All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Lungs review – Claire Foy and Matt Smith shine in climate crisis drama by Arifa Akbar

Old Vic, LondonDuncan Macmillan’s two-hander is a frenetic portrait of flawed love in a flawed world, exposing the neuroses of a modern couple who struggle to put their principles aside …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Friday, October 18, 2019

For All the Women Who Thought They Were Mad review – a great unravelling by Arifa Akbar

Hackney Showroom, LondonZawe Ashton aims high with an intricate dissection of race and gender but a smart ending can’t save this muddled show Zawe Ashton has described her play as both an …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:12AM
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Out of Sorts review – deeply tender drama about belonging by Arifa Akbar

Theatre 503, LondonDanusia Samal’s complex drama explores the double life of a young Muslim millennial heading for marriage Zara is a British-Arab millennial who feels the strain of her do…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:36PM
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hottest ticket in town: the mega sauna hosting a Euro theatre contest by Arifa Akbar

A drama competition for 200 naked people in a giant sauna? Our writer gets a sweaty taste of ‘aufgass’ in the Netherlands I am standing behind a partition rope, waiting for the theatre t…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Monday, October 7, 2019

Shuck ‘n’ Jive review – racism still has a lead role in the audition room by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonThis fearless production uses intelligent humour to expose racial typecasting in the entertainment industry How diverse is theatre? Are there more roles for BAME actors …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM

Frankenstein review – monster-maker overeggs the horror by Arifa Akbar

Belgrade theatre, CoventryPlacing Mary Shelley alongside the characters she created undermines the extraordinary power of her classic story The real-life tale behind the creation of Frankens…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:06AM
Friday, September 27, 2019

The Night Watch review – Sarah Waters' sorrowful story speaks to the pain of war by Arifa Akbar

Yvonne Arnaud theatre, Guildford Set during and after the blitz, the lives of five characters and the scars left behind are movingly explored Sarah Waters writes historical novels that seem …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:06AM
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Blood Wedding review – bold and beautiful tale of doom by Arifa Akbar

Young Vic, LondonYaël Farber’s visceral production, relocating the action to rural Ireland, retains all the potency of Lorca’s play about tribal vengeance How to stage Lorca’s Blood W…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Mother of Him review – unflinching crime drama with Tracy Ann Oberman by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonOberman stars as the mother of a teenage rapist in this revival of Evan Placey’s rich exploration of family conflict Matthew Kapowitz is a Canadian teenager under house…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:42AM
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Amsterdam review – actors squabble over story of Nazi occupation by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree, LondonMaya Arad Yasur’s complex play about the consequences of war is obscured by a series of comic games Amsterdam is billed as an “audacious thriller” and the mystery at…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:24PM
Friday, September 6, 2019

Anahera review – deft satire of class, race and family values by Arifa Akbar

Finborough, LondonAfter a boy runs away, a Maori social worker is sent to investigate the parents in Emma Kinane’s engaging if overlong New Zealand drama A young Maori social worker is sen…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Theatre and #MeToo: 'There's a new anger in women's stories' by Arifa Akbar

The Weinstein scandal has inspired several new plays ranging from sharp satire to crass comedy. As the mogul heads to trial, we gauge theatre’s response Katie Arnstein tells a story of a d…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54AM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Evita review – Argentina's queen of hearts as a high-school mean girl by Arifa Akbar

Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, LondonAndrew Lloyd Webber’s epic gets a rock-concert revival that features pom-poms and twerking but lacks central chemistry It is no surprise that Evita …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:42AM
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Shackleton's Carpenter review – forgotten hero tells his own tale by Arifa Akbar

Jermyn Street theatre, LondonMalcolm Rennie is stunning as Harry McNish, a carpenter on Shackleton’s ill-fated voyage, whose key part in the famous story has been overlooked The lights go …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:36PM
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Uncle Vanya review – Rupert Everett is flamboyant in Hare's comic Chekhov by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal, BathA dark, growly Everett pushes the humour in David Hare’s absurdist adaptation of the classic drama of mid-life malaise Last year, Rupert Everett gave a heart-wrenching p…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:03AM

Rupert Everett: 'I'd have done anything to be a Hollywood star' by Arifa Akbar

He lit up the screen in the 80s – but things did not go as planned. As he takes on Chekhov, Everett speaks about stardom, midlife crises and penis padding Rupert Everett is directing his f…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:36AM
Sunday, July 28, 2019

Peter Pan review – dark mischief and a wicked Tinkerbell steal the show by Arifa Akbar

Troubadour White City theatre, LondonSally Cookson’s stunning production brims with naughtiness, bloodlust and menace – recalling JM Barrie’s original intentions for the story Peter Pa…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:03AM
Friday, July 26, 2019

Malory Towers review – Emma Rice takes Blyton to the top of the class by Arifa Akbar

The Passenger Shed, BristolWith a diverse cast bringing an affectionate subversiveness to Enid Blyton’s postwar school tales, Rice’s musical is huge fun and surprisingly contemporary Emm…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:54AM
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Our Church review – quietly powerful parish abuse reckoning by Arifa Akbar

Watermill, NewburyMarietta Kirkbride’s play about a village torn over forgiving a sex offender convincingly channels older voices The #MeToo movement has inspired a number of plays giving…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:36PM
Friday, July 12, 2019

Lunatic 19s: A Deportational Road Trip – powerful US immigration drama by Arifa Akbar

Finborough, LondonGabriela Garcia and Devon Anderson shine as a prisoner and her guard in a story where the lines are blurred Tegan McLeod’s drama about American citizenship, illegal immi…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:32AM
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner review – social media storm lit up by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonJasmine Lee-Jones’s play follows an online battle about the Instagram star and tackles racism, misogyny and colourism The lights are still dead when this play opens. A w…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24AM
Monday, July 8, 2019

Whitewash review – mother and son on the frontline of racial tension by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonA young man plans to privatise the estate where he grew up in Gabriel Bisset-Smith’s quick-witted drama about identity and belonging Mary is mixed-race; her son Lysande…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Grey review – the racial politics of mental health by Arifa Akbar

Ovalhouse, LondonThe second instalment of Koko Brown’s colour trilogy is a darkly humorous piece about depression White, the first part of Koko Brown’s “colour” trilogy, was about gr…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03PM
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Chasing Rainbows review – boldly going into the white, male space race by Arifa Akbar

Hoxton Hall, London Donna Berlin is intense as an astronaut in Oneness Sankara’s play about the emotional cost of female ambition ‘I would like to tell you a story about being the first,…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:24PM
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

'Your cat is watching you!' The fearless felines hidden by their author by Arifa Akbar

William Baldwin concealed his 16th-century book Beware the Cat because of its satirical swipes at the Catholic church. Now, it’s celebrated on stage What was the first novel in the English…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:36AM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Blithe Spirit review – Jennifer Saunders is spookily funny by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal BathSaunders is a fizzy delight as the medium in Richard Eyre’s revival of the Noël Coward comedy about a couple haunted by the ghost of the husband’s first wife Noël Cow…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54PM
Monday, June 10, 2019

Kill Climate Deniers review – eco-warriors turn up the heat by Arifa Akbar

Pleasance, LondonDavid Finnigan’s bold play about protesters who take an environment minister hostage is stalled by metatheatrics In London’s Parliament Square last October, teenage acti…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:24AM
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Glass Menagerie review – bold and bewitching take on Tennessee Williams by Arifa Akbar

Arcola, LondonFemi Elufowoju Jr’s engaging production puts an African American family at its centre but misses some of the play’s quietly heart-wringing moments Playwright August Wilson…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:42AM
Monday, June 3, 2019

The Audience review – Theresa May joins conveyor belt of PMs meeting the Queen by Arifa Akbar

NST City, SouthamptonUpdated to include Brexit, Peter Morgan’s 2013 drama about the Queen’s off-the-record conversations with her prime ministers seems underpowered Peter Morgan’s play…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:18PM
Monday, May 27, 2019

Blueprint Medea review – Euripides explodes in modern London by Arifa Akbar

Finborough theatre, LondonJulia Pascal’s dynamic production sees Medea reborn as a former fighter against Isis who finds Jason in the British capital Euripides’ Medea is not just a blood…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:24PM
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Does My Bomb Look Big in This? review – fierce, witty study of radicalisation by Arifa Akbar

Soho theatre, LondonNyla Levy’s play about London schoolfriends, divided when one goes to Syria, is savvy, streetwise and energetic What makes a 15-year-old from Mitcham, south London, lea…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM

All that Chat

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