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb Belasco Theatre, New York City – until 26 February 2023 All aboard the final flight of African A…

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Thursday, November 3, 2022

‘Tremendous energy but misses a trick’: A DEAD BODY IN TAOS – Touring by Alun Hood

David Farr’s new play A Dead Body In Taos, briefly in London following performances in Bristol and Plymouth and before moving on to Warwick Arts Centre, is an earnest addition to an underp…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Sunday, October 30, 2022

‘Enchanting & quietly riveting’: THE BAND’S VISIT – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★ by Alun Hood

In Michael Longhurst’s dreamy new London production of The Band’s Visit at the Donmar Warehouse, where everyone is close to the stage, it’s enchanting and quietly riveting. It also fea…

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Monday, October 17, 2022

‘90 minutes of sheer uplift & joy’: THE CHOIR OF MAN – Arts Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

They’re back, those big burly men who sing like angels while dispensing free beer… yes, The Choir of Man has returned to town and it’s just the tonic that we need in these grim times. …

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Sunday, October 2, 2022

‘These are two true artists at the very top of their game’: ONLY AN OCTAVE APART – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Pitched somewhere between cabaret and recital, but most definitely a piece of true theatre, Only An Octave Apart (the title refers to the fact that Anthony Roth Costanzo is a classical count…

SOURCE: at 11:00AM
Saturday, September 24, 2022

‘Highly watchable comedy drama’: BRIGHT HALF LIFE – King’s Head Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

As it is, Bright Half Life has much to recommend it, especially the nimble, inventive direction of Steven Kunis which plays out under a rather beautiful kite shaped neon lighting grid (kite …

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

‘Hard to imagine a better production of the play than this one’: DISTINGUISHED VILLA – Finborough Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

The Finborough has a rich and noble history of rediscovering lost dramatic gems, alongside their programme of new work (this year’s Bacon and Pennyroyal are two of my favourite new plays s…

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Friday, September 16, 2022

‘A thing of importance & carefully pointed simmering rage’: THE P WORD – Bush Theatre ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Here’s something you don’t get to experience too often: a gritty piece of contemporary writing that gives theatrical voice to people largely unrepresented on stage, and does so with comp…

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

‘The sheer theatrical verve is something to savour’: INTO THE WOODS – Bath ★★★★ by Alun Hood

The fact that Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman’s production of Into The Woods at Theatre Royal Bath is one of two high profile productions currently running on either side of the Atlantic is…

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Sunday, August 21, 2022

‘Remains an impressive achievement’: CRUISE – Apollo Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

I wasn’t perhaps as bowled over by Cruise on a second viewing, but it unquestionably delivers on its triple promise of fusing theatre with club culture, a history lesson, and a rambunctiou…

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Thursday, August 18, 2022

‘A magical theatrical miniature’: QUENTIN CRISP: NAKED HOPE – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Another night at the King’s Head, another feat of astonishing transformation by the chameleonic actor-writer Mark Farrelly. Because delivering one bravura turn as a gay icon isn’t enough…

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Sunday, August 14, 2022

‘It’s writing from the heart’: ALL OF US – National Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

It would be unsurprising, indeed completely understandable, for a new state-of-the-nation play focusing on the treatment of, and opportunities for, disabled people in present-day UK, to fetc…

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

‘What they’ve created is roaring, but delicate, ritualistic & totally unique’: JARMAN – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Pitched somewhere between a celebration, a séance and an unusually engaging piece of performance art, Jarman at the King’s Head Theatre eschews linear storytelling in favour of a sensory …

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Monday, July 25, 2022

‘The sheer visual beauty of the whole staging is a source of considerable pleasure’: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – National Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Simon Godwin’s new production of Much Ado About Nothing for the National initially seems to be going for the full-on romantic escapism, from the bougainvillea and sun-kissed (Amalfi?) coas…

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

‘Feels immensely immediate & relevant’: PENNYROYAL – Finborough Theatre ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Lucy Roslyn’s Pennyroyal takes Edith Wharton’s 1922 novella The Old Maid as its initial inspiration but feels immensely immediate and relevant. It centres on a very specific theme – Pr…

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Friday, July 1, 2022

‘An undeniably fine piece of theatre’: MAD HOUSE – Ambassadors Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House at the Ambassadors Theatre is a tremendously engrossing and satisfying tragicomedy, given a flawless, blazingly well acted production by Moritz von Stuelpnagel.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

‘Providing some authentic chills’: THE HAUNTING OF SUSAN A – King’s Head Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Mark Ravenhill’s The Haunting Of Susan A is a creditable and often gripping attempt to marry contemporary issues with Islington’s somewhat grim past, and an interesting, evocative way to…

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

’It’s sexy, dark & riveting’: PASSION – Manchester ★★★★★ by Alun Hood

Make no mistake, this is a world class Passion, and one which any Sondheim nut, or indeed anybody who wants to see a collection of remarkable talents at the top of their game, would be mad n…

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

‘Likely to infuriate as many people as it enchants’: OKLAHOMA! – Young Vic Theatre ★★★ by Alun Hood

Daniel Fish’s sexed-up, pared-down version of Oklahoma! at the Young Vic Theatre (co-directed for London by Jordan Fein) is less a revival and more a full blown deconstruction of the origi…

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

‘Punchdrunk are back & it’s epic’: THE BURNT CITY – One Cartridge Place, London ★★★★ by Alun Hood

With The Burnt City, Punchdrunk’s biggest show to date, they take on Greek myth, although the aesthetic is anachronistic: boho chic meets old school Hollywood glamour meets monochrome star…

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Friday, April 29, 2022

‘Flawed but mainly fabulous & deeply endearing’: SCANDALTOWN – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★★ by Alun Hood

We knew Mike Bartlett was brilliant, but with this third piece to come to a major London venue in 2022, he displays yet another facet to his virtuosity while staking a claim to be as prolifi…

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Sunday, April 24, 2022

‘An intelligent, emotionally astute new production’: RABBIT HOLE – Union Theatre ★★★★ by Alun Hood

Premiered in New York in 2006, David Lindsay-Abaire’s robust yet delicate piece, which considers the fallout from a child’s death, is a compelling tragicomedy.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

‘An original, & splendidly theatrical, take’: Bram Stoker’s DRACULA – Touring ★★★★ by Alun Hood

There have been numerous screen and stage versions of the Dracula legend over the decades, including a couple of musicals ranging from the misconceived to the riotously camp.

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Monday, April 4, 2022

‘A testament to resilience, chutzpah & sheer golden talent’: JEWISH HOLLYWOOD – Upstairs at the Gatehouse by Alun Hood

Any study of the history of popular music would be a very slim tome indeed without the contribution of Jewish songwriters, and that’s doubly true when it comes to considering the greatest …

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All that Chat

Nov 27, 2022: KPOP - Circle In The Square