All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Rubenstein Kiss review – passion and paranoia as spy drama implodes by Arifa Akbar

Southwark Playhouse, LondonThis drama inspired by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg is ripe for revival but the story asks more questions than it answers James Phillips calls it the “perfect time…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Athol Fugard's apartheid dramas still bite in our divided age by Arifa Akbar

New productions of A Lesson from Aloes and Blood Knot forcefully portray a world of claustrophobia, surveillance and the subtleties of racial exclusion The multiracial plays of Athol Fugard …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:56AM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Monica Dolan: ‘I stopped reading reviews when one said I was kittenish’ by Arifa Akbar

The award-winning actor and writer on All About Eve, celebrity culture and the perils of not actually being Welsh Monica Dolan is a Bafta-winning actor and writer. Born in Middlesbrough, her…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:06AM
Friday, March 8, 2019

The Ridiculous Darkness review – Conrad, Coppola and the 'white saviour' complex by Arifa Akbar

Gate theatre, LondonA story from a Somali pirate kicks off this outlandish comic critique of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now Wolfram Lotz’s surreally comic critique of Joseph Conrad…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:23AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Inside Bitch review – prison truths beyond Orange Is the New Black by Arifa Akbar

Royal Court, LondonClean Break’s satirical look at the stereotypes around life in jail ends up undone by its own artifice Inside Bitch is a drama about drama and its misrepresentations. Fo…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:49PM
Monday, March 4, 2019

The Mirror Crack’d review – death and dazzle as Miss Marple goes to the movies by Arifa Akbar

Salisbury PlayhouseThis frenetic rewind for Agatha Christie’s mystery splits between Hollywood homage and send-up In a bare room, an elderly woman sleeps in an armchair, sprained ankle on …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:54AM
Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Remains of the Day review – Ishiguro's novel makes cerebral theatre by Arifa Akbar

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonBarney Norris’s adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker winner about the perils of blind duty speaks to modern Britain ‘The play must be unlike the book …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:48AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Handbag? It's from Sports Direct: The Importance of Being Earnest for boxers by Arifa Akbar

Serving the cucumber sandwiches in a future Britain, Tara Arts and Two Gents present Oscar Wilde’s classic as an urgent tale of migrant survival – with only two actors Ayesha Casely-Hayf…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:09AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Harvey review – Steven Berkoff explores Weinstein's psyche by Arifa Akbar

Playground theatre, London This attempt to delve into the disgraced movie mogul’s mind finds rage, denial and hateThe theatre’s promotional blurb warns that Steven Berkoff will go “whe…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:04PM
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Blue/Orange review – smarm, charm and raw emotion in gladiatorial mental health drama by Arifa Akbar

Birmingham Repertory theatreJoe Penhall’s play about a young black patient caught between two clashing white doctors is incendiary, intellectually rich and ever topicalWhen Blue/Orange was…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Salaam review – faith and the fallout of London terror attacks by Arifa Akbar

Vaults, LondonA mother and daughter have profound discussions about identity but this drama is still searching for its centreA Muslim mother and daughter are preparing for Ramadan when their…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:04AM
Monday, January 21, 2019

The Dark review – dangerous escape from Idi Amin's Uganda by Arifa Akbar

The Egg, BathNick Makoha’s fragmented and vertiginous account of his treacherous journey to Britain is a story of our timesOn the left of the stage, a screen projects the Miltonic line: …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54AM
Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sabrina Mahfouz: ‘Oppressive systems can destroy young people’s lives’ by Arifa Akbar

With an adaptation of Noughts and Crosses set to tour the UK and her anthology of Muslim writing picked for Emma Watson’s book club, the prolific British writer is as busy as ever. Here sh…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Friday, January 11, 2019

Anomaly review – how a movie mogul's misconduct impacts his family by Arifa Akbar

Old Red Lion, LondonLiv Warden’s play explores what happens to the daughters of a powerful man who is charged with GBHWhere are the women closest to once-powerful predators who have been u…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:04AM
Monday, January 7, 2019

The Dame review – tears and greasepaint in Blue Peter star's panto tragedy by Arifa Akbar

Park theatre, LondonPeter Duncan gives an earnest performance in his daughter’s play about a music-hall legend with a dark pastThe Dame has a tender genesis story: writer Katie Duncan was …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:03PM
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

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