All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

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
Friday, September 11, 2020

The Outside Dog and The Hand of God review – chintz and terror from Alan Bennett by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonRochenda Sandall is sensational as a woman suspicious of her husband’s behaviour, while Kristin Scott Thomas’s genteel dowager revels in nostalgia This pair of mono…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Shrine and Bed Among the Lentils review – Manville and Dolan are magnificent by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, London Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues were TV gold during lockdown. Seeing Monica Dolan and Lesley Manville perform them live is even better The quietly desperate …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:02AM
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Line of Duty's Rochenda Sandall: 'There are so many dimensions to domestic abuse' by Arifa Akbar

After her villainous role in the explosive police drama, the star is playing an isolated woman in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and an activist in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe Rochenda Sanda…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:24AM
Friday, September 4, 2020

C-o-n-t-a-c-t review – gripping thriller takes its audience on a pacy outdoor odyssey by Arifa Akbar

Various locations, London In this immersive, socially distanced show which the audience follows on foot, an unhappy woman meets her leather-jacket-wearing guardian angel We have been instruc…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:06PM
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Dear Sleepless in Seattle, I just can't fall for your musical revamp by Arifa Akbar

Nora Ephron’s romcom was brilliantly written and perfectly cast with an elegant score. Our chief theatre critic, who loves the film, writes a letter after seeing its stage adaptation Dear …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:42AM
Sunday, August 30, 2020

Beat the Devil review – righteous rage of David Hare's corona nightmare by Arifa Akbar

Bridge theatre, LondonIn the return of live indoor theatre, Ralph Fiennes delivers the playwright’s fury at the government’s response to the virus – and his despair when he catches it …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:03AM
Monday, August 24, 2020

'They're in love with no physical contact': the socially distanced Sleepless in Seattle by Arifa Akbar

The first new indoor musical since theatres closed in March is a version of the Meg Ryan romcom starring Kimberley Walsh. Will it persuade West End producers that the show can go on despite …

Linked From The Guardian at 03:24PM
Thursday, August 20, 2020

This Beautiful Virtual Village review – drama that rages like a Twitter pile-on by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineNeighbours clash over racism and sexism in the Abbey theatre’s virtual production of Lisa Tierney-Keogh’s highly topical drama The six members of a Dublin residents’ as…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:48PM
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Mike Bartlett on Albion, Brexit and Covid: 'national identity is critical to coming out of this' by Arifa Akbar

The drama first staged after the EU referendum has taken on new relevance and is being broadcast by the BBC. Its creator reflects on the ‘emotional weight’ of Britishness Mike Bartlett…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Sunday, August 2, 2020

Scene changers: the theatre-makers with radical ideas to combat racism by Arifa Akbar

Many black theatre-makers say they feel unwelcome in major venues. Are some performances for black-only audiences the answer? And how can a play spur white audiences to confront their own bi…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Online Porch Sitting review – collective catharsis to guide us through the dark by Arifa Akbar

Hallowed quiet gives way to personal laments in an interactive re-creation of house-front chatter Lockdown culture: the best theatre and dance online ‘Some of our best conversations are in…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:24PM
Thursday, July 23, 2020

On-screen theatre let me see plays I could never afford. I’m thrilled it’s back | Arifa Akbar by Arifa Akbar

I bristle at the idea that plays are ‘not the real thing’ unless they are live – I fell in love with Shakespeare and Beckett through televised performances Every theatregoer I know is …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:12AM
Monday, July 20, 2020

As Waters Rise review – dystopian climate drama feels close to home by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineFloods plunge Britain into a state of emergency in an engrossing audio play performed by 14- to 18-year-olds Ben Weatherill’s audio play is set in the year 2025 when a flo…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM
Monday, July 6, 2020

Toast review – a fresh twist on Nigel Slater's childhood tales by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe chef’s mouth-watering memoir is now a ‘part radio play, part animated film’ in which even a biscuit is a trigger for grief Nigel Slater’s feted memoir has been re…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54PM
Sunday, July 5, 2020

'Theatre was my first love': Bernardine Evaristo on her NHS play, Twitter trolls and 'porny' posts by Arifa Akbar

The Booker-winning writer has returned to the stage, penning a drama defending the NHS. She talks about ‘bittersweet’ success – and getting caught up in attacks on Nicola Sturgeon Bern…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12AM
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Birdsong review – innovative lockdown staging of Faulks’s war saga by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThis socially distanced adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s novel cleverly moves between times and places, with only an author narration striking a wayward note The story and …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:12AM
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hamilton review – Broadway hit is now a breathtaking screen sensation by Arifa Akbar

Disney+Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical is smart, witty, funky and leaves us reflecting on America’s past and future Hamilton was hailed as revolutionary theatre in 2015, with its rapping 18…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54PM
Monday, June 29, 2020

'I've threatened to break the rules and kiss her': Claire Foy and Matt Smith on acting in lockdown by Arifa Akbar

They’re separated by a two-metre stick but their chemistry is as strong as ever. The Crown stars on their socially-distanced take on Lungs; lockdown diets and naked drawings Claire Foy and…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Friday, June 26, 2020

Nixon in Agony review – Berkoff gets inside disgraced president's head by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineRichard Nixon’s downfall may be resonant with our age, but in Adam Donen’s experimental sound dramatisation the psychological noise drowns out the story Hottest front-roo…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM

The Last Five Years review – poignant deconstruction of a marriage by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThere are astute lyrics and energetic performances in this tale of a relationship, from first night to marriage to break-up Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dan…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:06AM
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Rush review – Rupert Everett searches for the meaning of monogamy by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineA gay love triangle leads to a generational battle over queer identity in this beguiling, Zoom-broadcast comedy of manners Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and danc…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:36PM
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Protest review – superb set of dramas for the Black Lives Matter movement by Arifa Akbar

Available onlinePain, anger and everyday racism are examined in this powerful series of short films from the Bush theatre A week ago, the Bush theatre asked six writers for their dramatised …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:42AM
Monday, June 15, 2020

WeRNotVirus review – responses to a pandemic of racism by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineTen short plays responding to the rise in racist attacks since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak have a cumulative power Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and d…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:18AM
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Continuity review – gripping study of Irish republican terror by Arifa Akbar

Available online In Gerry Moynihan’s monologue, recorded at the Finborough in 2017, Paul Kennedy gives a magnificent performance Gerry Moynihan’s debut play begins in a bustling Northern…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:03PM
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

'There is a growing unease': will Covid-19 damage theatre's progress in diversity? by Arifa Akbar

It would be a tragedy if the lockdown left drama narrower and risk-averse. Our chief critic hears from Kwame Kwei-Armah, Indhu Rubasingham, Lynette Linton and Rachel De-lahay As protests ove…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:42PM
Monday, June 8, 2020

Adventures with the Painted People review – Greig's romance has irresistible spark by Arifa Akbar

BBC Radio 3A Roman soldier falls under the spell of a Pictish woman in this poetic radio play that holds up a mirror to modern Britain Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:48AM
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Pass Over review – Spike Lee directs a supremely masterful tragedy by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineLee’s 2018 film of Antoinette Nwandu’s powerful play, written as a response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, resonates after the George Floyd killing Two homeless men i…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:12PM
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A School for Fools review – Belarus Free Theatre's audacious lockdown challenge by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe company’s years of operating underground inform a dynamic approach to online drama that goes far beyond talking heads Belarus Free Theatre began rehearsing an adaptatio…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:03PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue