All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Tell-Tale Heart review – Poe story becomes brilliantly creepy stage shocker by Arifa Akbar

Dorfman, LondonAnthony Neilson’s adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story has a sexual frisson, schlocky gore and a shape-shifting setThe Tell-Tale Heart is Edgar Allan Poe’s short …

Linked From The Guardian at 12:24PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Small Place review – Jamaica Kincaid's passionate polemic brought to life by Arifa Akbar

Gate theatre, LondonThis inventive performance of Kincaid’s celebrated 1988 essay has the barbed satire and bold message of the original‘The thing you have always suspected about yoursel…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:42PM
Friday, November 9, 2018

The Nightingales review – Ruth Jones on song in catty choir drama by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Bath A village choir’s harmony is upset by a sly newcomer in William Gaminara’s satire of snobbery, secrets and singing contestsThe Nightingales are a group of a cappella s…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:18AM
Friday, November 2, 2018

Mark Gatiss: ‘The League of Gentlemen was a premonition of Brexit’ by Arifa Akbar

After a turn on stage as George III, the co-founder of the League is returning to horror to recreate Dracula for TV. What he finds ‘frightening and debilitating’ now, though, is leaving …

Linked From The Guardian at 12:04PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Wolves review – swaggering, tender tales of women's football by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Stratford East, LondonTeenaged soccer players in the US suburbs laugh, gossip and fight in Sarah DeLappe’s playIn Sarah DeLappe’s Pulitzer-nominated debut play, the Wolves …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:48PM
Monday, October 29, 2018

Forgotten review – troubled tribute to the Chinese erased by history by Arifa Akbar

Arcola, LondonDaniel York Loh’s twin tale of the Chinese Labour Corps members who head to Europe during the first world world has emotional resonance but fails to come alive on stage The a…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:32AM
Sunday, October 28, 2018

Meet the cast of debbie tucker green’s ear for eye: 'What's on stage needs to reflect life' by Arifa Akbar

As the award-winning writer’s new play opens at the Royal Court, the actors involved talk about breaking boundaries in British theatre and tucker green’s innovative approachBefore the Ro…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:42AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Link Link by Isabella Rossellini review – superstar's pooch steals the show by Arifa Akbar

Queen Elizabeth Hall, LondonA cod-scientific lecture on animal behaviour is given a comic twist in a surreal show that is too cutesyIsabella Rossellini went back to university to study anima…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:33AM
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wise Children review – Emma Rice's spectacular Angela Carter carnival by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonRazzle-dazzle showbiz twins bewitch and delight in an inventive, smart and saucy productionWise Children is Angela Carter’s rambunctious last novel about illegitimacy, inces…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:32PM
Monday, October 8, 2018

Ambreen Razia: 'Whether it's gangs or terrorism, these girls want to belong' by Arifa Akbar

Her hit drama The Diary of a Hounslow Girl was picked up by the BBC. Now, the fast-rising playwright is capturing the female experience of London gang culture Ambreen Razia always describes …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:18PM
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Memoirs of An Asian Football Casual review – a tour de force by Arifa Akbar

Curve, LeicesterHareet Deol and Jay Varsani are astonishing in this adaptation of Riaz Khan’s book about masculinity and identity “Growing up a young Pakistani boy in Leicester was tough…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:54AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mrs Dalloway review – a cacophonous take on Virginia Woolf's classic by Arifa Akbar

Arcola, LondonA cast of five take on more than 20 characters in Hal Coase’s experimental adaptation of the novelVirginia Woolf’s 1925 novel about a day in the life (and life in the day) …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:04PM
Sunday, September 30, 2018

Memorial review – Alice Oswald's exquisite elegy to Iliad's lost mortals by Arifa Akbar

Barbican, LondonHelen Morse and a 200-strong chorus give a majestic ode to the everyday people whose stories are buried within Homer’s epicAlice Oswald’s 2011 poem, an excavation of Home…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Poet in da Corner review – thrilling grime musical leaves you Dizzee by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonDebris Stevenson tells how grime became her salvation in a show that explores race, representation and authenticityIn 2003, Dizzee Rascal won the Mercury prize for the sem…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:18PM
Friday, September 21, 2018

The Human Voice review – Leanne Best delivers a tour de force of despair by Arifa Akbar

Gate theatre, LondonGuilt, anguish and female torment shape a spectacular star turn in this revival of Jean Cocteau’s study of a woman on the brinkJean Cocteau’s 50-minute monologue of a…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:48PM
Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Outsider review – Ben Okri adapts the Camus classic by Arifa Akbar

Print Room at the Coronet, LondonOkri holds faithfully to the philosopher-novelist’s voice and vision in a striking staging with Sam Frenchum as Meursault‘Mother died today. Or maybe yes…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:36PM
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wasted review – sex, drugs and headbanging … meet the rock'n'roll Brontës by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonThe doomed sisters release their inner goths in this fantastically witty, mischievous and camp musical update of their tragic livesThe lives of the Brontë sisters…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:36AM
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

An Adventure review – epic journey through Mau Mau-era Kenya by Arifa Akbar

Vinay Patel’s ambitious, highly personal new play, a young couple leave behind from India in search of a better life‘Pick me and I will make us … the greatest adventure you could ever …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:18AM
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Abi/Abigail's Party review – Mike Leigh's cringy classic gets a spin-off by Arifa Akbar

★★★☆☆/★★★★☆Queen’s theatre, HornchurchAtiha Sen Gupta creates a companion piece for Leigh’s story while a revival proves the original’s timeless powerWho was Abigai…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:36AM
Sunday, September 9, 2018

About Leo review – vivid portrait of a painter who reframed art by Arifa Akbar

Jermyn Street theatre, LondonThis profound and beautiful study of surrealist Leonora Carrington, once the partner of Max Ernst, ingeniously contrasts scenes from her early and late careerThe…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:54AM
Thursday, September 6, 2018

God of Carnage review – sitcom spirit tames bullying drama's savagery by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal, Bath With a starry cast that includes Elizabeth McGovern and Ralf Little, this revival of Yasmina Reza’s menace-filled comedy emphasises the laughs but loses the play’s sa…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Sunday, September 2, 2018

Actor Jade Anouka meets boxer Nicola Adams: ‘The basics of both our worlds are the same’ by Arifa Akbar

Actor Jade Anouka prepared to play Hotspur by watching videos of boxer Nicola Adams. Adams, in turn, acted in her youth and hopes to again. They met up to talk breaking boundaries, performan…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:42AM
Monday, July 30, 2018

Lamplighters review – audience takes centre stage in chaotic spy spoof by Arifa Akbar

Old Red Lion, LondonThis improvised John le Carré parody is only as clever and funny as its liveliest participantsLamplighters is a thriller set in the mould of John le Carré’s cold-war …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:24AM
Thursday, July 26, 2018

King Lear review – Ian McKellen’s dazzling swan song weighed with poignancy by Arifa Akbar

Duke of York’s, LondonThe 79-year-old star shines brightest in play’s darkest moments, in what may be his last big Shakespearean role on stageA tweet pinned to Sir Ian McKellen’s Twitt…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36PM
Monday, July 16, 2018

Alkaline review – faith, fear and fury in edgy dinner-party drama by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonStephanie Martin’s drama – part comedy of manners and part state-of-the-nation play – is one killer scene short of greatnessAlkaline takes the well-worn drama of th…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:36PM
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hive City Legacy review – a political twerk of art from femmes of colour by Arifa Akbar

Roundhouse, LondonThe Hot Brown Honey collective join forces with nine young performers to explore prejudice in a blast of hip-hop and burlesqueLast year, the Roundhouse put out an open call…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:32PM
Monday, July 9, 2018

Timber review – all the wood's a stage for spectacular forest festival by Arifa Akbar

Feanedock, National ForestA new arts extravaganza offers campfire stories, breathtaking theatre, laughing yoga and lessons on how to think like a treeStand on a hillock in Feanedock and you …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:04AM
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Spun review – Britishness and belonging in the wake of 7/7 by Arifa Akbar

Arcola, LondonThere are storming performances in this play about two British Pakistani Londoners whose friendship is tested after the 2005 terror attacks‘What do you see when you look at m…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:18PM

Jellyfish review – love, fear and glimmering magic in Skegness by Arifa Akbar

Bush theatre, LondonThere is tenderness and humour in Ben Weatherill’s play about a young woman with Down’s syndrome caught between her boyfriend and her motherThe stage is so over-fille…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:24AM
Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Winter’s Tale review – Blanche McIntyre celebrates the play's problems by Arifa Akbar

Shakespeare’s Globe, LondonA superb cast deliver striking performances in a production that is knowingly dissonant, from the costumes to the climaxThe perennial question of this “problem…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:42PM
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Jerusalem review – Jez Butterworth's Rooster Byron is back for Brexit Britain by Arifa Akbar

Watermill theatre, NewburyRave music thumps as Jasper Britton plays the refusenik in an intimate revival of the drama about Albion’s dark heartIt takes courage to revive a play that was de…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:54AM

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