All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Thursday, September 23, 2021

History review – hostility repeats itself in tale of prejudice and protest by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThere are spirited performances as Roy Williams explores activism, parenthood and sexuality in this audio drama about black British identity spanning 40 years Roy Williams’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36AM
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Lodger review – fights, forgiveness and midlife reckonings by Arifa Akbar

Coronet theatre, LondonThere’s an intriguing story about sibling betrayal buried among the distracting subplots in Robert Holman’s play Robert Holman’s play contains some great riches.…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:06PM
Monday, September 20, 2021

Finally! Get ready for a new season of culture by Presented By Nosheen Iqbal With Arifa Akbar, Ammar Kalia and Ben Beaumont-Thomas; Produced By Hannah Moore and Axel Kacoutié; Executive Producers Phil Maynard and Archie Bland

New albums, new TV series, and actual live shows – the culture taps might have run dry during the pandemic, but this autumn they are switching on again at last. Our critics give their pick…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24AM
Friday, September 17, 2021

Camp Siegfried review – love and terror on Long Island by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonTeenage passion meets Nazi ideology in Bess Wohl’s play, inspired by a real-life summer camp in the US It is 1938 and two American teenagers are at a themed summer camp on L…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:48PM

Is God Is review – revenge is a dish best served bold by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonTarantinoesque bloodshed meets Greek tragedy in Aleshea Harris’s daring drama about a voyage of vengeance It is not often that a play manages to resemble a Tarantino fil…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:06AM
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

NW Trilogy review – let’s hear it for melting-pot Brent’s brilliant stories by Arifa Akbar

Kiln theatre, LondonMoira Buffini, Roy Williams and Suhayla El-Bushra deliver a trio of powerful immigrant stories set in the London borough NW Trilogy comprises three short plays with one o…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:48PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Can I Live? review – privilege, protest and the climate crisis by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineFehinti Balogun’s show uses hip-hop and spoken word to explore the ways people of colour have been excluded from environmental activism There is a moment in Fehinti Balogun…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:48PM
Monday, September 13, 2021

Back to the Future: The Musical review – the car’s the star by Arifa Akbar

Adelphi theatre, LondonThis is a splashy theatre-film mashup, with gravity-defying effects, cute quirks and offbeat gags How does a car speed at 88mph on stage? That must have been the bigge…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:06PM

East Is East review – magnificent revival of culture-clash classic by Arifa Akbar

Birmingham RepAyub Khan Din’s comedy still resonates in its depiction of a hostile environment – Salford in the 70s – while its sharp wit and warm characterisations are exhilarating Tw…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:48AM
Friday, September 10, 2021

The Beauty Queen of Leenane review – Martin McDonagh’s raging black comedy returns by Arifa Akbar

Minerva theatre, ChichesterThis tale of a claustrophobic mother-daughter relationship takes contrived turns, but the starkly moving performances remain compelling Much has changed in Ireland…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:24PM

White Witch review – slavery drama turned into awkward farce by Arifa Akbar

Bloomsbury theatre, LondonBarry Reckord’s sexually charged play about freedom and rebellion is drowned out by chaotic comedy The Jamaican playwright Barry Reckord broke several boundaries …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:12AM
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Frozen review – stunning musical extravaganza creates its own magic by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, LondonBeyond the visual thrills and powerful ballads, this adaptation brings an unexpected depth to the relationship between two tortured sisters This musical extr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42PM
Monday, September 6, 2021

‘Take back power’: Talawa’s Run It Back and the politics of black joy by Arifa Akbar

The resurgence of Black Lives Matter has given fresh potency to the theatre company’s production – an earthquake of sound and dance We have been encouraged to bring our “rags and flags…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:18AM
Friday, September 3, 2021

Rockets and Blue Lights review – radical retelling of Britain’s slavery history by Arifa Akbar

Dorfman theatre, LondonA tidal wave of plotlines, ideas and characters embraces past and present in a production where playfulness meets cruelty Winsome Pinnock’s leviathan of a play opens…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:54PM
Sunday, August 29, 2021

Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age review – much music, little material by Arifa Akbar

Old College Quad, EdinburghThis lightweight cabaret-style set sells its subject short, even if Cumming can belt out a power ballad convincingly The promise is that Alan Cumming will talk abo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:32AM
Friday, August 27, 2021

Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia review – horror, humour and forgotten history by Arifa Akbar

Almeida theatre, LondonAdrian Edmondson plays a psychopath in Josh Azouz’s nuanced tragicomedy about Jewish-Arab relations in 1942 A man is buried up to his neck with only a geometrical de…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:03PM
Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hamlet, Cabaret and a fistful of Romeos: the best theatre, comedy and dance of autumn 2021 by Arifa Akbar, Brian Logan and Lyndsey Winship

Cush Jumbo tackles the troubled prince, Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne head for 30s Berlin, while standup favourites and dance spectaculars burst back on the stage Continue reading...

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:12AM
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sophia review – flesh-and-blood story of Scotland’s first female doctor by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIn her audio play, Frances Poet nimbly entwines Sophia Jex-Blake’s groundbreaking battles with the story of her biographer Sophia is the story of Scotland’s first female …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12PM

Rise of the robo-drama: Young Vic creates new play using artificial intelligence by Arifa Akbar

Inspired by a Guardian article, the theatre’s surreal and spellbinding show AI is a collaboration between humans and the system GPT-3 Last autumn, a deep-learning computer programme wrote …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:32PM
Thursday, August 12, 2021

Paradise review – Kae Tempest’s unruly take on Sophocles by Arifa Akbar

Olivier theatre, LondonLesley Sharp stars in a tragedy that interrogates notions of military machismo and the performance of masculinity Kae Tempest’s reworked Sophoclean tragedy is the st…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Windsors: Endgame review – a right royal disaster by Arifa Akbar

Prince of Wales theatre, LondonThe sharp Channel 4 comedy becomes a lumbering stage show sending up King Charles and a band of boo-worthy buffoons For fans of the TV series, watching The Win…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:06PM
Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Twelfth Night review – impeccable staging of Shakespeare’s merriest romp by Arifa Akbar

Globe Theatre, LondonImaginative directorial tweaks and an expert cast bring out the full effects of a text stuffed with double-meanings, gender-swapped disguises and dextrous language Post-…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24PM

Carousel review – takes the shine off its fairground attraction by Arifa Akbar

Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, LondonTimothy Sheader’s production relocates the musical from New England to the north of England and dismantles the fatal romance at its heart It is no s…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:42AM
Monday, August 9, 2021

Alexandra Burke: ‘I got asked to bleach my skin after X Factor’ by Arifa Akbar

Her career has taken her from pop success to Strictly and the stage. She discusses the pain of racist comments, the joy of duetting with Beyoncé – and the enduring influence of her late m…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:24AM
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Wonderville review – pick ‘n’ mix variety show loses its magic by Arifa Akbar

Palace theatre, LondonThis confusing concoction of cabaret, holiday camp entertainment, panto and pub act fails to showcase its talented illusionists The first thing to say about Wonderville…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:54AM
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Changing Destiny review – Ben Okri’s sketchy foray into ancient Egypt by Arifa Akbar

Young Vic, LondonKwame Kwei-Armah’s adaptation of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian poem is ambitious and visually stunning, but Ben Okri’s script is too broadbrush Two towering pyramids dominat…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Friday, July 30, 2021

My Night With Reg review – a listless revival of Elyot’s masterly Aids comedy by Arifa Akbar

Turbine theatre, LondonDespite heartfelt intentions and some energetic performances, this production doesn’t do justice to the brilliance of Kevin Elyot’s 1994 script Kevin Elyot’s 199…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Bagdad Cafe review – a kooky cabaret on Route 66 by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonEmma Rice’s version of the 1987 movie is an outrageously sentimental ode to friendship and oddballs meeting amid Californian tumbleweed Just as Wim Wenders’ road movie p…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:48AM
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat review – firing on all cylinders by Arifa Akbar

London PalladiumAlexandra Burke, Jason Donovan and Technicolor coat-wearer Jac Yarrow are among a cast whose performances ooze personality and mischief While Andrew Lloyd Webber bumpily stee…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:24PM
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Two Character Play review – hermetic sibling psychodrama by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, London Tennessee Williams’s play within a play uses ingenious artifice, as its actor brother and sister perform their way into madness, but locks out the audience There …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:03AM
Thursday, July 22, 2021

Gin Craze! review – a bawdy feminist history lesson with anarchic spirit by Arifa Akbar

Royal and Derngate, NorthamptonThis rousing Gin Lane musical by April De Angelis and Lucy Rivers has working-class women at its heart Gin Craze! enacts a lesser-remembered piece of 18th-cent…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:48AM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54