All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

First Women's Prize for Playwriting shared by two winners by Arifa Akbar

The award has been won by Ahlam and Amy Trigg, who beat more than 1,000 other entries, in initiative to dismantle stereotypes about women’s writing The inaugural Women’s Prize for Playwr…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:36PM
Friday, November 27, 2020

‘It’s a lot of work being black in Britain’ – Tales from the Front Line … and Other Stories review by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe experience of black frontline workers in the Covid crisis is brought to harrowing life in these plays based on interviews with a teacher and mental health worker As the C…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:48PM
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Haunting Julia review – a dad, an ex and a psychic go looking for 'Little Miss Mozart' by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineAlan Ayckbourn plays a man looking for answers about the death of his musical prodigy daughter in an audio version of his 1994 work that keeps us guessing till the end When A…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Eating Myself review – an audacious cooking lesson that serves the host for dinner by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIn an intimate and often traumatic one-woman performance, Pepa Duarte explores her hostile relationship with cravings, calorie-counting and identity, as a bean soup bubbles o…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM
Friday, November 20, 2020

'It's time for white women to listen': writers V and Aja Monet on what will replace The Vagina Monologues by Arifa Akbar

The playwright and activist formerly known as Eve Ensler changed the world with The Vagina Monologues. Her next project hopes to be just as empowering – but this time she’s listening to,…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:24PM
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Locked Down: The Scariest Show You Will Never See review by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineGet that blindfold on! Morpheus’s interactive horror is scary – but teaming up with strangers is fun We have been told to bring a blindfold and headphones for a “terrif…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:24PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Hoard: Rediscovered review – treasure tales from Sara Pascoe, Isy Suttie and more by Arifa Akbar

Available online Staffordshire’s Anglo-Saxon booty inspires a host of short plays by writers including April De Angelis and Darren Sharp A metal detectorist from the West Midlands lists hi…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:18PM
Monday, November 16, 2020

Misfits review – there's no place like Essex by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe Queen’s theatre in Hornchurch seeks to set the record straight on the county’s much maligned image with four monologues that fizz When Mike Leigh situated his social …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:54AM
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Ur Favourite Scary Movie review – welcome to your worst nightmare by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineLouise Orwin whispers monstrous imaginings into your ear in an aural interrogation of the horror genre that touches on pandemic fears ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:54PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Phoenix/The Ghost Caller reviews – spiked satire and phone spooks by Arifa Akbar

Mike Bartlett’s monologue brings us the inner life of a despotic public figure and Luke Barnes’s over-the-phone drama is profoundly creepy A powerful man has broken the rules of lockdown…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:32AM
Monday, November 9, 2020

15 Heroines: The Labyrinth review – defiant women rise up from the myths by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThese bite-sized, beautifully written short plays give a powerful voice to aggrieved heroines from Greek and Roman mythology This three-part series enters the hearts and mind…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06AM
Friday, November 6, 2020

Little Wars review – starry cast sparkle as squabbling literary legends by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineJuliet Stevenson, Linda Bassett and others bring to life a fantasy dinner party thrown as the Nazis overrun France All does not go smoothly at Steven Carl McCasland’s fanta…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:12PM
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Death of England: Delroy review – brash and brilliant theatre by Arifa Akbar

Olivier theatre, LondonMichael Balogun delivers this monologue – a sequel to Clint Dyer and Roy Williams’ Death of England – with deftly controlled energy ‘There have been other mome…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:32AM
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Here’s What She Said to Me review – evocative multi-generational Nigerian saga by Arifa Akbar

Crucible, Sheffield/onlineA three-woman cast powerfully captures the shifting fortunes of a Nigerian family down the decades, from Ibadan to Britain With a cast of three on an almost bare st…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Sarah Kane Crave Chichester festival theatre review by Arifa Akbar

Chichester Festival theatre/onlineDirector Tinuke Craig gives Sarah Kane’s one-act play an edge-of-the-seat tension as the four characters move between hope and despair Crave was the one-a…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:06PM
Monday, November 2, 2020

What a Carve Up! review – Ingenious and gripping reimagining of Coe's novel by Arifa Akbar

OnlineBeginning at the end, Jonathan Coe’s novel about the scheming Winshaws is turned into an audacious investigative whodunnit Jonathan Coe’s satirical novel about the venality of the …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, November 1, 2020

Ghost Stories With Mark Gatiss review – Halloween horror of the creepiest kind by Arifa Akbar

Nottingham Playhouse; ZoomThe actor was joined by Adrian Scarborough for a seasonal dose of phone calls from the other side and undead criminality ‘The oldest and strongest emotion of mank…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:12AM
Friday, October 30, 2020

Educating Rita review – sharp-edged take on 1980s nostalgia piece by Arifa Akbar

Rose theatre, KingstonWilly Russell’s play works well in a socially-distanced staging, and the questions it asks about the value of arts and education feel more pertinent than ever This 40…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:36AM
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Olivier winner Sharon D Clarke: 'Not a penny came in until June. I thanked God for a voiceover job' by Arifa Akbar

She went from rave diva with Nomad to winning her third Olivier award on Sunday for Death of a Salesman. Yet the London actor isn’t immune to the storms battering theatre Sharon D Clarke w…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:54AM
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Lone Flyer: The Last Flight of Amy Johnson review – soaring spirit by Arifa Akbar

Watermill theatre, NewburyThis powerful, affecting drama ranges over the pioneering aviator’s adventurous career and her final terrible moments Amy Johnson is, in many ways, still the epit…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12AM

Bubble review – tetchy, tender tale of love under lockdown by Arifa Akbar

Nottingham PlayhouseIn James Graham’s Covid romcom, a couple who have just met decide to quarantine together, while in a parallel narrative they face isolation alone The playwright James G…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12AM
Friday, October 23, 2020

The Great Gatsby review – intimate immersive show offers heady discombobulation by Arifa Akbar

Immersive LDN A revitalised, socially distanced version of the F Scott Fitzgerald novel keeps the jazz age alive with song, dance and spectacle Last year, in the “before”, The Great Gat…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:42AM
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A dazzling, shocking indictment of America: What the Constitution Means to Me review by Arifa Akbar

This funny, tragic and deeply unsettling one-woman tour de force shows who the US constitution serves – and who it lets down. The statistics alone are horrifying Heidi Schreck tells us she…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:36AM
Friday, October 2, 2020

Nights in the Gardens of Spain and Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet review – pain and passion in Bennett duo by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonTamsin Greig and Maxine Peake play long-suffering women, gravely put-upon by the men in their lives, in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads The first monologue in this doubl…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:54AM
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Playing Sandwiches and Lady of Letters review – Alan Bennett's quiet shockers by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonThere are fine performances by Imelda Staunton and Lucian Msamati in this pair of Talking Heads The latest two live instalments of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:03AM
Friday, September 25, 2020

Sunnymead Court review – the joys of love and live theatre by Arifa Akbar

Tristan Bates theatre, London, and online In her lockdown romance, playwright Gemma Lawrence explores desire, isolation and homophobia A remote love story seems so fitting for our times. Th…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:06PM
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Equity reports an 'enormous' rise in complaints of racism by Arifa Akbar

New general secretary Paul Fleming says that amid this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, the union received spike in reported cases of racist behaviour Equity, the UK trade union for c…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:18AM
Monday, September 21, 2020

The next act: how the pandemic is shaping online theatre's future by Arifa Akbar

The explosion of digital productions of all sizes has shown great creativity and made hit shows more accessible – but is it all financially sustainable? In the past six months, theatre has…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:24AM
Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Boss of It All review – whimsical Lars von Trier workplace comedy by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThis larky Zoom-era adaptation of the director’s film about white-collar leadership is full of improv-style gusto In 2006, a year after the US launched a version of Ric…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:03AM
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Shobna Gulati: 'I've played the Queen, Thatcher and the Virgin Mary – on radio' by Arifa Akbar

As she publishes a moving memoir, the Corrie, Dinnerladies and West End star talks about her three-decade battle with typecasting – and almost dying of Covid-19 Shobna Gulati is speaking …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:24AM
Sunday, September 13, 2020

846 Live review – rousing shout-out keeps flame of activism alive by Arifa Akbar

Greenwich + Docklands international festival A basketball court becomes a stage to deliver short plays of protest over racial injustice, completing a fine festival embedded in its London com…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:42AM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue