All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 14, 2024

L’Amore Del Cuore (Heart’s Desire) review – enticing Italian take on Caryl Churchill by Arifa Akbar

Coronet theatre, LondonThis gnomic production of Churchill’s 1997 play, about a couple awaiting their daughter’s return, is packed with confusions and curveballs In Blue Heart, a pair of…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:36AM
Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Merry Wives of Windsor review – belting revenge comedy in modern middle England by Arifa Akbar

Royal Shakespeare theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon Blanche McIntyre’s Midas-touched production is set in the present day and finds delirious comedy in its class divisions This lesser-staged Sh…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:36AM
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Being Mr Wickham review – Jane Austen’s cad meanders into old age by Arifa Akbar

Jermyn Street theatre, London Adrian Lukis’s self-penned one-man show revisits the character he played in Pride and Prejudice on TV in 1995, but doesn’t discover much Those who …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:54AM
Monday, June 10, 2024

Marie Curie review – musical dash through the scientist’s life leaves your head spinning by Arifa Akbar

Charing Cross theatre, LondonThis fast and furious Korean show has high-voltage tunes, but suffers from schmaltz and a breathlessly hectic pace Two women meet on a train, in a flashback to M…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36AM
Friday, June 7, 2024

Wedding Band: A Love Hate Story in Black and White review – high-stakes passion in the segregated south by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonAlice Childress’s powerful story of a biracial couple is set in South Carolina in 1918, but burns with the heat of the civil rights era when it was written ‘It�…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:06AM
Thursday, June 6, 2024

Suite in Three Keys review – Noël Coward hotel trilogy stares stylishly into the abyss by Arifa Akbar

Orange Tree theatre, LondonTara Fitzgerald, Emma Fielding and Stephen Boxer deftly juggle roles in this marathon of marital malaise This 1965 trilogy of late works by Noël Coward has all hi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:54AM
Tuesday, June 4, 2024

A View from the Bridge review – Dominic West leads 50s drama into the present by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Haymarket, LondonArthur Miller’s story of family, masculinity and immigrant struggles could seem dated but a brilliant cast bring out uncomfortably modern resonances This rev…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:48PM
Monday, June 3, 2024

Viola’s Room review – Punchdrunk’s gothic tale of puzzling wonder by Arifa Akbar

One Cartridge Place, LondonHelena Bonham Carter narrates as a bare-footed audience explore exquisite rooms in this unsettling, grief-soaked journey into the night The immersive adventure beg…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:24PM
Friday, May 31, 2024

Coram Boy review – a show that buries the plot along with the foundling babies by Arifa Akbar

Chichester Festival theatreThe performances are strong and the music is beautiful, but they cannot rescue this convoluted adaptation of Jamila Gavin’s award-winning children’s novel This…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:42AM
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hamlet review – one-woman juggling act exposes limits of Eddie Izzard’s acting ability by Arifa Akbar

A marathon achievement for its feat of memory, this performance feels like avant-garde cabaret at times Has the solo star-vehicle as epic monologue theatre reached its peak with Eddie Izzard…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:12PM
Saturday, May 25, 2024

‘They’re about the mess of being human’: how the mental health musical won over the West End by Arifa Akbar

Jazz hands and big ballads are out and ‘writing about real emotions’ is in, as a new wave of musicals exploring body issues, bullying and queer identity hits the capital’s biggest stag…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:36AM
Friday, May 24, 2024

Bluets review – Maggie Nelson’s blue riffs become left-field cine-theatre by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, London Emma D’Arcy, Ben Whishaw and Kayla Meikle narrate and act out Nelson’s dark meditations from their own film-making booths in Katie Mitchell’s intriguing experiment …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:02PM
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Romeo & Juliet review – Tom Holland enters to whoops as Francesca Amewudah-Rivers shows a steely cool by Arifa Akbar

Duke of York’s theatre, LondonThe Spider-Man star and his spikily charismatic Juliet, giving a heroic performance after all the abuse she faced, are perfectly cast in Jamie Lloyd’s turbo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:32PM
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Richard III review – a fast-paced study of toxic masculinity with an almost entirely female cast by Arifa Akbar

Michelle Terry plays the king as a playfully antic sociopath in a lively production full of effective performances Has there ever been a more contested Richard III? Michelle Terry’s self-…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12PM
Monday, May 20, 2024

Dog Poop Attack: the play that dishes dirt on theatre-world animosities by Arifa Akbar

The case of a German ballet director who attacked a critic with faeces has loosely inspired a satire about the relationships between creators and critics Among the spikier offerings at this …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:06AM
Friday, May 17, 2024

Now, I See review – Black brotherly joy amid gut-wrenching grief by Arifa Akbar

Theatre Royal Stratford East, LondonThe second, strikingly physical part of Lanre Malaolu’s trilogy that began with Samskara explores bereavement with lightness as well as anguish It is ha…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Thursday, May 16, 2024

English review – Pulitzer-winning classroom play doesn’t quite make the grade by Arifa Akbar

The Other Place, Stratford-upon-AvonFour students in Iran are under pressure to pass their foreign language exams in Sanaz Toossi’s gentle comedy that puts discussion above drama and ideas…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:12AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

People, Places and Things review – Denise Gough reprises a shattering story of addiction by Arifa Akbar

Trafalgar theatre, LondonThe Olivier award-winner returns to her role as an actor in rehab in Duncan Macmillan’s brutally powerful play Duncan Macmillan’s 2015 play about addiction is a …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:06AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Between Riverside and Crazy review – Danny Sapani’s ex-cop faces down the past by Arifa Akbar

Hampstead theatre, LondonStrong performances and jibing humour propel this exuberant but flawed revival of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s 2014 play about racism in the New York police force This r…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Friday, May 10, 2024

Punch review – James Graham’s tragic study of a fatal blow by Arifa Akbar

Nottingham PlayhouseA teenager kills a trainee paramedic with a single strike on a night out in Nottingham in this deftly directed play based on a real story Take note: this is not a play ab…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:03AM
Thursday, May 9, 2024

Sappho review – the poet’s passions, from ancient Lesbos to spangly clubland by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse Elephant, LondonA mix of songs, dance, glitter and camp, this ancient-modern mashup is derailed by bland debates and a convoluted script An ancient Greek love story, this…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:18AM
Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Spirited Away review – Studio Ghibli gem becomes a theatrical feast by Arifa Akbar

Coliseum, LondonHayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece is brought to life with imaginative puppetry, wondrous music and moments of delicate poetry Food and cooking feature prominently in the films o…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:36PM
Sunday, May 5, 2024

Dugsi Dayz review – young Muslim answer to The Breakfast Club fizzles out by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonFour south London girls tell stories during detention at a mosque in Sabrina Ali’s play, which ends before we know much about them Four British Somali girls are thrown t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:36AM

Much Ado About Nothing review – frothy fun to please the purists by Arifa Akbar

Globe theatre, LondonThere’s no whiff of stuffiness in a Sean Holmes’ production characterised by warm summer euphoria, Elizabethan-era magic and entrancing music The Globe so often come…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:18AM
Friday, May 3, 2024

The Cherry Orchard review – Benedict Andrews brings Chekhov bang up to date by Arifa Akbar

Donmar Warehouse, LondonNina Hoss stars in a kookily immersive production but the devastating hammer blow of the Russian tragicomedy is not lost in translation It is initially hard to fathom…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:36PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The Buddha of Suburbia review – playful spin through Hanif Kureishi’s novel by Arifa Akbar

Swan theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonEmma Rice directs an ebullient RSC version of the landmark 1990 story of sex, music, class and racism Hanif Kureishi’s 1990 debut novel was so cool that it…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:32AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Minority Report review – futuristic fugitive thriller is criminally undercooked by Arifa Akbar

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonMax Webster and David Haig’s ambitious female-led stage version of the sci-fi thriller is overwhelmed by its own optics This ambitious co-production was always goi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Other Boleyn Girl review – the sexual strategising of the conniving Boleyn family brought sharply to life by Arifa Akbar

Chichester Festival theatreMike Poulton’s adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novel shows how the sisters refuse to be passive victims Wife Number 2 to serial husband, King Henry VIII, firs…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:06AM
Friday, April 26, 2024

You Are Going to Die review – nothing is off-limits in this naked meditation on mortality by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonAdam Scott-Rowley struts, writhes and jiggles his way from ancient Celt to Hieronymus Bosch wretch in this potent cross between physical theatre and performance ar…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:02AM
Thursday, April 25, 2024

What (Is) a Woman review – like #MeToo never happened by Arifa Akbar

Arcola theatre, LondonAndrée Bernard’s solo show is a bizarre representation of one woman’s love life, minus depth and character development This solo musical opens with a sex scene. A …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:06AM
Sunday, April 21, 2024

1884 review – interactive theatre game invites the neighbours over to resist fascism by Arifa Akbar

Shoreditch Town Hall, LondonTalk of street parties, barbecues and book clubs gives way to politics in this work about authoritarianism, colonialism and how history gets rewritten The histor…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:18AM

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