All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Othello review – Clint Dyer makes this tragedy feel utterly new by Arifa Akbar

Lyttelton theatre, LondonGiles Terera stars in a thrilling production with a radical climax that explores the domestic violence in Shakespeare’s play In 1964, the National Theatre Company …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Best of Enemies review – stylish staging of a landmark TV clash by Arifa Akbar

Noël Coward theatre, LondonThe 1968 debate between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley Jr is depicted with verve and feels uncomfortably up-to-date Could a grainy broadcast debate between two …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:54AM
Monday, November 28, 2022

Josie Rourke: ‘If Shakespeare was alive now he’d be under commission to Nica Burns’ by Arifa Akbar

As You Like It comes to London’s new venue @sohoplace this winter. The play’s director and the theatre’s owner discuss arts cuts, the industry’s gender balance and the pandemic Arifa…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:42AM
Friday, November 25, 2022

Baghdaddy review – arresting and absurd take on war’s trauma by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonA British Iraqi and her father re-enact his wartime memories under the direction of three ghoulish clowns in a daring if uneven debut There are searing moments in this tal…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:32PM

A Sherlock Carol review – the detective takes on Dickens in a fresh festive mashup by Arifa Akbar

Marylebone theatre, LondonThere’s only one sleuth in Victorian London who can get to the bottom of the suspicious death of Ebenezer Scrooge, in this winning crossover mystery This is Sherl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:32AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial review – courtroom panto by Arifa Akbar

Wyndham’s theatre, LondonLaura Dos Santos and Lucy May Barker are excellent as the frenemies in a queasy verbatim drama From the moment Coleen Rooney dropped her Instagram post (“It’s …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:42AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Grey Man review – a brilliantly eerie nailbiter by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineTwo actors share the role of Maya, telling stories of her absent sibling and the illusive title character which are unresolved but compelling This is a bracingly odd 30-minu…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:36PM
Friday, November 18, 2022

Here review – creepy and captivating kitchen-sink gothic by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonClive Judd’s Papatango-winning play about a West Midlands family haunted by the past is unorthodox and invigorating It is hard to categorise this unorthodox and…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:36AM
Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mrs Warren’s Profession review – Caroline Quentin’s bewitching madam by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal BathGeorge Bernard Shaw’s discomfiting play finds a commanding lead in Quentin, playing alongside her real-life daughter Rose It is clear to see why George Bernard Shaw’s 1…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:36AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Sex Party review – spiky comedy fails to satisfy by Arifa Akbar

Menier Chocolate Factory, LondonThere’s tension in Terry Johnson’s tale of four couples meeting for sex and nibbles but the unruly debate isn’t deep enough At first, The Sex Party look…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:48AM
Monday, November 14, 2022

Richard the Second review – a pared-down study of patriarchal power by Arifa Akbar

Omnibus theatre, LondonAnna Coombs strips out two-thirds of the characters to deliver an intimate and intense adaptation of Shakespeare’s play There is no sign of courtly pomp or ceremony…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:42PM
Friday, November 11, 2022

Blackout Songs review – drunk and disorderly exploration of love and addiction by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonJoe White’s romantic tragedy is a brave and original depiction of the hedonistic excess and inner battles of a co-dependent couple struggling with alcoholism The c…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:54AM
Thursday, November 10, 2022

Days in Quarantine review – looking back to lockdown by Arifa Akbar

White Bear theatre, LondonInspired by real-life accounts, Jules Chan’s play returns the audience to the early months of the pandemic but doesn’t create enough drama This part-verbatim dr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:03PM

Arts Council funding: organisations head into the unknown amid cuts by Arifa Akbar, Imogen Tilden and Chris Wiegand

In the first of a series of case studies exploring the impact of Arts Council England’s new funding decisions, we consider the view from the Watermill theatre, Welsh National Opera and Pai…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Noor review – compelling story of wartime spy Noor Inayat Khan by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonExploring the agent’s life after she fell into Nazi hands, this beguilingly played story reflects on bravery and culpability Not enough is known of Noor Inayat K…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:36AM
Sunday, November 6, 2022

The UK Drill Project review – arresting journey into demonised rap scene by Arifa Akbar

The Pit, Barbican, London With live music, video and spoken word testimony, a dramatic rap subculture energetically seizes the chance to present its own complicated story on stage Seven bala…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Friday, November 4, 2022

Not One of These People review – the playwright as puppet-master by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court theatre, LondonMartin Crimp’s show uses AI and deep-fake technology to question the definition of drama – and what it is to be human There are circles within circles of inqui…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:54AM
Thursday, November 3, 2022

Beautiful Evil Things review – hair-raising, heart-quickening whirl of myths by Arifa Akbar

North Wall Arts Centre, OxfordDeborah Pugh delivers a brilliantly intense take on the ancient tales, foregrounding the heroism of women ‘This is the story of my severed head.” As first l…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:02PM

Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear review – an elegant last adventure by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineEffectively filmed for streaming audiences in a sharply told adaptation, this adventure stars Luke Barton as the bumptious master detective “If this is to be our final adve…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:18AM
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Mary review – Douglas Henshall’s courtier defends a Queen in quick-fire debate by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonRona Munro’s engaging debate drama has some thrilling exchanges as three characters argue the case for and against Mary Queen of Scots The Mary of the title refers…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:48AM
Sunday, October 30, 2022

A Dead Body in Taos review – a spiritual exploration of what it means to be really free by Arifa Akbar

Wilton’s Music Hall, LondonSet in the New Mexico desert, David Farr’s unusual play dips into virtual reality in order to raise questions of love, life and what constitutes the human esse…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:07AM
Friday, October 28, 2022

Daddy Issues review – morbid monologue labours under its weighty themes by Arifa Akbar

Seven Dials Playhouse, LondonA distressed woman unravels after her father’s suicide in a play that strikes the wrong balance between humour and sorrow Daddy Issues sets itself a tall order…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:13AM
Thursday, October 27, 2022

‘I’m not saying Shakespeare is an anti-black racist. But …’ – the festival tackling an incendiary issue by Arifa Akbar

They have suffered vicious abuse and ugly trolling, but the team behind the Globe’s Shakespeare and Race festival tell our writer why their work feels more urgent than ever When Farah Kari…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:19AM

Tammy Faye: A New Musical review – Elton John’s hymn to biblical kitsch by Arifa Akbar

Almeida, London Songs belt out deliriously in this romp through rise and fall of the Bakker televangelists and latterday gay icons – so thick and fast the James Graham script and Jake Shea…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:19AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

King Hamlin review – trapped teens face up to lives at knife-point by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonExcellent performances enhance this story of three young boys hurtling towards gang culture King Hamlin begins with a teenager’s funeral. We learn of the boy’s stabbi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:33AM
Monday, October 24, 2022

A Single Man review – Isherwood’s melancholy mourner falls apart in 60s California by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonThis adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s novel about a gay man grieving for his lover lacks the depth of Tom Ford’s movie version Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 nov…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:13AM
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Hamlet review – slick tragedy fuelled by fury by Arifa Akbar

Bristol Old VicWith inky backdrops, jagged sound and frenzied violence, John Haidar’s production stars Billy Howle as a prince emanating unhinged anger The opening scene suggests that this…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:19AM
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

My Neighbour Totoro review – dazzling staging of the Studio Ghibli classic by Arifa Akbar

Barbican, LondonThe Royal Shakespeare Company’s production has astonishing puppetry, magical music and huge emotional impact How to adapt an iconic film made by the creative giants at Stud…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:49AM
Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Local Hero review – musical misses the magic of Bill Forsyth’s classic by Arifa Akbar

Minerva theatre, ChichesterIn spite of a nifty set and new songs, this story of an oil-man trying to buy a Highlands village never quite comes alive This adaptation of Bill Forsyth’s 1983 …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:13AM
Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Moors review – deliciously dark Brontë pastiche by Arifa Akbar

The Hope theatre, LondonThe characters might be the Brontës themselves or they might be from novels such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, mashed-up with wandering strays from a zombie mo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:55AM
Friday, October 14, 2022

Jekyll and Hyde review – Stevenson’s shocker rewired as a riveting solo by Arifa Akbar

Reading Rep theatrePlaywright Gary McNair turns the gothic novel into a brilliantly bewitching show performed by Audrey Brisson The small square stage looks more fitted up for a standup gig…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:49AM

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